In this article, you’ll learn about:
- A new change allowing international students in Canada to work over 20 hours during instructional periods;
- Why this change was implemented;
- How this change impacts the financial assessment of a study permit application.
UPDATE: International Students In Canada Are Now Allowed To Work Over 20 Hours Off-Campus
In huge news, The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced on October 7th, 2022 that the 20-hour-per-week cap of off-campus work for international students while class is in session will be removed from November 15, 2022 to December 31, 2023.
From November 15, 2022, until December 31, 2023, international students who are in Canada and who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will not be restricted by the 20-hour-per-week rule. Foreign nationals who have already submitted a study permit application, as of today, will also be able to benefit from this temporary change, provided their application is approved.
Before this change, international students were limited to work only 20 hours per week off-campus outside of scheduled breaks, such as winter and summer holidays.
NOTE: This change does not apply to every single international student in Canada during that time period, but rather those who already have a study permit or submitted their application as of the day of the announcement, October 7th. Check our table below to see which category you fall into:
International Student Status
Allowed To Work Over 20 Hours Off-Campus While School Is In Session
Study permit allowing off-campus work has already been issued
Study permit has NOT been issued yet, applied for one on or before October 7th, 2022
YES (Pending Approval of Study Permit)
Study permit has NOT been issued yet, applied for one on or after October 8th, 2022
NOTE: Even if your study permit application was submitted before October 7, 2022, if the application gets refused, you will not be able to benefit from this rule change even if a new application is approved. You would only be able to benefit from this change if you successfully filed for Judicial Review of the refused application and the decision was overturned.
Increased Working Hours Does Not Impact Financial Requirements for a Study Permit
It’s extremely important to keep in mind that the minimum financial requirements that a student must meet in order to be issued a study permit:
(1 year of tuition + minimum $10,000 Canadian Dollars for most countries)
Moreover, these financial requirements must be met by the student WITHOUT working in Canada. The ability to work more hours and earn more money does not have any impact whatsoever on the likelihood of approval of a study permit application – any money a student would make is meant to be used for “funny money” (discretionary spending like nights out, shopping, and coffee). This money is not taken into consideration at when an officer is determining whether to approve or refuse a study permit application because the student and/or their financial supporters are expected to be able to meet this requirement without the student working at all while they are in Canada.
Submitting evidence of meeting only the minimum financial requirement for issuance of a study permit is likely to lead to a refusal of the study permit application.
Why This Change Was Implemented
Currently, there are more than 500,000 international students already in Canada, with that number expected to rise significantly once study permit applications submitted on or before October 7th, 2022 are processed.
Canada has been battling a historic labour shortage, with nearly one million job vacancies spread across all industries. Simultaneously, the unemployment rate is at 5.2% in September, continuing a year that has seen the lowest unemployment rate since the early 1970s.
With this unprecedented economic situation, it is highly beneficial for Canada to allow international students to work extended hours, while international students also have the opportunity to bolster their Canadian work experience.
NOTE: Work experience gained as a student does NOT count toward meeting the minimum work experience eligibility requirement for PR under the Canadian Experience Class.
Contact us if you are planning on submitting a study permit application soon, or your study permit application has been refused.
IRCC Minister Sean Fraser’s original comments available here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2022/10/international-students-to-help-address-canadas-labour-shortage.html