Working Off-Campus Just Got Easier
Posted on 07/10/2022
What’s the Deal?
Are you an international full-time student in Canada on a study permit, who’s working part-time off-campus? Today (October 7, 2022) Minister Sean Fraser announced the 20-hour weekly cap will be lifted from November 15, 2022 through December 31, 2023.
To benefit from this extension of working hours you must:
- Be studying in Canada as a full-time international student
- Have a study permit which authorizes you to work off-campus (most study permits have this authorization printed on the permit itself and usually also allow on-campus work)
- Further, if you submit an application for a study permit from October 7 onwards, you will also be eligible to work more than 20 hours per week off-campus – as long as your study permit authorizes off-campus work and as long as your study permit application is approved of course.
Why is IRCC doing this?
Because, as we’ve been saying here at MaxCan Visa, Canada needs you. International students keep Canada’s post-secondary schools full of both students and cash. And while your higher tuition fees are frankly quite the bonus to Canada, even more importantly, Canada’s need for skilled employees with Canadian experience has been increasingly satisfied by international students like you who then join the work force, often on a PGWP.
This has only become more urgent lately as Canada’s economy enters the post-lockdown phase of COVID with restrictions just about completely lifted for travel and work situations. As Canadians are choosing to focus on their careers and not have as many children, our birth rate is now similar to many European countries which in the context of the labour market means many jobs in Canada are currently not being filled. So, this latest announcement is one of a series of policy changes enacted by IRCC which are meant to address this labour shortage.
Remember that you must maintain your status as a full-time student (or whatever status your study permit authorizes for you as a foreign national studying in Canada) as you work off-campus.
Also please note that there are no weekly limits for on-campus work that any international student is doing while studying.
Is there anything else in the works?
Yes there is. Minister Fraser also announced a limited pilot program that will try out automating the process for study permit extensions. Have you ever faced the hassles of waiting for your study permit extension to be approved while the next academic term loomed in front of you as the days slipped by in a nervous haze of worry? IRCC seems to have understood that this is a problem for foreign nationals studying in Canada, who for a number of reasons will often need a study permit extension. The goal of this pilot is to speed up and simplify the process for an extension through automation. However, please note that you will have to meet certain criteria to qualify for automated processing and as well, an IRCC official will still make the final decision on your extension.
Let’s hear from the Minister Himself
With the economy growing at a faster rate than employers can hire new workers, Canada needs to look at every option so that we have the skills and workforce needed to fuel our growth. Immigration will be crucial to addressing our labour shortage. By allowing international students to work more while they study, we can help ease pressing needs in many sectors across the country, while providing more opportunities for international students to gain valuable Canadian work experience and continue contributing to our short-term recovery and long-term prosperity.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship
In other words, stay tuned, because this is certainly not the last policy change meant to accommodate Canada’s 500,000 international students. There will undoubtedly be more to follow