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April 29, 2024

IRCC will not renew temporary off-campus work hours measure

Immigration Minister Marc Miller has announced that temporary measures regarding off-campus work hours for international students will not be renewed.

Starting in October 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) began temporarily allowing international students with an off-campus work authorization on their study permits to work more than 20 hours per week while class is in session, as had previously been the rule.

Instead, starting in the fall academic semester this year, international students in Canada will be permitted to work up to 24 hours per week while class is in session. This is unexpected as last December IRCC said that it would, “continue to examine options for this policy in the future, such as expanding off-campus work hours for international students to 30 hours per week while class is in session.”

Discover your options to study in Canada

Today the Minister said working 30 hours a week during the academic year would inevitably have a detrimental effect on students’ academic performance.

Further, he said limiting the number of off-campus hours a student can work would help deter those international students who might apply for a study permit with the primary objective of working in Canada.

He also mentioned that 24 hours would likely be sufficient because of the increased cost of living requirement for international students announced last December.

A single study permit applicant who wishes to study in Canada as an international student must be able to prove they have $20,635 saved up in addition to the cost of tuition.

International students currently in Canada on an academic break are permitted to work unlimited hours. Those who are taking summer classes must now adhere to the 20 hours per week rule.

Other changes for international students

This is the latest in a series of changes to Canada’s international student program. IRCC says these changes are targeted at improving the integrity of the system.

For example, the department added another step to obtaining a study permit. Students must now get a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from the province where their designated learning institution (DLI) is located. This is part of an overall cap on the number of study permits IRCC will process in 2024.

The department is also working on implementing the Trusted Institutions Framework for DLIs in Canada with a proven record of offering adequate support to international students.

Are you eligible to work in Canada as an international student?

International students who wish to work off-campus during their academic year must meet several requirements including:

holding a valid study permit
studying full-time at a DLI
already have started studying at their DLI and remain in satisfactory academic standing
studying in an academic, vocational, or professional training program that is at least six months in duration and leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate; and
having a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Students may continue to work  unlimited hours in Canada during academic breaks provided they are enrolled to return to full-time studies in the upcoming semester.

Discover your options to study in Canada