Canada Ending Temporary Increased Work Hours for International Students

In an announcement made on April 29, 2024, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), shared updates impacting international students in Canada.

Temporary Covid-19 Work Policy ending the temporary policy that allowed international students to work more than 20 hours per week off-campus will officially end on April 30, 2024. This flexibility was introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic to help international students who may have faced financial hardship.

New weekly work hour limits starting this fall, IRCC intends to change the number of hours international students are permitted to work off-campus to 24 hours per week during academic sessions. Students will still be allowed unlimited work hours during scheduled breaks between academic sessions.

Balancing work and studies according to Minister Miller, the 24-hour weekly work limit aims to strike a balance – allowing international students to work if necessary while ensuring their primary focus remains on their studies. IRCC cited research showing excessive work can negatively impact academic outcomes.

The path forward in developing this policy change, IRCC considered the needs of international students, policies in other countries, and the importance of maintaining program integrity. More details on the new 24-hour weekly work limit will be provided in the coming months.

Supporting International Students
The announcement reinforced IRCC’s commitment to protecting international students from financial vulnerability and fraud through measures like the new recognized institutions framework. This framework will identify post-secondary institutions upholding high standards for recruiting, supporting, and retaining international students.

International students undoubtedly enrich Canada’s cultural fabric and contribute to its economy. As the temporary pandemic policies end, these new measured reforms seek to continue supporting international students’ success while preserving the integrity of Canada’s International Student Program.

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