For eligible study permit holders in Canada, a temporary public policy announced in October, 2022 has allowed them to work more than 20 hours per week off-campus during the academic session. However, it’s crucial for students to be aware that this policy is set to end on December 31, 2023.
Temporary public policy overview
The temporary public policy, announced on October 7, 2022, allowed certain international students in Canada to exceed the 20-hour-per-week limit for off-campus work during the academic session. This policy was applicable from November 15, 2022, to December 31, 2023, for eligible full-time international students without a work permit. However, this exemption is set to conclude at the end of 2023.
Purpose of the temporary measure
The decision to lift the 20-hour-per-week cap was made to provide eligible international students with increased opportunities to gain valuable work experience in Canada. Additionally, the move aimed to contribute to sustaining Canada’s post-pandemic economic growth by enhancing the availability of skilled workers. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser emphasized the temporary nature of the measure, signaling its conclusion on December 31, 2023.
Impact on students and economic growth
The measure was implemented to benefit international students by offering them a chance to gain practical work experience while studying. However, with the impending return to the 20-hour work week limit in 2024, some students may feel strained by the change. The reassessment of the temporary policy by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will reveal the impact it had, including the number of international students who took advantage of the increased work hours.
International students already face significant financial challenges, with an average full-time international student in Canada paying $38,081 for an undergraduate degree program in the 2023-24 school year, according to Statistics Canada. In comparison, Canadian students pay $7,076 on average. The change in work hour policy may add an extra layer of financial pressure on international students who have been relying on increased work opportunities.
As the temporary public policy on off-campus work hours for international students in Canada draws to a close on December 31, 2023, it is crucial for affected students to be aware of this change. The reassessment of the policy will provide insights into its impact, and international students should prepare for the return to the 20-hour-per-week limit in 2024. Planning ahead and exploring alternative avenues for financial support will be essential for those who have come to rely on the temporary policy for increased work opportunities during their studies in Canada.