Canada caps international students’ work time at 24 hours per week

By Dat Nguyen   May 1, 2024 | 01:48 am PT
Canada caps international students’ work time at 24 hours per week
Students walk on campus at the University of Toronto, Canada. Photo by David Lee via University of Toronto
The government of Canada will allow international students to work up to 24 hours a week starting September, said Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marc Miller.

The new policy will ensure they focus primarily on their studies, while having the option to work, if necessary, Marc Miller announced Monday in a press release.

Since the end of 2022 until Tuesday Canada imposed a policy which allows students to work for more than 20 hours per week to reduce labor shortage.

But as the policy expired Tuesday, the work hours limit has returned to 20 hours per week until September when the government will change it permanently to 24 hours.

Students who are on academic break can work unlimited hours.

Internal work by the ministry shows more than 80% of international students are currently working more than 20 hours a week.

Critics have warned that allowing international students to work full-time could turn a study permit into an unofficial work visa, which would undermine its purpose, according to the Canadian Press.

But the government has also received feedback from international students who say they need more work hours to fund their education.

Many countries have imposed similar policies. Australia recently changed its policy to allow a student to work 48 hours every two weeks. In the U.S., students must meet additional criteria before being permitted to work off campus at all.

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