Canada has lifted the 20-hour-a-week limit restriction on the number of hours international students can work off campus.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister, Sean Fraser, made the announcement on Friday, citing the country’s labour shortage.
Canada’s job vacancy rate was 5.4% in July, down from a peak 6.0% in April 2022. Canadian employers were actively looking to fill nearly one million jobs as of July 31.
“There’s more job opportunities than there are workers in almost every community in Canada,” the minister said.
The new policy, set to run from November 15, 2022, through the end of 2023, will only apply to students studying full time, he said.
Fraser said lifting the cap will give students a greater choice of employment opportunities, making them less likely to fall victim to “unscrupulous employers.”
“International students contribute to our country in so many ways. They enrich our communities, and play a crucial role in growing our economy.
“Beginning on November 15th 2022, until Dec. 31, 2023, international students in Canada will no longer be restricted by the 20-hour-a-week work rule. This means more than 500,000 international students who are already here in Canada will be eligible to work more if they choose to.
“This change will help sustain Canada’s post-pandemic growth, and provides a boost to thousands of employers in sectors that are facing the most severe labour shortages. And as a result, many post-secondary students will gain even more work experience in Canada.
“We’re also launching a pilot program this month to automate the processing of applications to extend a study permit. This will help us decrease our processing times and reduce our backlogs, and provides international students with the service they expect and deserve.
“As a top destination for international students, we’ll continue to ensure international students gain valuable work experience in Canada, while addressing the needs of our businesses and communities across the country,” Fraser said.