Canada Temporarily Lifts Cap on Off-Campus Work Hours for Post-Secondary Students

On October 7, 2022, the Government of Canada announced the temporary lifting of the 20-hour-per-week cap on the number of hours eligible post-secondary students are allowed to work off-campus while class is in session.

Starting from November 15, 2022, until December 31, 2023, international students who are in Canada and who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will not be restricted by the 20-hour-per-week rule. Foreign students who have already submitted a study permit application will also be able to benefit from this temporary change, provided their application is approved.

Prior to today’s announcement, any student with the authorization to work off-campus was permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while class is in session, as well as full-time during scheduled breaks. Students eligible to work on campus were and are not subject to a cap on hours for on-campus work.

This measure will provide many international students with a greater opportunity to gain valuable work experience in Canada, and will increase the availability of workers to sustain Canada’s post-pandemic growth. Employers are facing unprecedented challenges in finding and retaining the workers they need during Canada’s period of economic recovery and growth. The cap lift is among other measures being put into place to address current labour needs.

With more than 500,000 international students already in Canada available to potentially work additional hours, this temporary change reflects the important role international students can play in addressing our labour shortage, while continuing to pursue their studies. Study permit holders are still expected to balance their study and work commitments, as those who stop studying or reduce course loads to only study part-time are not eligible to work off-campus.

According to the Government of Canada, IRCC processed nearly 119,000 study permit extension applications in 2021, with an approval rate of 97%. From January 1, 2022, to the end of August 2022, more than 135,000 were processed, with an approval rate of 96%.

A copy of this announcement can be found here: International students to help address Canada’s labour shortage