TOLL-FREE 604-684-4211

Change to off-campus work restrictions for international students

If you are an international student in Canada, you are probably quite diligent about complying with the terms and restrictions of your study permit. So, when the rules change, you should know what these changes are so that you can make informed decisions about your academic and non-academic pursuits.

For instance, recently, The Government of Canada announced it is temporarily lifting the restriction on off-campus work hours for students with the authorization to do so.

Then vs. now

Until this change, students with a study permit and authorization to work off-campus jobs could only work up to 20 hours per week. This cap ensured students could balance study and work and allowed them to prioritize their education.

However, the current economic landscape reflects a shortage of workers. As such, the government needed to address labour needs and decided that expanding opportunities for international students already authorised to work could help the situation. 

Thus, starting Nov. 15, 2022, and lasting until at least Dec. 31, 2023, you can work as many hours in an off-campus job as you like if you are a study permit holder.

It is crucial for you to note that if you drop courses or stop studying to take on more off-campus work hours, the government could revoke your authorisation to work in that capacity.

Protecting yourself amid changes

People can be confused when the rules of studying or working in Canada as an immigrant change. They might make mistakes in adapting or miss out on new opportunities. 

Immigration restrictions and rules can be incredibly complicated to navigate, particularly when you are away from your family and trying to concentrate on work and school. There can be several study permit conditions with which you must comply, and the consequences of violations – or perceived violations – can be costly.

With this in mind, consulting someone familiar with Canadian immigration issues can be wise if you have questions or concerns.

However, the important takeaway here is that if you have a study permit and are already working an off-campus job or you applied for a study permit application by Oct. 7 of this year, you will no longer be restricted to the 20-hour cap.