Friday, June 21, 2024

Canada has decreased the maximum weekly work hours allowed for international students from 40 to 24

Canada has adjusted the work hours allowed for international students, reducing them from 40 to 24 hours per week. This alteration marks a significant shift from the previous temporary policy, which permitted students to work up to 40 hours weekly.

Announced by Marc Miller, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, the new regulation takes effect this fall semester, commencing in September. Miller emphasized that the primary focus for students in Canada should be on their studies, hence the reduction in off-campus work hours. The temporary policy, implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic to alleviate labor shortages, will cease on April 30, 2024, with no extension.

Despite the reduction, there’s no restriction on international students’ off-campus work hours during scheduled breaks like summer vacations. Miller highlighted the importance of work experience and financial support for students but reiterated the priority of academic pursuits.

Moreover, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that international students enrolled in public-private curriculum licensing arrangements for college programs will not qualify for post-graduation work permits, effective May 15, 2024.

Canada, a favored destination for Indian students, has seen a significant influx, with Indian students constituting over a third of international enrollments. However, the reduced work hours have drawn criticism from groups like the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), who argue that it may hinder access to education for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

While Canada’s move aligns with international norms, such as Australia’s recent adjustment allowing 48 hours of work every two weeks, it reflects an ongoing debate regarding balancing study and work opportunities for international students.


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