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  • Writer's pictureShipra Gupta

Students from overseas will be able to work off campus under new regulations introduced by Canada

employment opportunities for international students

Canada is introducing new rules around off-campus work hours for international students. These changes aim to improve the work experience and employment opportunities for international students who are studying in Canada.

Students cannot work more than 20 hours off campus after April 30, 2024. The intention is to increase the weekly hours to 24 starting this autumn.

Working off campus helps international students gain work experience and offset some expenses. As international students arrive in Canada, we want them to be prepared for life here and have the support they need to succeed. However, first and foremost, people coming to Canada as students must be here to study, not to work. We will continue to work to protect the integrity of our student program.

– The Honorable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

The following factors influence a quick decision by the government of Canada:

  • Recent studies conducted in the US and Canada have shown that there has been a significant decrease in academic performance. For students working more than 28 hours per week and working more than 24 hours per week increases the chances that a student will drop out of their program.

  • Most countries that welcome international students limit the number of hours they may work while studying. Australia recently changed its policy to allow a student to work 48 hours every 2 weeks. Similarly, US students must meet additional criteria before being permitted to work off campus at all.

  • In December 2023, the Government of Canada raised the cost-of-living threshold that students must meet to be approved for a study permit so they are financially prepared for life in Canada and are not as dependent on working.

  • International students who begin a college program delivered through a public-private curriculum licensing arrangement on or after May 15, 2024, will not be eligible for a post-graduation work permit when they graduate. Those who already started this type of program before May 15, 2024, will still be able to access a post-graduation work permit, provided they meet all other criteria.

  • The new letter of acceptance (LOA) verification process has been a success. Since its launch on December 1, 2023, through April 1, 2024, IRCC has

  •  Received almost 162,000 LOAs for verification

  • Confirmed nearly 142,000 LOAs as valid directly with designated learning institutions (DLIs).

  • Identified almost 9,000 LOAs that didn’t match any LOA issued by a DLI or that the DLI had already been canceled before the foreign national applied for a study permit.

By limiting off-campus work hours, students have the opportunity to focus on their academics and make the most of their educational experience in Canada.

Exceptions to the New Rule

While the new regulation limits off-campus employment hours for overseas students, several exceptions may apply. These exclusions are intended to achieve a balance between students' needs and the safety of their academic endeavors.

  1. Exceptions for those students who need part-time work to sustain themselves financially. In such instances, students may be allowed to conduct limited off-campus jobs if it does not interfere with their academic pursuits.

  2. Exceptions for students who are doing internships or co-op assignments related to their subject of study. These assignments offer significant real-world job experience and frequently lead to employment after graduation.

Students must fulfill certain requirements to be a part of the exemption and establish a real need for off-campus employment. These requirements may include proving financial problems, obtaining a signed letter from their academic institution, or demonstrating that off-campus employment would benefit their academic progress. Overall, the new rules governing off-campus employment hours for foreign students in Canada are intended to promote a more fair and equal system for international students.


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