🎉 We launched a new tech portal, Join the Waitlist to be invited next! 🎉

On Friday, October 7, 2022, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced a new temporary measure to remove the 20-work week limit for international students in Canada. From November 15, 2022, to December 31, 2023, eligible international students will be able to work more than 20 hours per week off-campus. 

This news excites international students, universities & colleges, and employers and marks a positive change in the international student ecosystem. Canada has implemented multiple positive measures over the past year to help support international students to remain in the country post-graduation including:

  • New PR pathway program for international students which was announced Summer of 2021
  • Allowing international students to extend their post-graduation work permits for another 18 months to remain in the country and work
  • 2021 marked the highest number of international student intake in Canada of all time

Today, Canada is the fastest-growing country in the international student population and no surprise that many international students are choosing to study in Canada as a pathway to immigrate. In fact, over 60% of international students report that they would like to become permanent residents after graduation. 

Lifting the 20-hour workweek limit for international students will surely increase their employability and income potential. Let’s talk about what this means for international students.

More chance of getting hired

Employers in Canada will gain access to additional 500,000 current international students who are now able to work full-time off-campus without any hour limitation. Often international students are excluded from full-time opportunities just because they are on a study permit. 

Better opportunities

Many professional positions that international students are often interested in pursuing are often full-time positions. With the previous limitation, international students can only work part-time in labor-intensive sectors like food & retail. With this change, international students will have access to full-time professional positions including full-time & internship roles that match their area of study. 

More chances to gain professional Canadian experience

Typically, international students require a co-op work permit in order to work off-campus for more than 20 hours per week, and often they have to be enrolled in co-op-eligible programs. With this change, eligible international students will be able to do co-op & internship using their study permit and do not require an additional layer of permit application. 

[Hopefully] Less illegal cash jobs & under-the-table payments

20 hours of work per week is not enough to cover basic necessities for international students. Let’s say they earn a minimum wage of $15, working 20 hours per week, which is only $1,200 per month. While rent for a one-bedroom in major cities already exceeds $1,200. We often hear cases where international students opt for cash jobs, working more than 20 hours per week illegally, and getting exploited by employers. In some cases, students who get caught working more than 20 hours per week get expelled & banned from re-entering the country. 

Though this change will benefit many international students & employers, it’s important to note that the main goal for international students to study abroad is to receive a good quality education and gain valuable learning experience in Canada. While working while studying has shown benefits, international students should pay attention to time management and balancing their work & study schedules. 

At Isempower, we are Canada’s first career launchpad for international students in which we facilitate direct connections between international students nationwide and employers who are looking to hire diverse candidates. International students & graduates can create a free account and receive job opportunities from employers that value diverse backgrounds, learn how to find a job in a new country, and connect with a supportive community of friends & mentors who have gone through the process. 

International students & graduates, create an account for free.

Employers, hire diverse candidates across Canada, and get started with us here.