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Canada Increases Off-Campus Work Hours For International Students to 24 Hours Per Week



Will the policy be extended?  

The short answer is no. The policy is set to expire on April 30th and it will not be renewed. The decision stems from the policy’s effectiveness in facilitating economic recovery, which has eliminated the need for its continuation.

New off-campus work limit: 24 Hours per week!

In a bold move, Canada is increasing off-campus work hours for international students to 24 hours per week, a slight bump from the prior 20-hour work week limit. This change will come into effect beginning this Fall and will be a permanent change.


While a shift from 20 hours off-campus work to 24 hours might look marginal, it effectively allows students and employers to engage one another for three shifts per week rather than two. As many shift-based jobs have a seven- or eight-hour rotation, employers may be less inclined to onboard and train new team members who can only be available for two shifts per week. 

The increase to 24 hours’ off-campus work per week tips the balance to three weekly shifts, potentially giving more employers confidence to hire student workers, and thereby putting more money in the pockets of those workers — money that can help pay international student tuition fees in Canada.

The decision to implement this change was carefully deliberated, taking into account factors such as typical shift lengths and research findings highlighting the negative impact of prolonged work hours on academic performance. Research has shown that increased work hours during studies are associated with declining academic performance and higher dropout rates.


Recognizing these risks, Canada is committed to providing international students a balance between academic excellence and financial support. 

Rationale for the 24-hour limit

According to Marc Miller, the rationale behind the 24-hour work week, equivalent to three shifts of eight hours each, strikes a reasonable balance that does not significantly impact academic performance. This is in line with the core principle of the international student program, which prioritizes academic pursuits over employment. 

Miller acknowledges the financial challenges faced by international students, but emphasizes the importance of ensuring their financial well-being.

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