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Canada Ups Weekly Work Limit for International Students to 24 Hours

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International students in Canada will soon have more flexibility in their work schedules. Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced a new policy that increases the off-campus work limit from 20 hours to 24 hours per week, starting September 2024.

Aligning with International Standards

Immigration Minister Marc Miller Miller underscored the necessity of aligning Canada’s policies with those of similar nations to uphold the integrity of the international student program.

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He emphasized, “Canada’s rules need to be aligned, or we will find our programs attracting more and more applicants whose primary intent is to work and not study.” He clarified that the primary objective of the international student program is academic pursuit, not employment.

Also Read: International Students in Canada Demand Extension of Post-Graduation Work Permits

Balancing Work and Studies

The decision to set the new work limit at 24 hours stemmed from a comprehensive consideration of various factors. During a press conference, Miller highlighted that over 80 per cent of international students currently exceed the 20-hour threshold.

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However, he cautioned against working excessively, citing potential adverse effects on academic performance.

Addressing Concerns

Critics voiced concerns that the previous temporary full-time work authorization blurred the lines between study permits and work visas. To address this, the 20-hour limit will be temporarily reinstated until September, when the new 24-hour policy takes effect.

Also Read: Changes to Work Permit Rules for International Students in Canada

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Unrestricted Work During Breaks

Notably, there are no restrictions on the number of hours international students can work during periods when they are not actively enrolled in classes, such as summer breaks.

However, Miller’s department has cautioned against exceeding work limits, citing potential distractions from studies. While considering a 30-hour cap, Miller expressed concerns about its detrimental impact on study quality.

Finding the Optimal Balance

The decision to set the limit at 24 hours reflects a focus on student success. “Studies show a significant impact on academic quality when working around 30 hours,” explained Miller. This new policy aims to create a better balance between academic pursuits and the ability to gain valuable work experience in Canada.

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Also Read: Canada Emerges as Top Choice for Students and Skilled Workers


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