Between November 15, 2022, and December 31, 2022, international students who are studying in Canada and have off-campus authorization on their study permit will be permitted to work 20 hours a week. This temporary reform will also permit foreign nationals who have already submitted a study permit application. They will be able to benefit from this policy if IRCC approves the application. Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser made an announcement about this policy and also mentioned that this measure targets to relieve the labour shortages in Canada.
Canada is currently struggling with labour shortages and an all-time low unemployment rate. Statistics Canada reported that Canada’s unemployment rate declined by 5.2% in September, and 5.4% in August. Currently, foreign students who wish to apply to study in a qualifying Canadian educational program will be accredited to work off-campus during their course for up to 20 hours a week.
This restriction will be lifted during organized breaks such as the summer and winter breaks. This reform will also permit foreign students to support themselves financially while ensuring to focus on completing their studies rather than concentrating on working in Canada. Due to the major labour shortages in the country, the Federal government of Canada has been easing this rule for the time being.
Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser has confirmed that this reform will permit 500,000 eligible international students in Canada to work more hours. Canada is one of the world’s largest destinations for international students. In 2021, it welcomed around 620,000 international students, this number has tripled over the past two decades. Canada issued approximately 450,000 new study permits last year. The demand to study in Canada remains robust concerning various factors such as the quality of educational institutions, multiculturalism, affordability, and work and permanent residence opportunities that Canada offers.
The immigration minister also highlighted in the latest announcement that Canada has already processed over 452,000 study permit applications between the month of January and August, a 23% of increment has been witnessed compared to the 367,000aaplication processed during the same time in 2021. Canada has already surpassed the study permit target set for last year. According to the studies conducted by the Canadian Bureau for International Education, the major chunk of international students was interested in staying in Canada as permanent residents after the completion of their studies.
Statistics Canada research showcases that foreign students who attain permanent residence tend to blend in quickly into the Canadian labour market due to effective factors such as their Canadian work and study experience, and language proficiency in English or French.
This also sums up why Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers various measures targeting helping international students to work in Canada.