Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has announced a new temporary measure aimed at alleviating Canada’s historic labour shortages.
Fraser says this will allow over 500,000 international students already in Canada to potentially work more hours.
From November 15, 2022 until December 31, 2023, international students who are in Canada and have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will be allowed to work over 20 hours per week off-campus while class is in session.
This temporary measure will also apply to foreign nationals who have already submitted a study permit application as of today. They will also be able to benefit from this policy if Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada approves their application.
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced this major reform this morning in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa.
READ ALSO: Lagos To Construct New Airport In Lekki
Fraser explained this measure aims to alleviate the labour shortages that are being experienced across Canada.
At present, international students who apply to study in an eligible Canadian educational program may get authorized to work off-campus during their studies for up to 20 hours per week. This limit is lifted during scheduled breaks such as the summer and winter holidays. This policy allows international students to support themselves financially while also seeking to ensure that they remain focused on completing their studies rather than be focused on working in Canada. Facing nearly one million job vacancies, however, has resulted in the Canadian government easing this rule for the time being.
Fraser noted this measure will allow over 500,000 eligible international students already in Canada to potentially work more hours.
Canada is among the world’s leading destinations of international students. In 2021, it hosted over 620,000 international students, a figure which has tripled over the past two decades. Canada issued nearly 450,000 new study permits last year alone.
Demand to study in Canada remains strong due to various factors, such as the quality of the country’s educational institutions, multiculturalism, affordability of the Canadian dollar, and the work and permanent residence opportunities that the country offers.
Fraser also pointed out in today’s announcement that Canada has already processed more than 452,000 study permit applications between January and August of 2022, a 23 per cent increase compared to the 367,000 processed over the same period in 2021. As such, Canada has already broken the record it set last year for study permits processed in a calendar year.