The Government of Canada will temporarily lift the cap on the number of hours that eligible international post-secondary students are allowed to work off-campus.

Today, the government announced that from November 15, 2022, until December 31, 2023, international students in Canada who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will not be restricted to working 20 hours per week while classes are in session.

The lifting of the maximum workable hours will benefit current international students and foreign nationals who have already submitted a study permit application as of October 7, 2022, provided the application is approved.

Employers in Canada are facing unprecedented challenges in finding and retaining workers during this period of economic recovery and growth, and this new measure will help address the country’s current labour needs.

This measure will provide international students with a greater opportunity to gain valuable work experience in Canada and will increase the availability of workers to sustain Canada’s post-pandemic growth.

Canada is home to more than 500,000 international students, and this temporary change will reflect the important role these students can play in addressing the country’s labour shortage, while continuing to pursue their studies.

“With the economy growing at a faster rate than employers can hire new workers, Canada needs to look at every option so that we have the skills and workforce needed to fuel our growth. Immigration will be crucial to addressing our labour shortage,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “By allowing international students to work more while they study, we can help ease pressing needs in many sectors across the country, while providing more opportunities for international students to gain valuable Canadian work experience and continue contributing to our short-term recovery and long-term prosperity.”

Study permit holders will still be expected to balance their study and work commitments, as those who stop studying or reduce course loads to only study part-time will not be eligible to work off-campus.

Today’s announcement is part of a series of initiatives that aim to benefit international students and graduates, while supporting Canada’s broader efforts to improve client services and application processing times.

These other measures include a transition period for students studying online from abroad and an opportunity for students with expired or expiring post-graduate work permits to get an additional 18-month open work permit.

Published on October 7, 2022.