OTTAWA — Canada is temporarily lifting its 20-hour weekly work limit for international students beginning November 15 in an effort to fill job vacancies across the country. The change would run to the end of 2023 and only apply to full-time students.
The measure will provide many 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. Additionally, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is launching a pilot project to automate the processing of study permit extensions this month. The pilot will involve a small group of applicants who could see their extended study permit processed much faster, with the goal of improving client service. Between January 1 and the end of August 2022, more than 452,000 study permit applications have been processed.
“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,” says the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “Immigration will be crucial to addressing our labour shortage. 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.”
“While many immigration reforms need to take place, lifting the work limit for international students is applauded and will greatly help Ontario’s hotels and restaurants in its workforce struggles,” says Tony Elenis, president and CEO of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel Motel Association (ORHMA).