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Bringing in foreign students will help Canada labour shortage

Temporary lift of the Off-Campus Work Hours Limit. During this time of economic recovery and expansion, employers are encountering previously unheard-of difficulties in locating and keeping the people they need. The government of Canada is trying its best to overcome the labor shortage faced in the Canadian Markets.

Most Honorable Sean Fraser, the minister of immigration, refugees, and citizenship, stated today that the restriction on how many hours eligible post-secondary students can work off campus while classes are in session has been temporarily lifted from 20 hours per week to 40.

International Students studying in Canada having off-campus job permission mentioned on their Canada are not to be subjected to the 20-hour restriction starting from November 15th, 2022 to December 31st, 2023. Canada Study Permit This interim adjustment will also apply to foreign nationals who have already applied for a study permit as of today, providing their application is granted.

After the law gets implemented many more international students will earn a chance to work in Canada and thus more skilled workers would be available to support the economic growth of Canada post the pandemic. This interim amendment recognizes the significant contribution that more than 500,000 international students presently studying in Canada can make to address our labor deficit while pursuing their academic goals. Notwithstanding the fact that Study Permit holders are under the obligation to work as well as study as they are not permitted to work off campus if they stop studying or try and reduce their course load to just part-time study.

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The processing of Canada study permit extensions will be automated as part of a pilot initiative that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is starting this month. As all the applicants already have received authorization to study in Canada so the kind of applications that are part of the pilot program has a significantly higher approval rate. With the goal of improving customer service, the trial will feature a chosen sample of candidates who might have their extended study visa handled in a more quick way possible. If the pilot is a success, it will be expanded to speed up processing and free up officers to handle more complicated applications.

The announcement made today is one of several that are intended to assist graduates and international students while assisting Canada's larger attempts to enhance customer service and application turnaround times.

Other recent initiatives that will help recent graduates and international students include:

  • This a transitional time for individuals who are studying online from abroad.
  • The chance to obtain an additional 18-month open work permit for those whose post-graduation employment permits have expired or are about to expire.

The IRCC keeps raising the bar for immigration processing as a result of the tremendous level of interest that candidates from across the world have in Canada. The department is constantly working to strengthen Canada's immigration system, decrease wait times, clear backlogs of applications, and generally enhance the client experience.


The Canadian economy is said to be expanding at a rapid pace in comparison to the hiring of new workers taking place by the firms so it would be in the best interest of Canada to consider all the options in order to make certain that Canada has people and skill sets required to support the growth of Canada.   To alleviate our labour crisis, immigration will be essential. We can alleviate urgent needs in numerous industries across the nation by allowing international students to work more during their studies. At the same time, we can give them more opportunities to gain valuable Canadian work experience and to continue making contributions to our short- and long-term recovery.

– Most Honorable Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Sean Fraser

Short facts

  • The majority of international post-secondary students are permitted to work on and/or off campus, and this permission is expressly noted on their study permit.  In the recent past, it was observed that nearly half of Canadian Post-Graduate International Students were working while attending colleges or universities.
  • Prior to today's news, any student who had been given permission to work off-campus could only work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes were in session, as well as full-time during designated breaks. Students working on campus are not subjected to work on any hourly limit.
  • More than 452,000 study permit applications were processed between January 1 and the end of August 2022. In 2021, a record year, 367,000 applications were handled in the same time frame. This indicates a 23% rise.
  • In 2021, IRCC processed around 119,000 study permit extension requests, with a 97% acceptance rate. With an approval rate of 96%, more than 135,000 applications were processed between January 1 and the end of August 2022.
  • In order to be automated, applications being considered for the pilot program to automate study permit extensions must meet specific requirements. Officers will manually assess applications that don't fit the requirements. The automatic system won't suggest rejections or decline applications. It is up to the Canada Immigration Official to decide whether to accept or reject your application.

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