January 13, 2024

Canada Extends International Student Off-Campus Work Hours Policy Until April 2024: What You Need to Know

In a move welcomed by international students and businesses across Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced an extension to its policy allowing eligible international students to work beyond the usual 20-hour-per-week limit imposed on off-campus employment. This temporary policy, initially implemented in 2022 to address labour shortages, allows students to gain valuable work experience while contributing to the economy.

The New Policy: More Work, More Opportunities

Prior to this policy change, international students could only work up to 20 hours per week off-campus while classes were in session. This limited their ability to earn income and gain valuable experience in their fields. However, the temporary policy, which allows eligible students to work full-time (40 hours per week), has provided significant benefits:

  1. Reduced financial burden: Students are less stressed about finances, allowing them to focus on their studies.
  2. Enhanced work experience: Full-time work opportunities offer valuable hands-on experience, improving employability after graduation.
  3. Address labour shortages: The policy helps fill critical workforce gaps in various sectors across Canada.

Who is Eligible for the Policy?

Not all international students are eligible for this extended work hour policy. To qualify, students must:

  1. Be enrolled in a Canadian post-secondary institution and attending in-person classes (not online)
  2. Have off-campus work authorization on their study permit
  3. Have applied for a study permit by December 7, 2023

The Future of the Policy: Permanent Change or Further Revisions?

While the extended policy until April 30, 2024 is a positive development, many international students hoped for a permanent solution. IRCC has stated that it will continue exploring options for this policy in the future, hinting at the possibility of:

  1. Permanently extending the 40-hour-per-week limit: This would provide much-needed stability and security for international students.
  2. Expanding off-campus work hours to 30 hours per week during class sessions: This would offer a middle ground between the current 20-hour limit and the temporary 40-hour limit.


The extension of the off-campus work hour policy for international students is a positive development that addresses both the needs of students and the Canadian economy. While the policy's future remains uncertain, further steps can be taken to support international students and ensure their success in Canada. By making a concerted effort to attract, retain, and empower international students, Canada can position itself as a global leader in education and innovation.

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