Canada Updates Off-Campus Work Policies for International Students: A Comprehensive Overview

May 10, 2024Zayn0

In a move reflecting shifts in immigration regulations, Canada has recently announced updates to its off-campus work policies for international students. Spearheaded by Immigration Minister Marc Miller, these changes aim to align the needs of international students with the integrity of Canada’s immigration framework.

New Work Hour Guidelines

Starting from the fall semester of the current academic year, international students studying in Canada will now be allowed to work up to 24 hours per week during the academic term. This adjustment deviates from the prior temporary provision, which allowed students to exceed the standard 20-hour limit.

Crucial Points for International Students

Effective September 2024, international students can engage in off-campus work for up to 24 hours per week while maintaining full-time enrollment. This replaces the previous temporary measure that permitted unrestricted off-campus work hours from October 2022 to April 2024. Additionally, students retain the privilege of working unlimited hours during scheduled academic breaks, provided they intend to resume full-time studies in the subsequent semester.

Eligibility Criteria for Off-Campus Employment

International students aspiring to work off-campus during the academic year must fulfill specific prerequisites, including possession of a valid study permit, enrollment in a full-time program at a designated learning institution (DLI), maintaining satisfactory academic performance, completion of a program spanning at least six months leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate, and possession of a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Rationale Behind the Amendments

Minister Miller elucidated that maintaining the work limit at 24 hours weekly aligns with considerations for students’ academic advancement. Surpassing this threshold, as previously proposed (30 hours per week), could potentially impede students’ academic progress.

Financial Considerations

The adjustment to 24 hours corresponds with augmented cost-of-living requisites for international students. Prospective study permit holders must exhibit financial stability, with a minimum savings threshold of $20,635, in addition to tuition expenses.


Changes to Canada’s International Student Program

This policy overhaul forms part of a broader initiative by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to fortify the integrity of the international student program. Recent alterations encompass the necessity of a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from the province housing the DLI and the introduction of a Trusted Institutions Framework to identify DLIs with a proven track record of supporting international students.


Canada’s recent revisions to off-campus work policies for international students underscore a commitment to harmonizing educational pursuits with immigration integrity. These adjustments are designed to bolster student support while upholding the integrity of the immigration system, ensuring that international students contribute positively to Canada’s academic milieu.


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