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Changes to Working Hour Rules for International Students

In the ever-evolving landscape of Canada’s international study program, IRCC has made yet another revision to the rules surrounding working hours for international students. Effective fall 2024, full-time international students will now be permitted to work off campus for a total of 24 hours a week.

Previously, students were restricted to a maximum of 20 hours of work per week during regular academic sessions. In October 2022, a notable alteration was made, permitting full-time international students to temporarily exceed the 20-hour limit on weekly work hours with no cap on the number of hours worked. This policy will formally end on April 30, 2024, commensurate with the academic year.

During regularly scheduled breaks, such as the summer holidays, students can continue to work on a full-time basis before returning to the classroom in the fall. Starting in September, however, students will need to cut back on their work hours.

From a labor market perspective, this adjustment aligns with the practicalities of part-time work, enabling students to engage in three eight-hour shifts per week. While this change may not meet the initial speculations surrounding a potential increase to 30 hours per week, it signifies a conscious effort to balance students’ aspirations for work experience and financial stability with the imperative of maintaining academic focus.

Amidst these changes, it is crucial for international students to remain vigilant about adhering to all regulations concerning working while studying. Any unauthorized work can have severe repercussions, potentially compromising future immigration applications. For example, if students undertake part-time studies, they are no longer authorized to engage in any off-campus work. Therefore, it is imperative for students to familiarize themselves with the specifics of the updated policy and always ensure regulatory compliance.