Toronto: The Canadian government has recently announced a rule favouring international students living in Canada. This rule allows international students living in Canada who have off-campus employment authorization for their study to work more than 20 hours per week off-campus while classes are in session from November 15, 2022, to December 31, 2023.
Though this rule is temporary, it will also apply to international students who have already applied for a study permit. If only their application got permission from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, they would also be able to take the perks of this new rule.
Sean Fraser, the immigration minister of Canada, has announced this rule. Canada is now facing high labour shortages and the low unemployment rate of all time. Statistics Canada reported that the country’s employment rate decreased to 5.2% in September from 5.4% in August. In that scenario, this decision taken by the government will be helpful for the upliftment of labour and, thus, the economy of Canada.
How long is this rule applicable?
Canada has allowed international students studying there to work off campus. The application starts on November 12, 2022, and will be applicable till December 31, 2023.
Who will benefit from it?
Most post-secondary international students are legally allowed to work on and off campus, with a printout of their work permission on their study visa. In the past, about half of all post-secondary international students studying in Canada claimed to have a job.
This temporary modification will also apply to foreign nationals who have previously applied for a study visa as of October 22, provided their application is granted.
Applications must fulfil specific requirements to be included in the pilot program to automate study permit extensions. Officers will manually assess applications that don’t fit the criteria. The automatic system will not allow rejected or declined applications. An officer will continue to decide whether to reject a request.
How will the new rule help international students?
For the students who were studying in Canada and staying there on a study visa, after their course ends, they have to leave the country. They only get a surplus of 90 days free on their visa, on which they can apply for an extension or prepare to leave the country.
Before, students were not permitted to work after their course ended after college or university completion once their visa died. But now that the government of Canada has allowed international students to work off-campus.
Although it will only be in effect for a limited time, this rule application will give students a better chance to get useful job experience in Canada and improve the pool of workers available to support Canada’s post-pandemic growth.
This rule recognizes the significant contribution that the more than 500,000 international students currently enrolled in Canadian universities may make toward addressing labour needs while pursuing their academic goals. Holders with study permits must balance their commitments to work and study because they are not allowed to work off-campus if they stop taking classes or reduce their course load to only part-time study.
How will it help Canada’s Labour shortage?
With the increasing economy growing at a very fast pace, the rate of employers hiring new workers is comparatively less, and Canada’s labour shortage is in a state of trouble. Canada must consider all options to ensure we have the workforce and skillsets required to support our growth. Would not have been Canada looked at this issue, the labour shortfall would have been serious, necessitating the process of immigration.
But since the government has someone with this rule of allowing international students to work off campus while studying in the colleges/universities, it will help manage the labour shortage in Canada.
By giving international students a broader opportunity to bag excellent Canadian job experience and continuing to contribute to both short-term recovery and long-term prosperity, this regulation can help alleviate urgent demands in many industries across the nation.
Q1. Students with which courses are allowed to benefit themselves with the new rule?
Ans: All post-secondary students are allowed to work, on or off campus, depending on their choice. In the previous days, more than half of the post-secondary international students in Canada reported working while attending classes.
Q2. From when did the rule get permitted?
Ans: Over 452,000 applications for student visas were submitted between January 1 and August 31, 2022. Three hundred sixty-seven thousand applications were processed in the same amount of time in 2021, a record year. It indicates a 23% rise.
Q3. What are the changes in the number of study permit applications because of this rule?
Ans: In 2021, IRCC reported 119,000 study permit extension applications with a 97% of acceptance rate. But after the rule was published, from January 1, 2022, to the end of August 2022, more than 135,000 applications were reported with a 96% acceptance rate.
Q4. Do the students have to end the term to start working off or on campus?
Ans: No, not at all. While studying full-time, the students are supposed to work off or on campus.
Q5. What was the previous scenario for the students willing to work while studying?
Ans: Before the announcement, any student who had been permitted to work off campus may work up to 20 hours per week while classes were in session and full-time during designated breaks. There was no hour limit for students permitted to work on or off campus.
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