International students allowed more work hours

Dorfy Campusano, standing, wearing blue clothing. CREDIT: COURTESY OF DORFY CAMPUSANO
Fanshawe student, Dorfy Campusano, said she is excited to have the opportunity to earn more money, but anxious to balance additional hours at work and school.

Canada is temporarily allowing international students to work more than 20 hours a week. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser made the announcement, as the country tries to relieve ongoing labour shortages.

The new change will begin as of Nov. 15 and will take place until Dec. 31, 2023.

“With the economy growing at a faster rate than employers can hire new workers, Canada needs to look at every option so that we have the skills and workforce needed to fuel our growth,” said Fraser. “By allowing international students to work more while they study, we can help ease pressing needs in many sectors across the country, while providing more opportunities for international students to gain valuable Canadian work experience and continue contributing to our short-term recovery and long-term prosperity.”

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This news is big for students who are struggling to make a living off of 20 hours or less currently.

“This will impact my living style positively,” said Dorfy Campusano, a student at Fanshawe College. “Now I will be able to have more income and at the same time, I will be able to get a better position in my field that demands full-time workers.”

Campusano has had trouble making ends meet whilst in school. It is hard to survive on such little hours a week, especially with the heightened tuition international students face.

“It’s a little bit complicated because without the support of my parents, I would not be able to cover my expenses. Even though I’m working, I still need support from my home country because the hours aren’t enough.”

Campusano said she is fortunate that her parents back home are able to help her pay for school, rent, and other living necessities while she’s in London. This is a benefit not everybody has, which adds another challenge to the situation.

“I’m happy about this, but at the same time I’m a little bit anxious. I know it’s going to be stressful working more hours while I am a full-time student.”

While this is great news for students, the federal government reminded students that study permit holders are still expected to balance their study and work commitments. Anyone who stops studying or reduces course loads to study parttime is no longer eligible to work off-campus.

This announcement is part of a series of initiatives that aim to benefit international students, while also supporting Canada’s efforts to improve client service and application processing times.

Other benefits students will see are:

  • A transition period for those studying online from abroad
  • An opportunity for those with expired or expiring post-graduation work permits to get an additional 18-month open work permit
“With unprecedented interest in Canada from applicants around the world, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) continues to set the bar higher for immigration processing,” said the official Canada website. “Ongoing efforts and client service improvements by the department aim to strengthen Canada’s immigration system, shorten wait times, reduce application backlogs, and improve the experience of clients overall.”

Students who are or have worked on-campus in the past is unaffected by this news. There was no cap for hours set by the government previously.