During this period of economic recovery and expansion, employers are experiencing unprecedented difficulties in locating and retaining the workers they need. The Canadian government continues to implement tangible measures to solve the present labour shortage.
Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, announced the temporary easing of the 20-hour-per-week cap on the number of hours eligible postsecondary students may work off-campus while classes are in session.
International students with off-campus work authorization on their study permit who are in Canada between November 15, 2022 and December 31, 2023 will not be subject to the 20-hour-per-week rule. Foreign nationals who have already submitted an application for a study permit can take advantage of this temporary change as of today, provided their application is approved.
With the implementation of this initiative, more foreign students will have the opportunity to work in Canada and more workers will be available to support Canada’s post-pandemic growth. This interim amendment recognises the significant contribution that more than 500,000 international students presently studying in Canada can offer to address the nation’s labour deficit while pursuing their academic goals. Study permit holders are nevertheless obliged to balance their obligations to both work and study because they are not permitted to work off-campus if they cease studying or reduce their course load to just study part-time.
The processing of study permit extensions will be automated as part of a pilot initiative that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is starting this month. Since all applicants have already received authorisation to study in Canada, the types of applications that are part of this pilot program have a consistently high approval rate. With the aim of enhancing customer service, the pilot will feature a selected sample of candidates who might have their extended study permit handled considerably more quickly. If the pilot becomes a success, it will be expanded to speed up processing time and allow officers to handle more complicated applications.
The announcement made today is a part of a series of measures designed to assist overseas students and recent graduates while assisting Canada’s wider ambitions to enhance customer service and application processing times.
Other recent initiatives to aid foreign students and recent graduates include:
- an opportunity for people with expired or soon-to-expire post-graduation work permits to receive an additional 18-month open work permit
- a transition phase for international students who study online from abroad.
The IRCC constantly elevates the bar for immigration processing as a consequence of the incredible degree of interest that candidates from across the world exhibit in Canada. The department is constantly working to strengthen Canada’s immigration system, reduce wait times, clear backlogs of applications, and generally enhance the client experience.
- Most overseas post-secondary students are permitted to work on and/or off campus, and this permission is expressly noted on their study permit. In the past, almost half of Canadian post-secondary international students reported working while studying.
- Before today’s announcement, any student who had been given permission to work off-campus could work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes were in session and full-time during designated breaks. There is no hourly cap for students who are permitted to work on campus.
- More than 452,000 applications for study permits were processed from the beginning of the year 2022 to the conclusion of the month of August 2022. 367,000 applications were processed within the same time period in 2021, which was a record year for total applications. This is a rise of 23 percent from last year.
- In 2021, IRCC processed around 119,000 study permit extension requests, with a 97% acceptance rate. With an approval rate of 96%, more than 135,000 applications were processed between January 1 and the end of August 2022.
- Applications must meet certain requirements in order to be included in the pilot project to automate study permit extensions. Officers will manually assess applications that don’t satisfy the requirements. The automated process won’t suggest rejections or decline applications. An officer will still have the authority to reject any application.
If you are considering migrating to Canada and require assistance in acquiring a visa, please get in touch with Dynamic Group. We will be happy to assist you.