Bakers Journal

Off-campus work hours extended for international students in Canada

December 14, 2023
By Bakers Journal


Ottawa – Starting Jan. 1 the cost-of-living financial requirement for study permit applicants will be raised so that international students are financially prepared for life in Canada and students will be allowed to work off campus more than 20 hours per week until April 30, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said in a news release.

The waiver on the 20-hour-per-week limit on the number of hours international students are allowed to work off campus while class is in session will be extended to April 30, 2024, the government said. International students already in Canada, as well as applicants who have already submitted an application for a study permit as of Dec. 7, will be able to work off campus more than 20 hours per week until that time.

Moving forward, this threshold will be adjusted each year when Statistics Canada updates the low-income cut-off (LICO). LICO represents the minimum income necessary to ensure that an individual does not have to spend a greater than average portion of income on necessities.

The cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants has not changed since the early 2000s, when it was set at $10,000 for a single applicant. As such, the financial requirement hasn’t kept up with the cost of living over time, resulting in students arriving in Canada only to learn that their funds aren’t adequate. For 2024, a single applicant will need to show they have $20,635, representing 75 per cent of LICO, in addition to their first year of tuition and travel costs. This change will apply to new study permit applications received on or after Jan. 1, 2024.

Food and Beverage Canada – Aliments et boissons Canada said in a statement it applauds the recent announcement by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, extending the waiver on the 20-hour-per-week limit for off-campus work hours for international students.

“We are encouraged by the government’s decision to extend the waiver on off-campus work hours for international students. As the food and beverage manufacturing sector continues to grapple with labour shortages, this extension is a welcomed relief,” said Kristina Farrell, FBC-ABC CEO.

FBC-ABC and its members anticipate engaging in discussions regarding further adjustments to the program, such as advocating for an increase in off-campus work hours for international students on a permanent basis.


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