How International Students Can (Legally) Avoid Canada’s Fixed Working Hours | News explained

Canada recently changed its student employment regulations limited off-campus work to just 20 hours per week, which caused many international students to experience financial problems. Although this number is expected to increase to 24 hours per week in September, many students are having to work much more to make ends meet, despite rising tuition fees and living costs.

Last December, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) stated that it would “continue to explore work hours policy options going forward, such as expanding off-campus work hours for international students to 30 hours per week while classes are in session.” .” However, the competent minister now states that working 30 hours per week during the academic year would inevitably have a negative effect on the study performance of students.

In light of this, this is how international students can legally work more than twenty hours a week.

Why do students want to work more?

The demand from students – especially those from developing countries like India – for more working hours per week is driven by the need for financial self-sufficiency. Currently, most parents only finance the costs of the first year, meaning students have to work to cover the costs of subsequent years.

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And given the ever-increasing costs and financial demands they face, they have to work a lot to continue their studies. Take, for example, the requirements for obtaining a study permit. Applicants must demonstrate that they have saved at least $20,635 (previously just $10,000), in addition to first-year tuition and travel expenses to come to Canada. All new applications for a study permit received on or after January 1, 2024 must meet these higher requirements.

Festive offer

“With a maximum of 20 hours per week for work, even if students work all weeks throughout the year, they cannot recoup the price of their fee, which is around Rs 10-20 lakh annually depending on the programme” , Harman Preet Kaur, a student who will be studying in Canada in September, told The Indian Express. “Living costs are also rising, with students now paying $2,000 to rent out a single room that previously cost just $400 to $500… Other daily necessities have also become more expensive,” she said.

Many students said they could perform better if the 20-hour limit were lifted, and for many more students, working instead of studying is the priority anyway.

So what can students do?


Canada allows students to work unlimited hours ‘on campus’. This includes positions within the university, such as teaching or research assistants. Students may also work for on-campus employers, such as student organizations, faculty members, private contractors who work on campus (e.g., for repairs and maintenance), or businesses physically located on campus, such as bookstores, cafeterias, etc.

Experts say this is the only legal way to work more than the current 20-hour limit.

If an institute has more than one campus, more often than not a student can work alone on the campus where he or she studies. Unless you are working on a research/university grant. In such cases, students may work as teaching/research assistants in a university library, hospital, or other research facility associated with their school, even if it is located off campus.

These businesses provide students with a theoretically unlimited source of income while they continue their studies. That being said, the limited vacancies and large number of applicants for on-campus jobs pose a major challenge.

As for off-campus work, while there are restrictions during the semester, students can work full-time during summer and winter breaks – essentially when classes are not in session.