canadian international student who needs an immigration lawyer to discuss about the new work hour regulations

New Work Hour Regulations for International Students in Canada: Balancing Study and Employment

Canada is renowned for its vibrant multicultural environment and high standards of education, which attract thousands of international students every year. The Canadian government, acknowledging the vital role these students play in enriching the country’s social, cultural, and economic landscape, has announced significant changes to the off-campus work hours policy for international students.


In a recent news release from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, detailed adjustments to the International Student Program. These reforms are designed to maintain the program’s integrity and protect students from financial exploitation and fraud.

Changes to Work Hour Policies

Previously, during the COVID-19 pandemic, international students were permitted to work more than 20 hours per week off-campus to support sectors facing labor shortages. However, this temporary policy is set to expire on April 30, 2024. Starting from the fall academic session, international students will be allowed to work up to 24 hours per week during their studies.

This policy adjustment is grounded in research and international standards, aiming to balance the students’ academic commitments with their financial needs. Studies in the US and Canada have shown that working over 28 hours weekly can significantly diminish a student’s academic performance. Aligning with these findings, the new limit is set at 24 hours to prevent such adverse effects.

Seasonal Adjustments and Future Directions

During scheduled academic breaks, such as the summer holidays, students will still be able to work unlimited hours. This flexibility is crucial for those who rely heavily on their earnings during these periods to support their education.

Moreover, the government is developing the Recognized Institutions Framework, which will enhance the selection, support, and retention of international students. This initiative is expected to further safeguard students’ interests and ensure that educational institutions maintain high standards.

Ministerial Insights

Minister Miller highlighted the delicate balance between work and study for international students. He pointed out that while gaining work experience is a crucial part of their Canadian journey, their academic pursuits should always take precedence. “Our goal is for international students to arrive well-prepared and fully supported for their life and studies in Canada,” Miller commented. He reinforced the commitment of the Canadian government to protect the educational experiences of these students from being overshadowed by undue work commitments.

Looking Ahead

The changes to the work hours policy and the introduction of new frameworks reflect a thoughtful approach to managing the challenges faced by international students in Canada. By allowing students to work up to 24 hours per week and introducing stringent checks and balances, Canada is setting a precedent for a balanced approach that could serve as a model for other nations.

The detailed adjustments and ongoing support from the government indicate a robust commitment to nurturing a supportive environment for international students. These efforts are not only expected to help students excel in their academic pursuits but also ensure they have a fulfilling and enriching experience in Canada.

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At NPZ Law Group, our U.S. and Canadian lawyers seek to assist clients with regard to employment and family immigration issues. If you or your friends or family should have any questions about any aspect of U.S. and Canadian Immigration Law, please feel free to contact us at or you can call our office at 201-670-0006 (ext. 104). We look forward to being able to assist you.