Canada Considers Cut To Off Campus Work For International Students

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International Student Visa Allowance In Nova Scotia Reduced By A Third
Canada immigration free assessment

In a bid to curb what he is calling Canada’s addiction to temporary foreign workers, Immigration Minister Marc Miller is reportedly mulling over cuts to the number of hours international students will be allowed to work off campus.

“We have gotten addicted to temporary foreign workers,” Miller reportedly told Bloomberg News

“Any large industry trying to make ends meet will look at the ability to drive down wages. There is an incentive to drive labour costs down. It’s something that’ll require a larger discussion.”

Last month, the immigration minister limited study permits to be handed out to international students in the coming year by saying Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) would only accept 606,250 study permit applications in 2024.

“The intent of these Instructions is to ensure the number of study permit applications accepted into processing by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration … within the scope of the instructions does not exceed 606,250 study permit applications for one year beginning on the date of signature,” the Canada Gazette reported on Feb. 3.


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The cap on study permit applications is expected to reduce the number of study permits by more than a third, The Globe and Mail has reported.

“The cap is expected to result in approximately 364,000 approved study permits, a decrease of 35 per cent from 2023,” the immigration minister has reportedly said. “In the spirit of fairness, we are also allocating the cap space by province, based on population.”

Under the cap on study permits, it is expected the provinces and territories will each have a limit on their ability to welcome new international students. The national newspaper reports those proposed limits will allow some provinces to increase their international student population while dramatically cutting it in other provinces, including Ontario.


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The cap on study permits and proposed reductions in the hours international students will be allowed to work off campus and other, suggested tweaks to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to reduce the number of low-wage workers, though, have some business leaders worried.

At the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), president Dan Kelly has openly wondered whether the government is now operating in panic mode as it attempts to deflect from criticism that record immigration has fuelled inflation and caused much of the housing crisis.

Business Leaders Say Smaller Communities Have Come To Depend On Immigration

He is hoping the government will properly think through the ramifications of changes to the TFWP, particularly for smaller and rural communities, as many businesses have come to rely on immigrants.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the hours international students could work off-campus were increased from 20 to 40 per week to help resolve acute labour shortages.

Miller is reportedly considering a reduction in those hours now that the pandemic is under control and is thought to be considering a weekly limit in hours worked off campus that will be somewhere between 20 and 40 hours.

Canada immigration free assessment
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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of immigration.ca featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.