New Cap on International Student Work Hours: 20 Hours Per Week, Rising to 24 in September

By Logan Bright Modified on April 29, 2024
Tags : Money | News | Politics

Canada's revised the number of hours international students can work while school is in session. The new maximum is 20 hours per week, rising to 24 in September.

New Cap on International Student Work Hours Coming in September: 24 Hours Per Week During the School Year

Stop us if you've heard this one before: the Government of Canada has announced changes to the international student work program, which will come into effect as of September 1, 2024.

In December, we reported that a pilot program allowing international students to work up to 40 hours per week was reaching its end. Well, the time has come: the maximum amount of hours an international student can legally work in Canada, during the school year, will be 24 hours per week, as of September 1, 2024. For now, the limit is back to "normal," meaning the cap is 20 hours per week.

What's the current maximum number of hours for 2024?

That means the CURRENT maximum, at time of publication, is 20 hours of work per week during the school year. This maximum will rise to 24 hours per week, but not until September 1 of this year.

Remember that there's no maximum amount of hours when school's not in session; this means holidays, reading week, and the summer break. Students tend to want to work as many hours as possible during these periods.

Why is the limit changing?

According to a federal government press release, studies in Canada and the United States found that students working more than 24 hours per week were at an increased risk of dropping out of their program. Working more than 28 hours is associated with a "considerable decline in academic performance" for students.

The updated limits are meant to give students more flexibility to earn what they need to survive in a tough economy, while balancing the basic idea that international students are here in Canada to learn. Studying comes first.

Can I work more than 20 hours per week from now until September?

As an international student with a valid study permit, the maximum amount of hours you can legally work is, once again, 20 per week during the school year. You're free to work extra hours during the summer break, which is right around the corner. When September arrives, your weekly cap will rise to 24 hours.

Working in excess of this cap can put your study permit at risk. You could lose your permit and be forced to return to your home country before completing your program. Nobody wants that.

As always, we'll keep you updated if (and when) things change on this file.

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