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Off-campus work policy procedural renewal by IRCC

On June 09, 2021, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) updated study permit procedures regarding off-campus work.

In their final academic session, those students who only require a part-time study load are allowed to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week. Simultaneously, they can work full-time during regularly scheduled breaks (e.g. summer, winter, and spring holidays).

Note that in order to qualify for this new procedure, the student must maintain full-time status during the pursuit of the academic program.

Eligibility Requirements for Working Off-Campus

From June 01, 2014, study permit holders can legally work off-campus if they satisfy the following criteria:

  • Obtain a valid study permit
  • Enrolled as full-time students in a designated learning institution (DLI)
    • DLIs are post-secondary education institutions certified by Canada provincial and territorial governments
    • Institutions can accept international students only if they are listed in the DLI; a comprehensive list of DLIs can be found on IRCC’s website.
  • Enrolled in a post-secondary academic, vocational, or professional training program, or a secondary level vocational training program in a Quebec institution.
  • The study program lasts at least 6 months and guarantees a degree, diploma, or certificate.

An individual qualified for the aforementioned criteria still needs to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), for the sake of taxes and insurances.

Ineligible Study Programs

Study programs that include any of the two following cannot grant off-campus working opportunities:

  • The program’s nature is of general interest (e.g. ESL/FSL courses for self-improvement). This excludes any academic, professional, or vocational training.
  • The program is a prerequisite for a student’s enrolment into a DLI.

If an individual simultaneously takes an eligible study program and ESL/FSL courses, he/she can still pursue an off-campus job.

On-Campus Work

There is no cap for on-campus work hours. However, a student must also satisfy all requirements mentioned in the off-campus work section.

Consequences will be harsh if one fails to comply with study permit conditions. One of the most common violations is working illegally. Possible penalties include fines, termination of study programs, even deportations.

Moreover, violations could negatively impact future applications. For instance, a subsequent study permit or immigration rejection. With that said, one should not risk losing the greater for the less.

Canada’s recent moves on immigration leniency and merits indicate its ambition to recruit foreign talents. No only CEC and PNP score are lowering, but several new pathways has also opened. We suggest prospective immigrants to seek help from immigration consultants as soon as possible, so they can take one step closer to settlement in Canada.

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