Temporary public policy update

Under a newly announced policy by Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, international students in Canada will be allowed to work more than 20 hours per week.

The temporary policy will go into effect on November 15, 2022, and end on December 31, 2023.

With Canada’s ongoing labour shortage, employers are rushing to fill roles, complete orders, and keep stores open for extended hours. The government believes that letting international students in Canada work to their full potential can assist businesses, which would lift the Canadian economy.

The new rule applies to international students currently in Canada and to students who have submitted a study permit application as of 7 October 2022 (provided that their application is approved).

The Canadian government has stated that more than 500,000 international students in Canada will be able to work additional hours under the new lifted working cap.

Unless students are able to maintain academic progress whilst working off-campus, they will not be allowed to work. Course loads cannot be decreased or changed to part-time, as this defeats the purpose of being employed while also attending school.

The short answer to “can I work 24 hours as a student in Canada?” is no.

Working more than 20 hours per week as a student in Canada on a study permit is considered excessive and can lead to problems with your studies.

However, there are some exceptions that may allow you to work more hours. In this article, we will explore the rules around working as a student in Canada and what you need to do to stay within the legal limits.

Table of contents

How many hours a week can an international student work?

As a full-time student in Canada, you are allowed to work from your very first school semester for a maximum of 20 hours per week. Working more than this can interfere with your studies and lead to problems. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as working during holidays or summer breaks.

How many hours a week can a self-employed student work

If you’re a self-employed person, you’re also responsible for keeping track of the hours you work off-campus and proving that you’re complying with the conditions of your study permit by not exceeding the 20 hours per week limit.

man looking uncomfortable

Exceptions that may allow you to work more hours

There are some exceptions that may allow you to work more than 20 hours per week. For example, if you are working during a holiday, a summer break or a designated reading week, you may be able to work more than 20 hours. In addition, there are certain jobs that students are allowed to work, such as jobs on campus or work related to their field of study.

On-campus v off campus

As an international full-time student studying in Canada, you can work on-campus for up to 20 hours per week. They can also work full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays. However, it is important to note that students must have a valid study permit in order to work on-campus.

The rules around working off-campus are slightly different. International students can only work off-campus if they have a valid study permit and are enrolled in a full-time program at a designated learning institution. They too can only work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during a scheduled break.

How working too many hours can impact your studies

Working too many hours can impact your studies in a number of ways. For example, if you are working more than 20 hours per week, you may have less time for homework and studying. In addition, working excessive hours can lead to sleep deprivation, which can impact your ability to focus and pay attention in class and also your student status.

studying in ontario

Tips for balancing work and school responsibilities

There are a few things you can do to balance work and school responsibilities. First, try to find a job that is flexible with your schedule. This way, you can work around your class schedule. In addition, try to limit the number of hours you work each week. Finally, make sure to take breaks and get plenty of rest.

Final thoughts

Working as a student in Canada can be a great way to earn some extra money. However, it is important to make sure you stay within the legal limits. Too many hours worked can interfere with your studies and lead to problems. If you are working more than 20 hours per week, try to find a flexible job or limit the number of hours you work.

After graduating, a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) may be issued to international students based on the length of their study program for a minimum of eight months up to three years in total and this is when you can work as many hours as desired.


Nicola Wightman

Nicola Wightman is a regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) under the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC). Her professional immigration consultant number is R706497.

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