Today Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has announced two new pilot programs that are of significant benefit for international students in Canada.  

Temporary removal of limits on Off-Campus Work 

Under a pilot project that will run from November 15, 2022, to December 31, 2023, international students who are currently in Canada and are eligible for off campus work will no longer be restricted by the 20-hours-per week limitation on off-campus work. 

This change is expected to affect around 500,000 eligible international students and will provide them with increased flexibility in gaining valuable work experience during their studies in Canada.  

Such a change allows for a win-win solution in addressing both Canada’s ongoing labour shortages as well as in allowing students to make the most of their educational experience in Canada.  

Automation of Study Permit Extensions 

Given the high approval rates associated with study permit extensions, Minister Fraser announced the introduction of a pilot project to automate the processing and approval of study permit extensions. The automated process will not have the ability to refuse applications or recommend refusals of study permit extensions.  

In light of the sizeable application backlog and lengthy IRCC processing times, the Minister’s announcement is a welcomed change that will allow additional resources to be allocated towards other IRCC priorities. In recent years, IRCC has invested significant resources into enhancing their digital capabilities, although these continue to be fraught with bugs and performance issues.  

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