Canada & Australia: International Student Employment Limits
Nearly all nations, including Canada and Australia, enforce limits on the work hours of international students. Yet, in Canada, students are advocating for a permanent elimination of this constraint. A significant number of these predominantly Indian students argue for the permanent abolition of the 20-hour weekly work limit in the country.
The main reason for these limitations is to prevent international students from getting too involved in work and losing sight of their academic pursuits. Restrictions on work hours for international students are also present in Germany, New Zealand, Finland, and several other European and Middle Eastern countries.
International Students in Canada Urge Permanent Removal of Working Hour Caps
International students studying in Canada are rallying for a significant change in regulations that limit their working hours. The current norm, allowing 20 hours of work per week, is being contested by these students, particularly those hailing from India, who advocate for the complete removal of this restriction.
Why the Demand for Change?
The call for abolishing the 20-hour-per-week work rule stems from concerns related to managing living expenses, tuition fees, and the mounting cost of living. With the Canadian government set to reinstate this cap from January 1, 2024, students are voicing their plea for a permanent removal, emphasizing the financial strain caused by loans, increasing rents, and the need to afford basic necessities like groceries.
A Temporary Reprieve
Previously, acknowledging the difficulties faced by employers due to the pandemic, the Canadian government temporarily lifted the cap from November 15, 2022, until December 31, 2023. However, with the impending return of the cap, international students fear the loss of financial stability in a landscape marked by escalating expenses.
The Student Perspective
International students permitted to work both on and off-campus, view the ability to work more hours as a vital means of ensuring their financial security amid Canada's rising costs. This flexibility enables them not only to sustain themselves during their academic tenure but also to handle the burden of tuition fees.
A Global Phenomenon
This issue isn't exclusive to Canada. Similar limitations exist in countries like Australia, the UK, New Zealand, Germany, Finland, and others. The rationale behind these restrictions is to prevent students from being overly engrossed in work and losing focus on their studies.
The Way Forward
The demand for the removal of working hour caps among international students in Canada raises questions about finding a balance between ensuring a quality education and supporting students' livelihoods. How the government addresses this growing concern remains to be seen.
Comparative Working Hour Caps for International Students
These limitations are designed to strike a balance between students' academic commitments and their engagement in work for financial support.
United States: 20 hours per week
United Kingdom: 20 hours per week (during term time), 40 hours per week (during vacation periods)
Canada: Currently unlimited, set to be 20 hours per week from January 1, 2024
New Zealand: 20 hours per week
Australia: 48 hours a fortnight
Germany: 20 hours per week
Finland: 30 hours per week
UAE: 15 hours per week
Ireland: 20 hours per week
Read More: Students Working Hours in Canada in 2023
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Q1: What are the revised restrictions on employment for international students in Canada?
Starting January 1, 2024, a maximum of 20 hours weekly. Authorized students can engage in part-time employment, capped at 20 hours per week once their academic term begins. Also, work full-time during scheduled breaks between academic sessions, irrespective of their enrolled course load.
Q2: What's the hourly wage in Canada?
The typical hourly salary in Canada amounts to $40,968 annually or $21.01 hourly. Beginners often begin at $34,125 yearly, while seasoned professionals can earn up to $73,877 annually.
Q3: What's the permissible work limit for international students in Australia?
During study terms and semesters, the allowable work hours amount to 48 hours every two weeks. It's important to regularly review your visa terms to ensure compliance with the permitted working hours.
Q4: What occurs if a student exceeds the 20-hour limit for work in Australia?
Engaging in volunteer or unpaid work is included in the 20-hour limit. If an international student surpasses the permitted restrictions set by Australia, their visa could face cancellation.
Q5: What's the potential impact of removing work-hour limits for international students in Canada?
The removal of these limits could alleviate financial burdens and provide students with more opportunities to support themselves while studying, although it raises questions about maintaining a balance between education and work.