How Canada is helping international students

Since March, Canada has sought to help international students experiencing disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

International students are extremely important to Canada’s society and economy. The 640,000 international students in Canada help to create a vibrant learning environment on campuses across the country. They also contribute some $22 billion to the economy each year which supports around 200,000 Canadian jobs.

Recognizing that international students have also been impacted by COVID-19 disruptions, Canada has announced a variety of special measures to help the international students already in the country, plus international students who would like to come to Canada in the near future.

Implied status

Current and former international students (e.g., a former international student who now holds a Post-Graduation Work Permit) who need to extend their stay in Canada during the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for implied status.

Such individuals may benefit from implied status while Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reviews their work/study permit extension application, and hence, they may continue studying or working in Canada as per the conditions of their original permit while IRCC makes a decision on their pending application.

Working hours

International students are usually restricted to working no more than 20 hours per week while class is in session. However, IRCC recently lifted this restriction. As a result, international students working in 10 priority sectors that are helping to fight COVID-19 are able to work more than 20 hours per week until August 31. These 10 sectors are:

  • Energy and utilities
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Finance
  • Health
  • Food
  • Water
  • Transportation
  • Safety
  • Government
  • Manufacturing

Employers and international students may consult the government’s guide to determine if the change applies to their line of work.

Source: CIC News

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