In order to enable international students to help meet the challenges presented by COVID-19, Canada has temporarily removed the regulation that limits international students from working more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, workers in certain roles and industries have been under considerable pressure. The government of Canada recognizes the role international students who are already in Canada, can play to fight against coronavirus. Therefore, international students will now be allowed to work full time if they are employed in an essential service.
Starting immediately, the change applies to International students who are working in the following 10 sectors that are included in Canada’s definition of critical infrastructure, which means they are considered to be critical in ensuring the health, safety, security, or economic well-being of Canadians and the government.
- Energy and utilities
- Information and Communication Technologies
Canada’s minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marco Mendicino, emphasized the role immigrants are playing to protect the country from this global health crises. “Immigrants, temporary foreign workers and international students are making important contributions as frontline workers in health care and other essential service sectors,” he said in a media release.
He further added, “We know and value their efforts and sacrifices to keep Canadians healthy and ensure the delivery of critical goods and services.”
International students and their employers can consult Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada’s Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada during the COVID-19 Outbreak to determine if the change applies to their line of work.
This new temporary rule change that is aimed at helping health-care facilities, other workplaces under pressure, will be in effect until August 31, 2020.