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International students made even more welcome

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As one of many initiatives announced on April 18, 2005, the Honourable Joe Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, declared a two-pronged initiative to improve the situation for international students in Canada.

The first initiative will permit international students at public post-secondary schools to work off-campus during their studies. Previously, Citizenship and Immigration policy has been to restrict the employment of international students to on-campus jobs. The motivation for the change is to allow international students to explore the Canadian labour market and Canadian society more widely.

The second initiative is to extend the maximum duration of post-graduation work permits from one year to two. In all areas of the country except Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, international students will now be able to work for an extra year after completing their program of study.

These initiatives are based on the success of past pilot projects and agreements by some of the provinces with CIC. The Government of Canada is now investing $10 million a year for the next five to expand these programs nationally. It is the hope of Minister Volpe and CIC that these steps will make studying in Canada a more attractive option.