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International students studying in Canada can now apply for off-campus work permits

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The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, has announced that effective April 27, 2006, foreign students enrolled in public post-secondary institutions can apply for off-campus work permits. The work permit is valid for the duration of their study permit.

“Foreign students make a significant contribution to Canada,” says Solberg. “They enrich campus and community life with new ideas and new cultures, and they are an important pool of potential future skilled workers that Canadian businesses need to remain competitive.”

There are currently about 100,000 foreign students attending school in Canada who may be eligible to receive work permits under the newly-launched program. The new policy allows for up to 20 hours of off-campus work a week during the school year and full-time during study breaks. Each applicant will be expected to vie for jobs on an equal footing with Canadian citizens.

“With Canadian work experience, foreign students will be able to integrate into the Canadian labour force more quickly. This will help address skilled labour shortages in Canada,” explains Minister Solberg.

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