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Pilot Program to Extend Off-Campus Work Permits to More Students

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The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced this month a plan to extend Off-Campus work permits for foreign students to students at private institutions.

The Off-Campus Work Permit program is currently only available to students at publicly funded universities and colleges that choose to participate in the program. Without these permits, international students are restricted to employment on their university or college campus. With the new pilot project, the program will be extended to students at approximately 75 private academic institutions. The project is restricted to those private institutions which are authorized by their provincial government to confer degrees.

Minister Solberg described the program as a win-win situation. We want to help more international students get the Canadian work experience they need to adjust to life in Canada, particularly if they wish to stay. These students will be part of a significant labour pool from which regions facing labour shortages could draw.

CIC launched the Off-Campus Work Permit program in April of this year following a similar private project. Over 8300 international students have taken advantage of the opportunity thus far. The permits do not restrict the type of job a student may take, but do ensure that it remain part-time and not take precedence over studies.