International Students in Canada

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International Students in Canada



Through my university travels I've known many international students who found it difficult to make ends meet financially, especially because of their inability to secure part-time jobs off campus like the rest of us.


B. OTHER COUNTRIES & PROVINCES HAVE ALLOWED INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TO WORK OFF-CAMPUS Many progressive jurisdictions have adapted their policies to allow international students to work off-campus. According to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), Canada is the only Commonwealth country that prohibits international students from working off-campus part-time.4 However, this ban is not in force nationwide. Some provinces, including Manitoba, New Brunswick and parts of Quebec, have recently changed their policies to eliminate this prohibition.5 According to institutions within these provinces, there has been a “phenomenal” response to the change.6

C. COSTS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ARE HIGH AND CONTINUE TO RISE DRAMATICALLY International students in Ontario have to bear tremendous costs for studying at universities in the province. In 2004/05, average undergraduate tuition fees for international students in Canada were $11,903 per year.7 In Ontario, undergraduate tuition fees for international students ranged as high as $17,692 per year for certain programs.8 But these are not their only costs. Along with tuition fees, they must also cover burgeoning travel costs, ancillary fees, housing and other cost- of-living expenses. If the Ontario government were to allow international students to work off-campus, it would broaden the range of opportunities available to help them afford their education.

(Source: [url=][/url]


Another aspect which is interesting, is that we boot them out of the country after. In my experience, a lot of international students want to keep living here, but their visas expire and then they get deported.

It doesn't really make sense, we take away spots from native born canadians to charge international students slightly higher than break even fees. We get some cash into the local service sector economy that their parents give them to pay for rent and luxuries, they disproportionately contribute to student life, and then we boot them out.


[url=]International Students Want The Right To Work Off Campus[/url]


Chen doesn't have many options.

But that could change. Citizenship and Immigration Canada is testing a program that will allow international students in Manitoba and New Brunswick to work off campus. If the test is successful, it may be expanded across the country.

The program was launched in Manitoba last October, and expanded to New Brunswick in March of this year. Full-time international students who have completed a year of college or university can apply for a work permit in those two provinces.

Students are allowed to work 20 hours a week for any employer. The permits, which cost $150, are renewable after a year, provided students maintain full-time status and acceptable grades.

The projects are a result of the 2003 Speech from the Throne, says Claire Despins of Immigration Canada. In the speech, the government announced it wanted to make Canada a destination for international students.

The test project is studying students' interest in the permits and the schools' commitment to helping students complete the applications and enforcing the rules.

Changes were in process for quite awhile, however I haven't heard anything on this in quite awhile.


Universities like international students because they can gouge hell out of them with higher fees. And they'll be needing more internat students if the de-funding of post-secondary continues. There are young people coming from as far away as China, and there are Canadian kids in remote towns and villages who can't borrow enough money to pay for out of town expenses in order to even attempt a university education. It's sad.

the grey

OUSA's out of date. The federal government began allowing international students all across Canada to work off campus last spring. Check out info from CIC [url=]here[/url] and


It's a start, but it seems like in order to obtain a work permit, you already have to be offered a job, in order to even apply.


These steps must be followed before you apply for a work permit:

An employer must first offer you a job.
HRSDC must normally provide a positive labour market opinion of your job offer. However, some types of work are exempt from this process.
After HRSDC confirms that a foreign worker may fill the job, you apply to CIC for your work permit.

Somewhat backwards for a student who wants to go submit resumes, knowing that most employers aren't going to want to wait around while they obtain a work permit. And though I haven't applied for any sort of documentation through Citizen and Immigration Canada, if any of the other departments I have dealt with are an indication, I'm sure the permit doesn't arrive in the mail the next day!

the grey

What's your source for that statement? I looked through the FAQ's for international student work permits (my second link above) and couldn't find anything of the sort. It looks like it belongs on a section about work permits in general, rather than the off-campus student work permits (which have different criteria).



You're right, it does apply to temporary workers in general. How does the criteria differ between international students and a general worker?

the grey

The general work permit is designed for people who are overseas and are being brought to Canada on a temporary basis to fill a job in an area where there is already a shortage of workers. The student work permit is designed for students who are already in Canada on study permits - the criteria are indicated in the links I posted above, and relate to having been on a study permit for 6 months, and being at an institution that has signed an agreement for implementing the program. I'm almost certain that all universities in Ontario have, and probably almost (if not) all universities in the country have. Because the number of potential applicants is already limited by the number of student visas issued, there isn't the same concern about flooding the labour market with foreign workers.