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  • Andrew Carvajal

International students working in essential services allowed more flexibility to work off campus

On April 22, 2020, the government announced that it is removing certain barriers for international students working in essential services to work off-campus while their classes are in session. This is part of the government's response to help battle the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Normally, international students are authorized by immigration regulations to study outside their campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session. There is no restriction in the number of off-campus work hours while on school scheduled breaks.

As there are thousands of international students studying in health and emergency service programs, the government has decided to institute a temporary rule change to allow them to work for an unrestricted number of hours (even if still attending classes). The exemption applies to those working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods. This temporary rule change will be in place until August 31, 2020.


Andrew Carvajal is a Toronto lawyer, partner and Head of Economic Immigration at Desloges Law Group. He specializes in immigration law, administrative law and professional discipline litigation.

Twitter: @CarvajalLaw


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