International Students Working Off Campus

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

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Written by Rachna Mutreja

On April 18, 2005, Joe Volpe, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (CIC), announced proposals for programs to attract more international students to Canada. The first initiative was to allow international students to work off-campus during their study in a post-secondary Canadian institution. Secondly, CIC proposed that after graduation, students could work for a period of two years as long as it is outside of Montreal, Toronto (and the Greater Toronto Area) and Vancouver. Additionally, Volpe proposed that students who wished to switch programs and/or institutions would not have to reapply for study permits.

Students who just graduated were told they would be able to get a two year work permit as of May 16, 2005 as long as they fill all the conditions. These conditions include having finished a program and having an offer of employment.

All these initiatives were brought to the attention of international students. However, the summer passed by and negotiations between the federal and provincial government have led to a delay in the creation of the legislation.

On Wednesday, September 21, 2005, a meeting arranged by Benny Quay, the international student advisor, and Candace Stewart, the LINK coordinator, was held for international students to discuss the current standing on the legislation for working off-campus. The legislation has still not been passed after five months of negotiation. It has been predicted that all the documentation between the government and institutions will not be completed until the end of this year. Hence, students will not be able to work off campus until some time next semester. Once this legislation has passed, international students will have to apply for a work permit in order to be able to work off-campus. In order to apply for a work permit, the following criteria must be fulfilled:

1. Must have a valid Study Permit
2. Must have completed at least 2 semesters of study
3. Must be registered full-time
4. Must be in ‘good’ standing i.e. eligible to continue studying (each semester)

No offer of employment is required to apply for a work permit. However, work permit applications will not be reviewed unless the legislation is officially passed. The cost for applying for a work permit is $150 (non-refundable). Additionally, the issued work permit will only be valid for as long as the study permit is valid.

Once the legislation passes, many international students will hope to benefit from it. However, this might also serve as a justification for universities to increase tuition for international students because of their option to work off campus. As the school year progresses and the legislation develops, the advantages and repercussions will all be apparent.

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  1. Posted by: on Oct 2, 2005 @ 10:17pm

    Great research, Good job. Will pass the message around. :D

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