Last Updated on April 23, 2020
International students considered coronavirus essential workers in Canada have been exempted from the 20 hours of work per week limit usually applied to study permit holders when classes are in session.
The exemption, in place until August 31, 2020, covers those working in ‘health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods’ according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
It means they are free to help in Canada’s effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The change will give health-care facilities access to ‘thousands of international students are studying in health- and emergency service-related programs, including many who are nearly fully trained and ready to graduate’, an IRCC statement said.
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International students and their employers should consult Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Outbreak to find out if they are classified as an essential worker.
The guidance classifies essential workers in Canada according to 10 sectors:
- Energy and Utilities
- Information and Communication Technologies
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino highlighted the ‘important contributions as frontline workers in health care and other essential services’ made by temporary workers and international students.
“We know and value their efforts and sacrifices to keep Canadians healthy and ensure the delivery of critical goods and services,” Mendicino said.
The latest available Statistics Canada data, from 2017-2018, showed 11,000 international students were enrolled in health-care programs at Canada’s universities and colleges.