Canadian Federation of Students wants the government to waive the 20-hour work limit for international students as inflation reaches its highest level in 30 years.
With the increase in the living costs like rent, groceries, transportation, and bills, students are no longer able to afford basic necessities. Moreover, international students have to pay very high tuition fees compared to domestic students. However, they are restricted to working only 20 hours a week.
Research from the Canadian Federation of Students concluded that last year in autumn, international undergraduate students paid an average of $33,623 in tuition fees. This is approximately five times more than the fees that Canadian students pay.
Bipin Kumar, an international student representative at the Canadian Federation of Students, said “They have to pay more tuition by working fewer hours”. Most international students are stressed about paying their fees. Thus, they end up working illegally for cash jobs. This leaves them open to exploitation by employers.
It’s not just the limited working hours for international students but also the fact that they are ineligible for various employment programs like Canada Summer Jobs. These jobs pair skills with full-time jobs in the summer. However, most employers favor Canadian-born students over foreign students.
Will an Increase in Their Work Hours Help Them?
During the pandemic, the Canadian government waived the 20-hour week restriction for international students who provided “essential services”. However, this was only for a few months.
Students all across believe that if it could be allowed then, it should be allowed now. With the rising prices, this should be taken into consideration.
The students have petitioned to increase the working limit from 20 to 30 hours a week. This will help students live a decent life and reduce mental health problems that are triggered by the exploitation of international students by private colleges, immigration consultants, and employers.
Another reason for increasing the work hours is that often workplaces have shifts of 8 hours or 12 hours. This means that for an 8-hour workplace, a student can only work two shifts- so a total of 16 hours. Also, for a 12-hour workplace, the student can only work one shift. Not only employers are flexible with their working hours. Thus allowing 30 hours, will allow students to work three 8-hour shifts or two 12-hour shifts.
Please sign this petition, so that international students can grow and thrive in this beautiful country, they call home.
Shanvi Kaur is a content writer at Immigration News Canada. She moved to Canada as an immigrant and now focuses on bringing the latest news to immigrants to make their journey easier in Canada!