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Halifax international students welcome ability to work more hours off-campus

Click to play video: 'International students allowed to work more hours to help with labour shortage'
International students allowed to work more hours to help with labour shortage
WATCH: International students can now work more hours off campus. The federal government is temporarily removing the 20-hour limit per week to help tackle labour shortages in Canada’s economy. Skye Bryden-Blom reports – Nov 15, 2022

International students in Halifax are welcoming the news that they can now work more hours off campus.

The federal government is temporarily removing the 20-hour limit per week to help tackle labour shortages in Canada’s economy. The move is in effect from Nov. 15, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2023.

Khuloud Saqib is undertaking a Bachelor of Arts degree at Saint Mary’s University (SMU) in Halifax. She said being able to work additional shifts will help her cover the high costs of tuition.

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“It makes it a lot easier for us to pay it off,” Saqib said. “The restrictions that we had before made it harder for us to earn the money that we need to adapt to the fact that we pay more than regular students do.”

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She said it will also help more international students take trips home to visit their families during their studies. For her, a round-trip ticket to Saudi Arabia costs around $3,000.

“I haven’t visited my family in a while because of COVID, but that is the normal standard price for a ticket so it is harder for us to have to pay for that,” Saqib said.

She said it will also help alleviate stress for those worried about paying their bills.

Click to play video: 'Federal government looking to alleviate labour shortage by allowing international students unlimited work hours'
Federal government looking to alleviate labour shortage by allowing international students unlimited work hours

“It definitely makes things a lot easier because we don’t have to think about that one as much,” Saqib said. “Sometimes we have to adapt to the fact that we have our education we have to take care of, we have a household we have to take care of, food, and all of the things we have to buy.”

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Other students say it will help offset high inflation and low wages. Manav Khera is in his fifth and final year at SMU taking a Bachelor of Commerce.

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He said he’s been working under restricted hours for the last four years.

“The way people’s standards of living have decreased due to the fact that inflation has increased so much and plus our living wages haven’t increased at all,” Khera said. “I think that’s a factor when you see how living conditions have fallen down for international students so much.”

The federal government said under the change students will still be expected to balance their coursework with the extra hours on the job.

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