To:                   International graduate students                    

Cc:                   Faculty Associate Deans, Graduate Studies

                        Faculty Administrative Assistants, Graduate Studies

                        Faculty Recruitment Officers

                        Department/program Graduate Co-ordinators

                        Department/program Graduate Officers/Associate Chairs  

                        Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs staff

                        The Centre staff

From:                Liz Nilsen, Assistant Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA)

Subject:            International student employment 

Date:               November 18, 2022

Note:                This email is for information

Recently, the Government of Canada made an announcement impacting international graduate students: International students to help address Canada’s labour shortage; limit on off-campus work hours to be lifted temporarily. I am writing today to offer a few additional points of clarification, as they relate to the announcement. 

  • 20-hour work guideline on-campus (University of Waterloo)
  • 20+-hour work rule for off-campus

As an international graduate student, you are expected to be pursuing your studies on a full-time basis and making satisfactory progress toward your program requirements.

Guidelines for graduate student employment (on-campus employment)

Graduate students enrolled in full-time studies can typically work ten hours per week on-campus; students who are in good academic standing may request additional employment at the University, to a maximum of 20 hours per week. The details about on-campus 20-hour employment can be reviewed on the Guidelines for graduate student employment web page. This information applies to all graduate students, including international students.

Off-campus employment for international students

From November 15, 2022 to December 31, 2023, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that the limitations for off-campus work hours will be removed. Under this temporary policy, full-time students may be eligible to work over 20 hours per week off-campus, providing they meet the appropriate criteria.

There are specific eligibility criteria that each international graduate student must meet to be eligible to work more than 20 hours off-campus; as a student, you are responsible for ensuring you are following the regulations appropriately and not work without authorization.  To that end, should you wish to work off-campus, and want to take advantage of the temporary measures announced by IRCC, you’re encouraged to first connect with the Students Success Office’s immigration consultants

If you are considering taking on more work hours in addition to your graduate studies, I would encourage you to keep your health and wellness in mind. If you need help, there are resources available on campus to support you.

2022 communications to graduate students