News release

International Students Able to Work Off-campus in Nova Scotia

International students enrolled at eligible post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia will soon be able to work off-campus.

Rodney MacDonald, Nova Scotia Immigration Minister, and Joe Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced today, Nov. 22, an agreement that will make it easier and more attractive for international students to study in Canada. Nova Scotia is the first province to sign such an agreement that is the result of a recently expanded international student pilot initiative. Implementation of the program will begin once federal government funding is approved.

Mr. MacDonald said international students are an important part of the province's immigration efforts. "These students become familiar with the province, make friends, and because they get their degree or diploma in the province, their credentials are immediately recognized by Nova Scotia employers," he said. "We hope this work experience will encourage more students to stay, and help them find work and succeed."

The agreement was made possible when the government of Canada, in co-operation with the provinces and territories, expanded two international student pilot initiatives across Canada in April. The first gives international students a better chance to earn while they learn by letting them work for businesses off-campus. The second program provides them with an even better understanding of Canada and the Canadian labour market by letting them work in their field of study for up to two years after graduation.

"International students enrich the life of every campus as well as every community where they live by bringing with them new ideas, values and cultures," Mr. Volpe said. "Off-campus work agreements will make it easier for them to gain work experience in the labour market and earn extra income while studying by providing them with access to more employment options."

The agreement with Nova Scotia means that eligible students who retain a satisfactory academic standing can apply to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week off-campus while classes are in session and full-time during study breaks.

"Off-campus employment will most certainly contribute to my overall growth and immersion into Canadian culture and life," said international student Liljana Loja, who is attending Dalhousie University. "Academically, if I were given the opportunity to work in my field of study, it would help me expand my knowledge as I would experience and understand it from a practical perspective."

Before students can apply for off-campus work permits, the province must enter into agreements with each interested university and the Nova Scotia Community College. These agreements will include monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure students remain in satisfactory academic standing in full-time studies.

International students who are not eligible to work off-campus include exchange students, students enrolled in English or French second-language programs, and students who have received awards from the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program, the Government of Canada Awards Program or the Canadian International Development Agency.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

International university and community college students will soon be able to work off-campus, thanks to a new federal- provincial agreement.

International students will be able to apply for off-campus work permits after their school signs a separate agreement with the province.

Nova Scotia is the first province to sign this agreement with the federal government. It is the result of a recently expanded international student pilot project. Implementation of the program will begin once federal government funding is approved.

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Media Contacts:

Elizabeth Mills
Nova Scotia Office of Immigration 902-424-4993 E-mail:
Patrick Brownlow
Citizenship and Immigration Canada 902-426-1419