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Manitoba’s Successful Off-Campus Work Pilot For International Students Becomes Permanent Program


OTTAWA, November 25, 2005 — The Honourable Joe Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Honourable Nancy Allan, Manitoba Minister of Labour and Immigration and the Honourable Diane McGifford, Manitoba Minister of Advanced Education and Training, today announced an agreement making an innovative two-year pilot program allowing international students to work off campus a permanent part of Manitoba’s highly successful international student recruitment and immigration strategy.

“Manitoba can be proud of its stellar record in breaking new ground in immigrant recruitment,” said Minister Volpe. “The Off-Campus Work Permit Program will expose international students to the many opportunities Manitoba offers as a place for them to build their careers and lives.”

The Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students was launched as a pilot in partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Advanced Education and Training, and Labour and Immigration in 2003. The two-year pilot allowed international post-secondary students to obtain off-campus work permits, replacing the previous restriction of employment to the campus they were attending.

“This work permit program is an important element in our immigration strategy to keep international graduates in Manitoba once their studies are completed,” said Minister Allan. “Working in the community and having opportunities to make contacts in the private sector will help international students create strong links to Manitoba.”

Manitoba’s success with the pilot program garnered interest from other jurisdictions, national organizations and international students and was instrumental in making this initiative available to other provincial governments and educational institutions. Under the first year of the pilot project, a total of 528 applications were received from Manitoba’s public post-secondary institutions. This figure represents 46.2 percent of the 1,143 international students eligible to participate in the program.

“We are delighted that the success of the Manitoba pilot project means that the off-campus work program will be permanent in this province and will be adopted by other provincial governments,” said Minister McGifford. “The program will create opportunities for international students to participate more fully in Manitoba’s communities during their studies.”

To be eligible for the program, international students must complete six months of full-time study at a public post-secondary institution. To remain eligible, they must maintain their full-time student status, sustain satisfactory academic standing and work no more than 20 hours a week during regular classes. Implementation of this program will begin once federal government funding is approved.


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