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OTTAWA, November 22, 2005 — The Honourable Joe Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and the Honourable Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Immigration of Nova Scotia today announced their officials have signed an agreement that will allow international students to work off-campus while enrolled at an eligible post-secondary institution in the province.

Nova Scotia is the first province to sign such an agreement under the terms of one of two recently expanded international student initiatives that will make it easier and more attractive for international students to study in Canada.

“International students enrich the life of every campus as well as every community where they live by bringing with them new ideas and cultures.” Minister Volpe said. “Off-campus work agreements will make it easier for them to gain work experience in the labour market, help strengthen their connection with local communities, and enhance their Canadian experience.”

The Government of Canada, in cooperation with the provinces and territories, expanded two international student 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 provides them with an even better understanding of Canada and the Canadian labour market by letting them work in their field of study outside of Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver, for up to two years after graduation.

According to Minister MacDonald, 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 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.

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

Ineligible international students 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. Implementation of this program will begin once federal government funding is approved.


For further information (media only):

Stephen Heckbert
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(613) 954-1064

Patrick Brownlow
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(902) 426-1419

Donna MacDonald
Nova Scotia Office of Immigration
(902) 424 3742, (902) 223 6334