Make CESB available for International Students in Canada

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April 22nd, PM Justin Trudeau announced a new benefit program that would help post-secondary students and newly graduates amidst of COVID-19. International students who are in Canada wondered if this benefit would help them or not. This was clarified later on the government website related to CESB. According to the website (canada.ca), the benefit is only available to domestic students.

Before coming to Canada, the government expects the student to be able to financially support themselves without the help of Canadian government. As such, international students are only allowed to work no more than 20 hours per week (Part-Time). However, as IRCC states, an intl student can work up to 40 hours per-week (Full-Time) during a scheduled break. These breaks are defined by each institution but always include summer (May - August). Lots of international students work Full-Time in summer to earn money to help their parents, member of family or whoever their financial support is, when paying tuition, rent, etc. I would also like to note that international students pay twice, thrice or even higher tuition compared to domestic students.

The problem lies in the fact that, international students' financial support is also affected by this crisis. Their families or financial support cannot help them as they are dealing with the same crisis wherever they are in the world. Many students have lost their jobs or are in financial trouble whether its related to rent, lack of jobs or even lack of summer jobs to save money for the next academic year. Moreover, as international students are only allowed to work 20 hours per week during school, most students don't qualify for CERB, as they do not pass the required income of $5000 in the last year eligibility. And this is only valid for students who were working before and lost their job not of those students who were not working during school and were looking for a 4 month Full-Time job during summer. We still have rent and bills to pay. We need your help.

As international students, we ask the Canadian government, Canadian Members of Parliament and Senators, and PM Justin Trudeau to re-evaluate the benefit and include international students who are in dire need of financial support.

 

Thank You,

Alp Deniz Senyurt