Studying in Canada offers a great opportunity for anyone wanting a world-class education while also earning money and gaining valuable work experience. Whether you choose to work on-campus at your university or college or off-campus, international students in Canada have the incredible option of doing both without needing a Canadian work visa. Here’s how you can work in Canada as a student.
Working without a permit is offered to full-time students at a public post-secondary institution such as a college, university, or a private post-secondary institution operating under the same rules and regulations as a public institution. You must have a valid study permit and a SIN (Social Insurance Number) to qualify and will only be able to start working in Canada as an international student once your study program has officially begun.
You can work for any of the following employers:
a faculty member
a student organisation
yourself, if: you run a business that is physically located on-campus (for example you own a coffee shop that is located on campus)
a private business, a private contractor that provides on-campus services to the school.
As a study permit holder, you can work up to 20 hours per week during the term and work full-time during your holidays. You will, however, need to ensure that you meet the following requirements:
You’re a full-time student at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI);
You’re enrolled in;
- a post-secondary program or
- a secondary-level vocational training program (Quebec only)
Your study program;
- is at least 6 months long and
- leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate
Your study permit says, in the user remarks or conditions sections, that you can work off-campus;
You’ve started studying; andYou have a SIN
If you are a part-time student you must meet all of the above-mentioned criteria and ensure that you are in your final semester and do not have a full course load.
Working off-campus as an intern can give you valuable experience in your field of interest.
Work as an Intern
Some academic programs require that you gain work experience as part of the curriculum. In this case, you will need to apply for a work permit as well as a study permit. To qualify, you will need to make sure that your intended employment is an essential part of your study program and you must obtain a certified letter from a responsible academic official of the institution.
Unfortunately, you will not qualify if you study English or French as a second language (ESL or FSL) and if you participate in general interest or preparatory courses.
Help Your Spouse Find a Job While You Study
Canada has also made it possible to bring your spouse or common-law partner along for your journey while you study in Canada. If you are a full-time student with a valid study permit at a public post-secondary institution or private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as a public institution, you may qualify.
Your partner will have access to an open work permit, which means that they do not need a job offer to work in Canada. Your partner will have the opportunity to apply for a job in Canada and work for as long as your study permit remains valid.
Can I Stay on and Work in Canada Once I’ve Graduated?
Yes. There are 2 main ways to do this:
- Apply for a work permit or post-graduation work permit (PGWP) before your study permit ends (you can continue to work while you’re waiting for your application results); or
- Start a new study program.
Hope this is helpful.