Working While Studying In Canada
Many international students are interested in working while studying in Canada.
If you are studying in Canada, a job can help you gain valuable work experience, prove yourself as a valuable asset to a business, support yourself, and connect with new people.
Valid Study Permit
International students must have a valid study permit and be enrolled in a qualified study program when studying in Canada. This can include a professional training program, private college level school, public post-secondary school, or other approved educational institution that can legally award degrees.
This is also a requirement for working while studying. If your study permit expired, you do not meet the eligibility criteria for this program and will need to consider other options.
On Campus vs. Off Campus Work
Most international students are eligible to work while studying; the requirements for working on campus are different from working off campus.
On campus means the physical location and buildings on your university or college campus. An on-campus employer can be your school or university itself, a faculty member, a student organization, or other entity associated with your school, such as a private contractor providing on-campus services to the school. An example of on campus work would be if you accept employment as a research assistant for a professor.
Off campus refers to anywhere that is not part of your university or college location. Working for a private business in another area of the city would be off-campus.
Internships and Co-Ops
Note that some study programs include work experience as part of their curriculum. As long as eligibility requirements are met, you are likely to be able to work under your study program.
Eligibility For International Students For Off-Campus Work
As an international student, to work in Canada and be eligible for off-campus employment, you must be a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI). You must be enrolled in a post-secondary program at least six months long which will lead to a degree, diploma or certificate. You need to have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
If you are a part-time student, you can work off campus, if all of these requirements are met, you are only doing part-time schooling for the last semester of your study program, and you do not need a full course load to complete your study program. You must have been a full-time student up until the last semester.
During a regular school semester, you may work off-campus for a maximum of 20 hours per week. During scheduled school breaks, such as winter and summer holidays, you may work full-time.
If your situation changes and you are no longer eligible, you must stop working off-campus until you obtain a valid work permit.
International students who are enrolled in English as a Second Language or French as a Second Language programs, or taking a general interest course or program, are not eligible to work off campus. Exchange students are also not eligible.
Eligibility For International Students For Working On Campus
If you are an international student, you can work on-campus if you are a full-time post-secondary student at a designated learning institution (DLI), with a valid study permit. You must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
You can work at any of the buildings on your school campus. Generally, if your school has more than one campus, you may only work at the campus you study in.
Other Work Permit Options
A work permit is required to work under a co-op student or internship placement. If you are in a co-op program, you can apply for a work permit if you have a valid, current study permit, and the co-op is necessary for completion of your program. You will need a letter from your school confirming all students need to complete work placements to complete the program. The work must also be less than 50% of the program.
If you are eligible, you can apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) to continue living and working in Canada after graduation. This open work permit allows you to work most types of jobs anywhere in Canada and may increase your chances of applying for Permanent Residency.
The eligibility criteria include completion of a diploma or certificate program that is at least eight months long. You must have studied with full-time status throughout your program.
A PGWP typically lasts between eight months and three years, but the length depends on your program. A three-year PGWP is available to international students that have completed a four-year Bachelor’s degree. After completing all program requirements and receiving your Letter of Completion, you can apply.
Earnings For International Students While Studying In Canada
The amount you can earn depends on your hours worked. Salaries will be equal to the minimum wage rate.
At Oro Immigration Services, we can help you find the right program to work, both while you are studying in Canada, and afterward.