Working requirements

There is a possibility for International students to study and work at the same time.

For Canadian international students as long as their study permit includes a condition that claims they can work on or off campus, they are eligible to have jobs during their studies, however, they may start working only when they begin their studies and are also required to fulfill all other eligibility requirements.

Rules for off-campus work

It is possible for students to work on jobs located outside the campus of their University/College but there are certain rules these students must obey during their work such as they can only work for up to 20 hours per week during the regular academic semester and full-time during scheduled academic breaks in winter, spring, and summer.

The following are the working requirements a student must fulfill to be eligible for working off-campus:

  • Obtain a valid study permit

  • be studying full-time at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)

  • have started studying and remain in satisfactory academic standing as determined by their institution

  • be studying in an academic, vocational, or professional training program that is at least six months in duration and leads to a certificate, diploma, or degree

  • have a social insurance number (SIN)

If under any circumstances a student’s circumstances change and he/she is unable to fulfill the above working requirements then they are required to stop working off-campus immediately.

Moreover, when students are not studying full-time they can continue working off-campus if they meet the following working requirements

  • were registered as full-time students since the beginning of the study program in Canada,

  • are now studying part-time because it is the last semester of their study program, and a full-time course schedule is no longer required to finish the program.

The following are the students who do not meet the working requirements for off-campus:

  • students enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) program

  • students taking a general interest course or program

  • visiting or exchange students at a designated learning institution

  • students only taking courses are required to be accepted into a full-time program

  • students taking an authorized leave from their studies

  • students switching schools and aren’t currently studying

On-campus work rules

Students can also be eligible to work inside their respective campus but similar to working off-campus they must be eligible for the working requirements to do so, which include the following:

  • hold a valid study permit

  • have a social insurance number (SIN)

  • be registered as a full-time post-secondary student at a public post-secondary school (such as a college or university), a private college-level school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools and is 50% funded by government grants, or a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law.

On-campus work means that students will be provided with a job inside the respective institute they are enrolled in so their employment can be for:

  • the school,

  • a faculty member,

  • a student organization,

  • a private business on campus,

  • a private contractor providing services to the school, or

  • self-employed on-campus.

Students can also work at libraries, hospitals, or research facilities associated with the school even if the locations are off-campus as long as they are working as a teaching or research assistant or if the work is directly related to a research grant.

Students that are not eligible to work on campus include:

  • students who stop studying full time, unless they are in their final semester and meet other requirements

  • students whose study permit has expired

  • students taking an authorized leave from their studies

  • students switching schools and aren’t currently studying


Work after graduation

After graduation students may be able to obtain a (PGWP) Post-Graduation Work Permit which is an open work permit, that allows the holder to work for an employer of their choice and is valid for a period of three years.

International students are required to meet the following criteria to be eligible for a PGWP:

  • completed studies in an academic, vocational, or professional training program that is at least eight months long at a DLI

  • study program must have led to a degree, diploma, or certificate

  • held full-time student status in Canada during every academic semester of the program of study completed and included as part of the PGWP application

  • received a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the applicant has met the requirements to complete their program of study

The student must also have graduated from one of the following:

  • a public post-secondary institution,

  • a private post-secondary school, a private secondary or post-secondary school in Quebec that offers programs that result in the issuance of a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP), or

  • a Canadian private school that can award degrees under provincial law (for example, Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate degree) but only if the student was enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province.

The PGWP allows international graduates to gain professional work experience in Canada which is very beneficial as it improves their chances of successfully applying for Canadian immigration if they choose to do so. A PGWP holder is normally required to have one year’s worth of professional work experience in a (NOC) National Occupational Classification code of 0, A, or B to meet the eligibility requirement for a Canadian permanent residence program.

Chances for international students to work in Canada?

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