Work and study in Canada

You can work and study in Canada as an international student. You can gain a valuable experience while working part during your studies. This way you can earn extra money to meet some of your expenses. You may be eligible to work in Canada while studying, if your study permit includes a condition that says you can work on or off campus. You can’t work before your studies begin.

How Can I work and Study in Canada?

You can work while you study in the following ways:

  • Work on-campus
  • Work off-campus
  • Work as a co-op student or intern
  • Work after you graduate

On-campus Work

You can work and study in Canada as an international student if your study permit lists a condition that says you’re allowed to work on- or off-campus.

You can work on your school campus, without a work permit, if you are a full-time post-secondary student at a public post-secondary school or Canadian private school. However, you must have a valid study permit and a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

You must stop working on-campus if  you stop studying full-time,  your study permit is expired, you take  an authorized leave from your studies,  you switch schools and aren’t currently studying. You can return to work only once you’re back to studying and you meet all the requirements to work on-campus. “On-campus” means you can work at all the buildings on your school campus.

Get a Social Insurance Number to work in Canada

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9 digit number that the Government of Canada gives you. With this number, you can work in Canada and get government benefits and services.

Off-campus Work

You can work off campus without a work permit if you meet all of these requirements:

  • you’re a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • you’re enrolled in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program and your study program is at least 6 months long and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate, your study permit says you can work off campus, you’ve started studying and you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • You may work 20 hours per week off campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. During regular school terms/semesters, you can work up to 20 hours per week.
  • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria, per paragraph R186(f), (v) or (w) and must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria. You’ll need to request an amendment to your study permit before you can apply for a SIN from Service Canada.
  • During scheduled breaks in the school year You can work full-time if you’re on a scheduled break, such as winter and summer holidays, or a fall or spring reading week. You’re free to work overtime or work 2 part-time jobs that add up to a higher than usual number of hours. If your program doesn’t have scheduled breaks You can work up to 20 hours per week.
  • You can’t work off campus without a work permit if your study permit says you aren’t authorized to work off campus while you study, you’re only enrolled in an English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program, you’re only taking general interest courses, you’re only taking courses required to be accepted into a full-time program and your situation changes and you no longer meet all of the requirements to work off campus.
  • You must apply to change the conditions of your study permit. There’s a fee to make this change. You must change the conditions on your permit before you can apply for a SIN.

Work as a co-op Student or Intern

Some study programs include work experience as part of their curriculum. You can apply for a co-op or intern work permit if:

  • you have a valid study permit
  • work is required to complete your study program in Canada
  • you have a letter from your school that confirms all students in your program need to complete work placements to get their degree, and
  • your co-op placement or internship totals 50% or less of your study program

You aren’t eligible for a co-op work permit if you’re taking one of the following:

  • English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL),
  • general interest courses, or
  • courses to prepare for another study program.
  • If you’re not eligible for a co-op work permit, but you want to work in Canada, you need to apply for a work permit.

Work after you graduate

You can be issued a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) when you complete your studies in Canada.The PGWP allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Please learn more by visiting our page Work and Immigrate.

You can contact us if you are an international student in Canada and want to apply for your Post Graduate Work Permit or if you want to explore more options for your Canada immigration in Canada Experience Class (CEC) under Express Entry.