International Student Work Permit

Many international students choose to work while studying in Canada in order to gain more Canadian working experience, as well as supplement their income, or to be able to cover the cost of the education. They may or may not need a work permit depending on circumstances and eligibility in these cases:

  1. On-campus work. Work permit is not required if the student is enrolled in a full time education program leading to post-graduate degree at one of the Designated Learning Institutions. In this case the student is allowed to work for the school, a faculty member a student organization, a private contractor or business  that provides on-campus services to the school or be self-employed. If a student is working as a teaching or research assistant and the work is related to a research grant the student may work at a library, hospital or research facility associated with the school, even if it is physically not located on the campus.
  2. Off-Campus work permit. Depending on your study visa you may or may not need a permit for work off campus.
  3. Co-op or internship work permit. If your studies include co-op or internship as part of the program you need a valid work permit
  4. Post-graduation work permit. If you have completed a post-graduation program with one of the Designated Learning Institutions you can apply to an open work permit for up to 3 years.

Off-Campus Work Permit Requirements:

  • have a valid study permit
  • are a full-time student at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
  • have started your study program
  • Enrolled in a program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate and is at least six months long
  • have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

How many hours are international students are allowed to work?

Should an international student qualify to work off campus, they are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during regular school sessions, or full time during scheduled breaks (such as spring or summer break). After the student has completed the program and has applied for any other work permit, he or she may work full time until the permit is received.

Students cannot work in Canada without a valid work permit if they

  • Study English or French as a second language;
  • Take general interest courses not leading to a degree;
  • Are visiting or exchange student who will not get a degree from a Canadian learning institution.
If you are looking to find out more details about work permits for international students please contact us at Green Light Immigration for a detailed consultation.