How do I find out if I can work while studying in Canada?
Foreign students can work in Canada during their studies, and after they graduate. In most cases, you will need to apply for one of the student-related work permits, which are required if you want to work in a co-op/internship placement, off campus, or after graduating from your studies (Post-Graduation Work Permit Program).
Can I still work in Canada even if I don’t apply under a student-related work permit program?
If you are not eligible or do not want to work under a student-related work permit program (such as the Off-Campus Work Permit Program, On-Campus Work Program, Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, or Internship/Co-op Program), you can apply for a work permit to work in Canada during or after your studies under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
If I receive an off-campus work permit, for how long is it valid?
Your work permit will generally be valid for the same period as your study permit. It will allow you to work off campus until you complete your studies, as long as you still comply with the program requirements and with the conditions of both your work permit and study permit.
Is there a fee to apply for an off-campus work permit?
Yes, the fee is C$150.
Once I apply for an off-campus work permit, how long will it take to process my application?
Individual circumstances may affect the processing time. They include:
- whether you are eligible for the program and
- whether your application is complete.
If I am eligible and the institution where I study is participating in the program, can I apply for a job off campus right away, or do I have to wait until I receive my off-campus work permit?
You can apply for a job right away, but you cannot legally work off campus in Canada until you receive an off-campus work permit. If you begin to work off campus before you receive an off-campus work permit, you could become ineligible to participate in the Off-Campus Work Permit Program. It is illegal for you to work in Canada without a valid work permit.
Are there any restrictions on where I can work or the type of job that I can apply for under the Off-Campus Work Permit Program?
You will be able to work anywhere in Canada as long as you remain a full-time student with a satisfactory academic standing while classes are in session and you comply with the conditions of your work permit.
In some cases, there may be restrictions on the type of job you can hold. For example, you may be required to undergo a medical examination for some occupations, such as:
- workers in the health services fields
- teachers of primary or secondary schools or other teachers of small children
- domestic workers or live-in caregivers
- workers who give in-home care to children, the elderly or individuals with a disability
- day nursery employees and
- some agricultural workers.
Are there any restrictions on how many hours I can work once I receive my off-campus work permit?
Once you receive your off-campus work permit, you can work up to 20 hours per week off campus while classes are in session. You can work full time during scheduled breaks, including summer or winter holidays and reading weeks.
While classes are in session, you must be studying full time and retain satisfactory academic standing to keep your off-campus work permit.
I am considering studying in Canada. Can I apply for an off-campus work permit at the same time as I apply for my study permit?
No, you cannot apply for a study permit and an off-campus work permit at the same time. To qualify for the program, you must already hold a valid study permit, and you must have been a full-time student at a participating institution for at least six of the last 12 months before you apply.
What must I do to extend my stay or change my status (for example, from a full-time student to a full-time worker)?
To make any changes in your immigration status or to extend your stay in Canada, you must submit an application to change conditions or extend your stay in Canada.
Why is the Off-Campus Work Permit Program not available to foreign students when they start their studies?
The likelihood of students quitting their study program is highest during the first few months of study. Citizenship and Immigration Canada wants to ensure that work permits are issued to legitimate students. When they apply, these students will be required to prove they have been studying full time for six of the last 12 months at a participating institution.
Can I work in Canada?
It is possible to work in Canada while you are here as a student, and there are opportunities for jobs on and off campus.
You may work on campus at the institution where you study without a work permit if:
- you are a full-time student at:
a) a public post-secondary institution, such as a college or university, or a collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) in Quebec
b) a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as a public institution, and receives at least 50 percent of its financing for its overall operations from government grants (currently only private college-level educational institutions in Quebec qualify) or
c) a Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees and
- you have a valid study permit.