Work While Studying in Canada as an International Student

You may be eligible to work in Canada while studying if your permit includes a condition stating that you can work on or off campus. You must meet all other requirements and you can only begin working in Canada once you start your study program.

Do you want to know your eligibility for Working While Studying on a Canadian Study Permit?

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Are you an international student on a study permit in Canada and want to earn some income on the side?

Canada allows international students to work while studying so they can earn some income and gain experience.

As an international student, having a study permit grants you the legal status of a temporary resident

It also authorizes you to work for 20 hours per week and full time during scheduled breaks like winter or summer vacations without the need to apply for a work permit.

However, having the prospect of future employment does not satisfy the requirement to demonstrate financial support before arrival.

Who Qualifies for Work While Studying?

You are eligible to work while studying if you are enrolled full-time at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). You do not require a work permit to start working off-campus. You can also work with an employer on campus. 

The conditions of your work permit are as stated in your study permit. You will be required to obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN) before you start working while studying in Canada.

What Else Do You Need to Know About Work While Studying?

On-Campus Work: Working on-campus means you are authorized to work with an employer within your university. 

Off-Campus Work: Working off-campus means you are authorized to work anywhere and with any employer outside your university. (There is also a Working Off-Campus study permit.)

Post-Graduation Work Permit: If you have already graduated from your university, then a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) allows you to remain in Canada for work. A PGWP is an open work permit, which means that you are allowed to work for any employer in Canada.

What are the Exceptions to Work While Studying?

If you are enrolled in a study program that includes work requirements like an internship, then you must acquire a co-op or intern work permit. You must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a valid study permit
  • Be enrolled in a study program that requires work
  • Have a confirmation letter that states that work placements are necessary to complete the  program
  • The work requirement must make up 50% or less of the total credits of your study program

However, you can not apply for a work permit if you are studying English/French as a second language course, is enrolled in a general interest course, or a course to study for another program. 

If your study program is for a duration of fewer than 6 months, then you are not authorized to work while studying. If your study permit specifies working restrictions, then you can not work without a permit.  

You may be authorized to continue working even if you are not a full-time student in the following situations:

  • Your study program does not require you to study full-time during the last semester of completing the program
  • You are at the graduate level and have completed the required assignments in advance
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