Working while studying in Canada is one of the many benefits of choosing Canada as your place to study, but there are a few things to keep in mind before you start earning.
Without a work permit, most overseas students in Canada can work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during regular breaks. Working while studying can help you sustain yourself and meet new people while also allowing you to develop the contacts and experience that will help you stand out in the future job market.
Read on to learn more about working in Canada as an international student before you start hunting for your perfect student job.
Are You Eligible To Work While Studying?
It’s important to remember that even if you plan to work while studying in Canada, you’ll still need to show that you have enough money when applying for a study permit.
This implies you must demonstrate that you have the financial resources to sustain yourself during your studies without working. The fact that you intend to work while studying in Canada will not meet the requirement to prove financial capacity before your arrival.
International students enrolled full-time at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada with a study permit can work off-campus without a work permit. This implies you can work anywhere in Canada for any employer in any occupation.
For international students to be allowed to work off-campus while studying, they must:
- Have a valid study permit
- Be studying at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) full-time
- Be in good academic standing as determined by the DLI
- Be enrolled in an academic, vocational, or professional program that runs for no less than six months and leads to a diploma, degree, or certificate
- Have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
If the circumstances change and they no longer meet any of the requirements above, they must stop working off-campus as soon as possible.
If a student has been registered as a full-time student since the beginning of their study program in Canada and is now studying part-time because it is the last semester of the program and a full-time course schedule is no longer required to complete the program of study, he or she may be able to continue working off-campus.
If they wish, international students can also work on campus. If an international student meets certain qualifications, they may be authorized to work within the confines of the campus where they are currently enrolled. As such, they must:
- hold a valid Study Permit;
- be registered as a full-time post-secondary student at a:
- public post-secondary college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
- a private college-level institution in Quebec that follows the same criteria as public schools and receives at least 50% of its funding from the government
- a private Canadian institution that is permitted by provincial legislation to grant degrees
Working for an employer on the campus premises of the educational institution where a student is enrolled is considered on-campus work. The school, a staff member, a student organization, a private business (placed inside the campus boundaries), a private contractor that offers services to the school, and being self-employed on campus are all examples of on-campus employers.
What Is A Social Insurance Number And How Do I Get One?
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you’ll need if you want to work in Canada or use government programs and services. As an international student, you can only apply for a SIN after you’ve arrived in Canada because you must first obtain a study permit at the airport or border crossing.
Check your study permit conditions
You must hold a study permit with at least one of the following statements to be eligible for a SIN:
- “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”
- “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”
- “May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies”
If you hold a work permit, such as a co-op work permit, a Post-Graduation Work Permit, or a Spousal Work Permit, you can apply as well.
What to do if your study permit doesn’t have any of those statements
If the statement you need to apply for a SIN is missing from your study permit, you can have it updated for free. While you can do this after you arrive, it is much easier to do it when you first arrive and receive your study permit.
If there is anything on your study permit that you are unsure about, you can ask the officer about your permission to work when you arrive at Immigration. You can apply for a SIN as soon as you receive your new and amended study permit.
Immigrate to Canada through the Study-Work-PR Pathway