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Working While Studying in Canada

As an international student in Canada, you may be able to get a job without a work permit during your studies.

Canada’s immigration policy extends the opportunity to gain valuable work experience to international students who have chosen Canada as their study destination.

Work off-campus

With a valid Canadian Study Permit, an international student may be eligible to work for an employer outside the campus of the educational institution where he or she is registered. Once eligible for off-campus work, international students may work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions, and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.

Eligibility requirements

In order to be eligible to work off-campus during his or her studies, an international student must: 1) Hold a valid study permit; 2) Be studying full-time at a designated learning institution (Visit our dedicated page for a comprehensive Designated Learning Institution (DLI) List); 3) Have started studying and remain in satisfactory academic standing as determined by their institution; 4) Be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that is at least six months in duration and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate; and 5) Have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

If an international student’s situation changes and he or she no longer meets any of the above eligibility requirements, he or she must stop working off-campus.

Sometimes a student who is no longer studying full-time may be able to continue working off-campus if he or she: 1) Was registered as a full-time student since the beginning of the study program in Canada and; 2) Is now studying part-time because it is the last semester of his or her study program and a full-time course schedule is no longer required to complete the program of study.

The following international students are not eligible to work off-campus: 1) Students enrolled in an English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) program; 2) Students taking a general interest course or program; and Visiting or exchange students at a designated learning institution. 3) Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) considers a student’s full-time status based on the number of hours and credits allocated towards the completion of a degree, diploma or certificate, as determined by the DLI.

Work in Canada as a co-op student or intern

International students pursuing a study program at a DLI in Canada that requires a mandatory work placement or internship must apply for a co-op or intern work permit in addition to a valid study permit.

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