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Studying & Working in Canada

Working while studying

One of the biggest advantages of choosing Canada for one’s further studies, is the ability to work along with one’s studies. As per current rules most students are allowed to work for up to 20 hours in a week while school is on and can even work full-time during scheduled breaks like the summer break or the Christmas break. The condition allowing one to work in Canada is listed with The Study Permit.

These jobs can be On Campus or Off Campus.
In order to be eligible to work while studying, an international student must meet the following requirements:
  • The student must be enrolled as a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI) or be enrolled ina post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program or a secondary-level vocational training program (Quebec only)
  • The program must be at least 6 months long and must lead to a degree, diploma or certificate The student must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
A Part-time student can be working off campus if the student is studying part-time, instead of full-time, because:
  • The student is in the last semester of the study program and does not need a full course load to complete the program and
  • The student was a full-time student in his/her program in Canada, up until the last semester
To be eligible for both kinds of jobs the student must not have stopped studying, the study permit should not have expired, the student should not be on an authorized leave from studies and should not be not studying between switching schools.

Co-op Work Permit

Certain programs or courses in Canada might require the student to work as an in intern or gain some industry work experience as part of the curriculum. A co-op or intern work permit is required before the student can start working on such an assignment. Generally the student can apply for the co-op work permit at the same time that he/she applies for the study permit required for this program. Some of the conditions for a co-op work permit are:

  • Student must have a valid study permit or be applying for one along with a co-op work permit application
  • The work requirement must be a part of the Study Program
  • The Student must be able to produce a letter from your school that confirms all students in the program need to complete work placements to get their degree
  • The co-op placement or internship work should comprise 50% or less of the study program
You aren’t eligible for a co-op work permit if you’re taking one of the following:
  • A general interest course, a bridging course for another study program or
  • An English or French as a second language program (ESL/FSL)

Post Grad Work Permit (PGWP)

A great prospect for students to enter Canada for their studies and then gain an early integration into the Canadian Job Market. If the student pursued a course from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) and the course or program being pursued by the student was PGWP eligible then the student can apply for a PGWP within 180 days of receiving one’s final marks. View the list of DLIs with PGWP eligible programs. The student can also start working without the employer having to go through the process of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). If the Study Permit is likely to expire before getting the final marks for the program then the student must either leave Canada before applying for PGWP or apply for an extension to stay in Canada (apply for visitor record) before applying.   At the time of applying for a PGWP:

  • The Study Permit of the applicant must be valid, or
  • The applicant must have a valid visitor record, or
  • The applicant must have submitted an application to extend the study permit before it expired where decision is pending, or
  • The applicant must have submitted an application to change his/her status to visitor before the study permit expired and decision is pending

Read more here.

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