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How to Work in Canada while studying?

Canada provides the opportunity to students to work in Canada without a work permit. That is, international students can work in Canada with a study permit. It is a known fact that students work while working but it is also true that it is very difficult to do so.

Students immigrate to Canada to study but paying for the basic necessities is difficult without any source of income. Therefore students try to work and it is also seen that they want to support their family by sending money. To do so, some students try to work double as labour shortage is seen which makes things tough, but helpful for both students looking to earn the bread-butter for their survival and for employers as well. I am Yash Miglani a Certified Immigration Consultants and we will discuss how students can work in Canada, the time frame, eligibility requirements to work.

Ways to work in Canada with a study permit

Work Off- Campus

A student with a valid study permit can work off-campus, that is, can work outside of where he/she studies, i.e. the educational institution. Once a student gets eligible to work outside the campus. International Students can work upto 20 hours in a week during the academic sessions and during the full time break such as summer or winter breaks or spring holidays.

Eligibility Requirements to work off-campus

  1. Valid Study Permit: You must have a valid study permit to work in Canada.
  2. Full-Time Enrollment: You need to be enrolled as a full-time student at a designated learning institution. 
  3. Good Academic Standing: It’s important to start your studies and maintain a satisfactory academic record as required by your educational institution.
  4. Program Duration: You should be enrolled in an academic, vocational, or professional training program that lasts at least six months and leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  5. Social Insurance Number (SIN): Make sure you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
Maintaining Eligibility for Off-Campus Work:

If the situations for an international student change, and they do not meet the eligibility criteria mentioned above anymore, they are required to stop working off-campus.

In some cases, a student who has transitioned from full-time to part-time studies may still be permitted to work off-campus if they meet the following conditions:

  1. They were initially registered as full-time students when they commenced their study program in Canada.
  2. Their current part-time enrollment is due to being in the final semester of the study program, where a full-time course is no longer required to complete the program.
Ineligible International Students for Off-Campus Work:

The following categories of international students are not eligible to engage in off-campus work:

  1. Students enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) programs.
  2. Students pursuing general interest courses or programs.
  3. Visiting or exchange students attending a designated learning institution.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) assesses a student’s full-time status based on the number of hours and credits required to fulfill the degree, diploma, or certificate program, as determined by the designated learning institution (DLI).

Work On-Campus

A student can also work within the learning institute as well, usually known as on-campus by working within the boundaries.

Essential Requirements for On-Campus Work Eligibility:

An international student need to meet a criteria to work on-campus in canada without the need for a work permit:

  1. Valid Study Permit: You should hold a valid Study Permit.
  2. Social Insurance Number (SIN): Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required.
  3. Full-Time Post-Secondary Enrollment: You must be registered as a full-time post-secondary student at one of the following:
    • A public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec.
    • A private college-level school in Quebec that follows the same rules as public schools and receives at least 50% of its funding from government grants.
    • A Canadian private school authorized by provincial law to confer degrees.
Understanding On-Campus Work:

On-campus work surrounds employment with an employer situated on the educational institution’s campus where the student is enrolled.

Eligible on-campus employers can be the educational institution itself, faculty, student organizations, private businesses within the campus boundaries, private contractors providing services to the school, and even self-employment opportunities within the campus.

Work in Canada as a co-op student or intern

For international students that are enrolled in a study program at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that requires work placements or internships, there are following requirements that applies:

  1. If your program requires you to complete a required work placement or internship, you must apply for a co-op or intern work permit and also maintain your valid study permit.
  2. The work permit is mandatory to ensure that the mandatory work part is maintained in your academic program in Canada.

Frequently Asked questions

Yes absolutely, one can both work and study at the same time in Canada that too without a work permit but with a valid study visa.

There are 3 ways for this to happen, work on campus or off campus and you can also work as a co-op or intern by submitting an application for it.

 A Student may work upto 20 hours a week however, from November 15, 2022 to December 31, 2023 students can work over than 20 hours a week due to the shortage of labour in canada.

Yes, there is a criteria which is same both for on and off campus work and that is both required valid study permit and Social Insurance Number.

Yes, it is very much possible for a student to not be able to work off-campus if he/she does not meet certain criteria.

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