Temporary Residence > Working While Studying

Working While Studying

A foreign national from any country needs a Student Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) and a Study Permit to study in Canada. Any study program longer than six months would require a Study Permit. A foreign national needs a Student Visa or an ETA to enter Canada, while a Study Permit is required to stay and be authorized to study in a Canadian educational institution (Designated Learning Institution), such as a school, college, university, etc. A Study Permit is usually valid for the length of a study program, plus an extra three months to prepare to leave Canada or apply for an extension. Some categories of persons do not need a Study Permit: minor children in Canada, family or staff of foreign representatives, members of foreign armed forces, and registered Indians in Canada.

Working While Studying In Canada

International students can study and work while studying in Canada. The main thing that you should know is that you must work legally, which means to be authorized to work under one or more of the Canadian immigration programs.

International students can work on-campus and off-campus. Most of the times, an international student is authorized to work 20 hours per week that is printed on a Study Permit in either way:

– May work 20 hours per week off-campus, or full-time during regular breaks, if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR.

– May accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria

Having this remark printed on a Study Permit, international students can work while studying. They do not need an open work permit and have a positive LMIA as most temporary foreign workers do need. However, if you are studying French or English as a second language, taking courses to prepare for another study program or general interest courses, or you are an exchange student who won’t get a degree from your host school, you need to get a valid work permit to work and study in Canada.

Requirements For Off-campus Work Permit

– have a valid study permit

– are a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)

– have started studying

– are in a program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate and is at least six months long and

– have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Change The Conditions Of a Study Permit

If you meet the criteria but your study permit does not permit you to engage in off-campus employment in Canada, you can request a change to your study permit. This could be a case for those students who change the program.

On-campus Job

“On-campus” means that work is anywhere in the buildings on your school campus. If your educational institution has a few campuses, usually you may only work where you are studying.But there is an exception if you work as a research or teaching assistant. In this case, you can work at a hospital, library, or study facility associated with your school, even if they are outside the campus.

Your “on-campus” employer can be a faculty memberthe schoola private business, a student organizationa private service provider, yourself (on-campus freelance).

Most  educational institutions in Canada have vacancies of on-campus and off-campus jobs posted online on their respective websites.


Some Canada work and study programs include work practice as part of their plan.

So you can apply for them easily if you are qualified. Your acceptance letter must verify that an internship or co-op post is part of your curriculum. Besides, you can apply online.

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April 2019