Work While Studying

Rameh Law > Work While Studying

Work While Studying

An international student holding a valid Canadian Study Permit can enter the labor market without having to apply for a Canadian work permit. Moreover, an international student’s spouse or common-law partner can secure employment in Canada while their partner pursues their studies.

If you are a spouse of an international student, you’ll need to submit your application for an OWP (Open Work Permit) permitting them to work for any Canadian employer without restrictions.

On-Campus work

A full-time international student at a Canadian Academic Institution can work at the institution’s campus without a work permit. If the institution has several campuses in the same municipality, an international student can work at any of their campuses.

Any academic program qualifies a full-time student for on-campus work. Institutions that the government has allowed to offer such work to international students are:

  • Community colleges
  • Publicly funded trade (or technical) learning institutions
  • Universities
  • Private learning institutions with authority to confer degrees.

It is important to remember that on-campus work is only available for international students on full-time courses and with valid study permits.

Off-campus work

Some international students may work off-campus without a work permit. Off-campus working allows students to work not more than 20 hours per week during their regular academic sessions. However, the person can work full-time during regular breaks—when school is in recess during spring, winter, and summer breaks.

Eligibility to work off-campus

An international student can only qualify to work off-campus if:

  • they have a work permit
  • they are on a post-secondary academic program, and they take their studies as a DLI (Designated Learning Institution). If in the province of Quebec, the person must be at least undertaking a secondary level vocational program.
  • maintain good academic standing as per their institutions’ requirements
  • are pursuing an academic, professional, or vocational training program leading to the conferment of a certificate, diploma, or degree that lasts for not less than 180 days in duration

Ineligibility to work off-campus

  • A foreign student doesn’t qualify to work off-campus if they are:
  • enrolled in French or English programs as a second language
  • pursuing a general interest academic program
  • are in the country as an exchange or visiting students at a DLI
  1. NB. If you’re a foreign national working in Canada as a teaching, graduate, or research assistant, you’re still eligible for off-campus work as long as you work in a location related to your research grand. However, the location must be an affiliation of a formal association with your learning institution. Such institutions may include research institutes, clinics, and hospitals.

Co-op Work permits

Besides a valid study permit, an international student studying at a DLI in Canada and pursuing a study course with a compulsory internship or work placement must also submit an application for a co-op work permit.

Postgraduate work permits

A post-graduation work permit allows a student who has graduated from a Canadian learning institution to apply for an Open Work Permit (OWP). A positive Labor Market Impact Assessment and a job confirmation are not part of the requirement of applying for a postgraduate Open Work Permit. The qualifications for applying for the permit include:

  • You must have completed your academic program. To show that you have completed your studies, you can use your institution’s official confirmation letter or academic transcripts as proof.
  • You must apply for the permit within three months of completing your academic program.
  • You should have fulfilled all the requirements for the conferment of a certificate, diploma, or degree, and your institution has notified you that your academic papers are ready for picking.
  • Your study permit has not expired.