More often than not, many students have wondered if there are opportunities to work and study in Canada for International Students. The good news is ‘YES’, foreign full-time students can work part-time up to a maximum of 20 hours per week while studying in Canada. International students can work and study as long as they have a valid study permit and meet other requirements.
There’s a catch though, international students can only start working when they start their study program, meaning you must be enrolled in your university or college at the time of seeking a job opportunity. You can’t work before your program begins. You can also work for up to twenty hours per week during school sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks like summer vacation.
Most students do not need a work permit to work while they study, whether their job is on-campus or off-campus. Rather, your study permit will state whether you are allowed to work off-campus.
If your study program includes work experience, you may be able to work and study in Canada more than twenty hours during the semester. This will be indicated in your acceptance letter. If the government approves this condition, you will be issued both a work permit and a study permit. This permit will allow you to work on-campus only.
As an international student, you must meet these general criteria:
Working on-campus as an international student
You will be able to work on campus without a work permit while completing your studies if you:
- have a valid study permit.
- have a Social Insurance Number.
- are a full-time student at a Designated Learning Institution or at an institution in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools and is at least fifty percent funded by government grants, or at a Canadian private school accredited to award degrees.
Off-Campus Job opportunities in Canada
You will be able to work off-campus while studying in Canada without needing to get a work permit while completing your studies if you:
- have a study permit;
- are a full-time student in a designated learning institution (or a post-secondary school in Quebec province)
- the study program is academic, professional, or vocational, it lasts at least six months and leads to a diploma, or certificate, degree.
- are only working up to a maximum of twenty hours per week during school’s academic sessions, and full-time during scheduled breaks like in winter or spring.
Some study programs include work requirements such as co-op or internships. In such a scenario, a work permit is required in order for the international student to be able to complete the work.
Work Permits for Co-Op Students and Interns
While foreign students in Canada do not require a separate work permit in order to work while studying, there is an exception to this rule. Some study programs require the international student to complete a Co-op or internship work placement in order to be able to complete their program of study. In this situation, you require a Co-op work permit in addition to your study permit.
To acquire a Co-op work permit, you need a valid study permit and a letter from your school confirming all students in your program are required to complete work placements to get their degree.
The Co-op work permit can be granted with your study permit. If your acceptance letter indicates that a Co-op or internship placement is required as part of your study program, your work permit may be processed as part of your study permit application.
It is also possible to apply for a Co-op work permit after you have already obtained your study permit, and you can apply online or apply by paper. Your school should be able to help you with this, as the placement is part of your study program and they probably help many students to apply for this permit each year.
Eligibility Requirement to Work and Study in Canada
Foreign students in Canada with a study permit who are enrolled full-time in a DLI can work off-campus without a work permit. This means you can work for any Canadian employer in any occupation in any place in Canada. You can also work on campus if you wish.
Working off-campus means working for any Canadian employer outside of the school. Working on campus means working for any employer on the school’s campus, such as working for the university itself, for a faculty member (as a research assistant, for example), or for a private contractor providing services in the school, for example, a gym or restaurant.
It is important to note that even if you plan to work while studying in Canada, you will still need to demonstrate sufficient financial resources when you apply for a study permit.
This means you need to show you have enough funds to cater for yourself during your studies without working. Anticipated future earnings will not be accepted when showing sufficient financial resources, so the fact that you may plan to be working while studying will not satisfy the condition to prove financial capacity prior the arrival.
Your study permit will show whether you are allowed to work in Canada and the conditions of employment. This enables you to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada; getting a SIN is an important requirement before you can start working while studying in Canada.
If your study permit does not have the statement you need in order to apply for Social Insurance Number, you can get your study permit corrected for free.
While this can be done after you arrive, it’s much better to do this immediately when you arrive and your study permit is first issued. When you arrive at the port of entry, you can ask the immigration officer about your permission to work if you are not sure about the information on your study permit.
If your study program is less than six months in duration, you cannot work in Canada unless otherwise authorized to do so. Or if you are enrolled in French as a Second Language (FSL) or English as a Second Language (ESL) program.
In addition, visiting or exchange students at a university or college are not allowed to work while studying in Canada.
It’s important to note that you cannot begin working while studying in Canada until you start your program.
Work after studying in Canada
Once you complete your studies, you may need to stop working in Canada immediately. But, there are other ways you may continue working under different conditions.
If you wish to stay and work in Canada, you may be able to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), allowing you to work anywhere in Canada for any employer for up to three years after your graduation. If you are qualified and if you want to stay and work in Canada, you need to apply within ninety days of receiving written confirmation that you have completed your study program.
Work And Study In Canada From Philippines
One of the fastest-growing source countries in terms of international students in Canada in the Philippines. In 2015, there were only just 1,880 holders of Canadian study permit from the Philippines in Canada. Fast-forward four years later this figure had almost quadrupled to 6,365.
Are you a Filipino? You wish to work and study in Canada? you can do so by obtaining a Canadian study permit and be able to work and study. It is important to note that there are some criteria you have to meet to be allowed to work and study in Canada.
You will need to obtain a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution and prove that you have sufficient funds to pay for your first-year tuition fee as well as other living expenses, return transportation, and meet other requirements expected of Filipinos.
As a Filipino student, you can also have your study permit applications fast-tracked through the Student Direct Stream, provided that you meet a series of qualifying criteria. Should you need to check, we have an article on immigrating to Canada from Philippines.
FAQ About Work And Study In Canada
Can I work and study at the same time in Canada?
Yes, you can work and study in Canada when you apply for a study permit. However, normally, it should be stated on your study permit whether you can work on-campus or off-campus. Depending on the condition you must also meet all the requirements.
Can I work and study full-time in Canada?
You can work up to twenty hours per week. Working more than twenty hours per week is a violation of your study permit conditions. You can lose your student status for doing this, and may not be approved for a work or study permit in the future. In some cases, you may also have to leave the country.
How many hours can a student work in Canada?
In most cases, the maximum number of hours a student can work in a week is forty-eight hours. This can be exceeded in exceptional circumstances including permits for emergency work or a modified work schedule.
How many students can earn in Canada while studying?
The average pay is around $10 per hour. If your aim is only to gain work experience, like assisting your professor with research work, then you don’t need a work permit. This kind of work has to be on-campus and will be paid less; in some cases, you can work beyond the stipulated number of hours.
Can I work and study for free in Canada?
To put it simply, there are no tuition-free universities in Canada for international students. There are no tuition-free universities even for Canadian citizens. However, you can study without paying the tuition fee by getting a fully-funded scholarship.