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Working in Canada as an International Student

Working In Canada As An International Student has its own criteria which must be met in other not not violate the law of the country. Any international student enrolled in full time academic, vocational or professional trades programs at VIU, may be eligible to work on or off campus. The study permit issued for the student serves as permission to study as well as the authorization to work in Canada. In order to be qualified to work, students must be enrolled in full time studies and be in good academic standing with at least a 2 grade point average (GPA) at VIU. You may be eligible to work on or off campus as a student only if you meet specific eligibility criteria. General, students must have the following documents in other to be quailified work while studying at VIU:

  • A valid Study Permit with work permit
  • Must be enrolled full time at VIU (enrolled in 9 academic credits for undergraduate programs)
  • Must have a SIN  before starting to work
  • Medical examination is required for certain occupations (eg. jobs at schools, childcare, eldercare, food industry and etc.)

Students who are not eligible to work on or off campus?

  • Students on a visitor visa
  • High school students
  • Part-time students (enrolled in less than 9 credits)
  • Students on a leave of absence or medical leave
  • Students on that does not meet the academic standing, for example, those with GPA lower than 2 ( e.g. students on suspension or those who failed majority of their courses, withdrew from courses or arbitrarily took time off from studies at VIU)
  • New international students working before their program of study commenced.

On-Campus Work

While studying at Vancouver Island University, International Students with a valid study permit and are enrolled in full-time studies, are qualified to work on-campus where the student is studying.

This includes students who are engaged in full-time studies in  programs like:

  • ESL (English as a Second Language) or FSL (French as a Second Language)
  • Exchange students enrolled in short-term studies and hold a valid Study permit

Students may work more than one job but total hours must not exceed 20 hours per week. This employment must be done on the VIU campus where the student is studying.

Work-op Every semester, the Campus Career Centre has listings for more than 300 on-campus jobs. Competition in these positions are always high and generally do not offer more than 10 hours of work per week for the successful applicants. Students are also hired every semester by the Centre for International Education to work as international student activity assistants to help plan and organize events. .

Off-Campus Work

International students enrolled in full time academic, vocational or professional training programs and in good academic standing at VIU, may be eligible to work on or off campus up to 20 hours per week while studying. Students are allowed to work full-time during scheduled breaks (summer and winter holidays).

You must have a Social Insurance Number to be eligible to work in Canada. You do not need a fee to obtain a SIN and it is usually valid for the same duration as your study permit. You are required to provide your SIN within three days of employment.

If student’s study permit has a condition stating “prohibited from working in Canada”, such student must apply to change study permit conditions prior applying for SIN. A fee of $150 CAD is required for the renewal of a study permit.

Post-Graduation Work Permit

International students graduating from full-time program at VIU are suitable to apply for the post-graduate work permit (PGWP). Application for this permit must be done within 90 days of the program completion. The calculation of 90 days starts from the date the formal confirmation is received from the Program of study. Graduates who studied two years or full time may be suitable for up to three years of work permit.
To be eligible for a PGWP a student must have:

  • Continuously studied full-time in Canada
  • Graduated from a full-time academic, vocational or professional program at VIU which must be longer than 8 months
  • Proof of written confirmation that the student successfully completed the program
  • Received graduation letter (Bldg.255), as well as an official transcript (Bldg.200)
  • Have a valid study permit and adhered strictly with its conditions
  • Applied for PGWP and received generic IRCC confirmation letter, after may work full time while waiting for officers decision on graduation work permit. If PGWP application is refused must stop any work in Canada for the main time.

Exceptions apply when students hold a one year program at VIU then pursues Master’s level program that is shorter than 14 -16 months may be eligible for up to three-year PGWP cumulatively. Students pursuing the same level (dual concentration in the same program) and not been able to demonstrate career progression may not be eligible for three year PGWP.

You can also see some of the easiest ways to get the Canada work permit