Tips on Working While You Study in Canada

International students have a variety of opportunities to work in Canada while they study. Permits are available to work on campus, with an off-campus employer, or as a co-op student.


Working after achieving your academic goals can satisfy the work experience hours needed for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), which allows students to remain in Canada after graduation. It is also a valuable opportunity to complement your studies with relevant, hands-on experience.


Working at an off-campus employer


To work off campus, you need to be a full-time student at a participating institution, with permission endorsed on your study permit to work off-campus. The permit allows you to apply at any employer, and work a maximum of 20 hours per week while studying and full time during breaks. However, your main reason for living in Canada must still be to study.


The permit lasts for the length of your study period in Canada. To maintain eligibility, you must continue holding a valid study permit and achieving satisfactory grades.


Fulfilling internship or co-op requirements


Some programs require co-op work or internships before graduation. Students in such programs can apply to work as a co-op student, but must be able to prove the internship is a required or valuable aspect to their curriculum.


A work permit is also required for internships and students should submit their application as early as possible. Processing times depend on the situation, but online applications are generally processed in half the time of mailed-in forms.


Working on-campus


To work at the campus where you study, you must be full-time student and possess a valid study permit to be eligible. However, you do not need to apply for a work permit to do so.


Post Grad Work Permit


Under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP), international graduates may obtain an open work permit for up to three years. The PGWP can be used to work for any Canadian employer in any industry and the graduate is not required to have a Canadian job offer at the time of application.


After completion of your study program, we can help you gather and complete the correct PGWP documentation and application documents. This will also involve extension of the work visa.


Applying for the Canadian Experience Class


In some cases, students can apply to stay in Canada after graduation to work and become permanent residents sooner through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream of the new Express Entry System. Recent changes to the program allow students to complete one year of work experience over 36 months.


Students need at least one year of employment (or an equal amount in part-time) in Canada before applying to the CEC, making work experience upon completing their study program a valuable opportunity to satisfy the requirement.


How can our Lawyers help?


Whether you are seeking a work permit for employment while you study or for current information about the CEC stream of Express Entry System, our lawyers can guide you through the application process.


In many cases, Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires documentation from your institution detailing aspects of your program or stating your academic standing. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn how our lawyers can assist with your application today.You can reach Yuri by contacting our main office line at+1 (250) 616-4832 or by email at [email protected].