Student Employment

Employment Opportunities for Foreign Students in Canada

International students are allowed to work in Canada, under the following circumstances:

  • Working on campus.
  • Working off-campus.
  • Work as a Co-op or internship program.
  • Working in Canada after you graduate.
  • Work permits for students at private institutions.
  • Work permits for spouses or common-law partners.

A student can work part time on campus or Off campus if they are registered as Full time students at a College or University without a Work permit. However, a Work permit is required if the academic, professional or vocational training program includes a Co-op or Internship component.

A student’s spouse can apply for an Open Work permit if:

  • The student is a full time student at public college or University / or a private school that awards degrees under Provincial law.
  • Has a valid study permit.
  • Open work permit is valid for the same period of time as the Study permit.
  • An open work permit is not Job specific and hence a labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from ESDC is not required.

An International Student enrolled in a DLI can work part time off campus and Full time during scheduled school breaks without a Work permit.

In addition students who graduate from an institution that is either authorized by law to grant degrees or is publicly funded will be entitled to apply for a Post graduate work permit upon completion of their studies which in turn opens up the pathway for immigration opportunities in Canada. See: Pathway for Immigration.

Pathway for Immigration to Canada

Studying in Canada enhances the chances of immigration for students wishing to apply for permanent residence after finishing their studies through Settlement Options. The work opportunity for foreign students connects in superbly with the points system for those who later seek permanent residency in Canada.

Foreign students can gain in several ways when it comes to immigrating to Canada:

  1. When they start working with an employer as a student, it improves their chances of getting a job offer later which is an advantage for Immigration.
  2. Students also gain additional points for their Canadian education and having post graduation work experience.

Thus Canadian educated foreign students can reason in all these benefits from the Immigration point of view and thus be able to apply for Permanent residence to stay in Canada permanently.

Work opportunities for foreign students are as follows:

  • Working on campus.
  • Working off-campus.
  • Work as a Co-op or internship program.
  • Working in Canada after you graduate.
  • Work permits for students at private institutions.
  • Work permits for spouses or common-law partners.

Working On campus:

International students are allowed to work on the campus of any publicly funded degree granting institution. But these jobs are often difficult to obtain.

A student may work on campus at the institute where one studies without a work permit if:

  • Student is engaged in full-time studies at:
    • A public post-secondary institution.
    • A private post-secondary institution or.
    • A Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees.
  • Student has a valid study permit.

Working off-campus:

This Program allows foreign students at publicly funded post-secondary institutions to work off campus while completing their studies. This is available for students studying at DLI institutions in provinces or territories that have signed agreements with IRCC.

A student can participate in the off campus work program without applying for a Work permit which allows work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions, and full time during scheduled breaks.

Eligibility for an off-campus work permit:

  • Valid study permit.
  • Full-time student Studying at a participating DLI institution.
  • Satisfactory academic standing.
  • Sign a form authorizing the institution, the province and IRCC to share personal information.

Note: It is the responsibility of a student to find a job. The facility to work allows one to work On / off campus but does not guarantee that the student will find a job.

Co-op or internship program:

Work experience is part of the course for some academic programs, and students who wish to take part in a co-op or internship program must apply for a Work permit.

Eligibility for a work permit is:

  • Valid study permit.
  • Intended employment must be an essential part of program of study in Canada.
  • Employment must be certified as part of the academic program and.
  • Co-op or internship employment cannot form more than 50 percent of the total program of study.
  • No application-processing fee for this work permit.

Working in Canada after Graduation:

Canada has announced changes to Work permits for international students who graduate from eligible programs at certain Canadian post-secondary institutes.

Working in Canada is a possibility after studies as an international student. Under certain conditions, graduating international students may apply to work in Canada for up to three years after graduation.

One of the benefits of studying in Canada is the ability to work in Canada after you complete your studies. This program is designed to provide graduating students with Canadian work experience in their field of study who may work after their graduation.

Post Graduation Work Permit program

International students in Canada can obtain Post Graduation Work Permits upon graduation for up to three years under the Post Graduation Work Permit program. They can obtain an Open work permit, which entitles them to work for any Canadian employer who offers them a job with added flexibility to work outside their field of study. There are no restrictions on the type of employment and no requirement for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Service Canada.

To be qualified for the PGWP program, international students:

  • Be 18 or older when you apply.
  • Should have studied full-time for the eight months preceding the completion of their program of studies and have graduated from:
    • A public post-secondary institution, such as a College, University or CEGEP (in Quebec); or.
    • A private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, and that receives at least 50 percent of its financing for its overall operations from government grants or.
    • A Canadian private institution authorized by provincial or territorial statute to confer degrees.
  • Should apply for a work permit within 180 days of receiving written confirmation in the form of a transcript or an Official letter from the institution that they have met the requirements of the academic program.
  • Should have completed and passed the program of study and received a notification that they are eligible to obtain their degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • No need to have a valid study permit when they apply for the work permit.

If the student’s program of study is less than two years but at least eight months, the student would be eligible for a post-graduate work permit. However, the validity period of the work permit must not be longer than the period of study of the graduate at the particular post-secondary institution in Canada.

The length of study is taken into consideration in determining the validity of the work permit. The work permit cannot be valid longer than the length of time the student studies. For instance, students graduating from a 4 year degree program may be eligible for a three year work permit while students graduating from an eight month program will be eligible for a work permit of eight months duration only. If a student has studied for less then eight months then they are not eligible under this program.

Note: International students who graduate from eligible programs at certain Canadian post-secondary institutes will now be able to obtain a work permit without producing a job offer letter and with no restrictions on the type of employment.

However, Employers seeking to employ open work permit holders are exempt from the requirement to obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Service Canada.

This PGWP program allows most international students who have graduated from an eligible program at a post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience. A minimum of one year of work experience in managerial, professional or technical positions will be required to apply to stay permanently through the Canada Experience Class.

Work permits for students at private institutions:

Students and graduates of private institutions may apply for a work permit to work in Canada. The following conditions apply:

  • Graduated from one of the programs of study leading to a degree as authorized by the province.
  • Student must have a job offer that has been confirmed by Service Canada; and.
  • Student must have a valid study permit in order to apply for a work permit from within Canada.

Work permits for spouses or common-law partners:

A student’s spouse or common-law partner may apply for a work permit if:

  • Spouse is a full-time student at a.
  • Public post-secondary institution.
  • Private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as a public institution, or.
  • A Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees.
  • Spouse has a valid study permit.

Students who are not eligible for Post Graduate Work Permit:

  • Study in a program that was less than eight months long.
  • Studied for more than eight months but not continuously – e.g.: Took a semester off.
  • Foreign students who are not studying at publicly funded post-secondary educational institutions are not eligible.
  • If a student is not enrolled with a participating institution they are not eligible i.e. Institutions that have not signed an off-campus work agreement with their provincial governments.
  • All exchange students, guest students, students enrolled in English or French second language programs, and students who have received awards from the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program, the Government of Canada Awards Program or the Canadian International Development Agency, or students who in the past did not comply with the conditions of their study or work permit, are not eligible for work permits under the PGWP Program.
  • Completed a study program by distance learning either from abroad or from within Canada.
  • Had a Post Graduate work permit following another program of study.

Note: As an international student one must come to Canada with enough money to live and pay their bills while they are studying, without resorting to work. Student should not plan on earning substantial money from a part time job to help pay for studies.

Students should NOT expect that working in Canada while studying will be enough to cover tuition and living expenses. It is also important to consider the academic demands of the program prior to participating in employment. Even if you work off campus, your studies must remain your main purpose for being in Canada.

Free Assessment for Study in Canada

Our Company can assist those who want to study in Canada. If you would like our help, please fill out the Student Assessment Form and we will get back to you with our assessment.

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