Work in Canada while you study

As an international student studying full-time in Canada, you may be able to work on- or off-campus without additional work permit if you meet the requirements stated below. However, if co-op or internship is included in your studies, you will have to apply for a work permit.

Working on-campus

You are allowed to work on-campus if you are a full-time student with a valid study permit studying either at a

  • public post-secondary institution, such as a college or university,
  • or a collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) in Quebec, 
  • or private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as a public institution, and receives at least 50 per cent of its financing for its overall operations from government grants (currently only private college-level educational institutions in Quebec qualify), or
  • Canadian private institution authorised by provincial statute to confer degrees.

An important point to note is you must stop working on-campus on the day you no longer meet the above eligibility requirements; that is when you are no longer a full-time student.

Working off-campus

If you qualify to work off-campus, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during your regular academic sessions or full-time during scheduled school vacations like winter, summer holidays and spring break.

To qualify, you must be a full-time student with a valid study permit studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration at a

Likewise, you must stop working on the day you no longer meet the above eligibility requirements; that is when you are no longer a full-time student during an academic session.

Social Insurance Number

To work in Canada, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

To apply for a SIN to work on-campus, you must have the following conditions stated in your study permit: –

  • May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies.
  • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.

Please take not that if the above conditions are not stated in your study permit, you must request for an amendment to your study permit before you can apply for a SIN. This request of free of charge.

To apply for a SIN to work off-campus, you must have the following conditions stated in your study permit: –

  • May work 20 hrs per week off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR
  • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria

Please take not that if the above conditions are not stated in your study permit, you must request for an amendment to your study permit before you can apply for a SIN. This request of free of charge.

However, if you have ‘This permit does not permit the holder to engage in off campus employment in Canada‘ stated in your study permit or there is a change in your program of study, you must apply to change the conditions of your study permit and pay the applicable fee.

For more information on how to apply for a SIN, kindly refer to www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sin/apply/how.shtml.

Think Study Canada Team
All information herein is provided to the best of knowledge at time of research and serves only as reference.