Can International Students Work in Canada?

30 Apr 2024
Canada, known for its diverse culture and welcoming attitude, is a popular destination for international students seeking quality education and new opportunities. If you're considering studying in Canada, you might be wondering whether you can work while you're here. The answer is yes, but there are specific conditions and regulations you need to understand.

Working On-Campus
As an international student in Canada, you are allowed to work on your school's campus without a work permit if you are a full-time post-secondary student at a public college, a private college that operates under the same rules as public colleges, or a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees. This includes working for any business or contractor on the campus premises.

Working Off-Campus
To work off-campus, international students must have a valid study permit and be enrolled full-time at a designated learning institution (DLI). You are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic terms and may work full-time during scheduled breaks, including winter and summer vacations as well as spring break. The ability to work off-campus begins as soon as you start your study program, so there’s no need to wait to apply for a separate work permit.

Co-op and Internships
Some programs require work experience as part of the curriculum. For these co-op or internship positions, international students will need to apply for a work permit in addition to their study permit. To qualify, the employment must be shown to be an integral part of your program of study in Canada.

Post-Graduation Work Permit
After completing your studies, if you're looking to stay in Canada, you may be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). This permit allows you to work in Canada for a period equal to the length of your study program, up to a maximum of three years. The PGWP is a fantastic opportunity to gain Canadian work experience and contributes towards permanent residence applications, should you choose to stay longer.

Compliance and Regulations
It’s crucial to adhere to all work regulations as an international student, as failure to comply can affect both your study and work permits. Always ensure that you maintain full-time status during the academic terms and do not exceed the allowed number of working hours.

Canada offers myriad opportunities for international students to study, work, and eventually settle. If you're ready to explore what Canada has to offer, remember to check the specific requirements of your chosen institution and stay informed about the latest immigration policies to maximize your experience in this beautiful country.


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