Who can work off campus?
International students who are enrolled in a full-time program at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada may be eligible to work on or off campus while they are studying.
To be eligible to work off campus, students must be enrolled in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program or a secondary-level vocational training program in Quebec, and their study program must be at least six months long and lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate. Part-time students may also be eligible to work off campus if they are in their final semester of study and were full-time students previously.
To work in Canada, students must have a valid study permit and a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Full-time students can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic term and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as winter and summer holidays. From November 15, 2022 until December 31, 2023, students who have applied for or received a study permit before October 7, 2022 and have an off-campus work authorization on their study permit can work more than 20 hours per week while class is in session. Students who do not meet these criteria can only work up to 20 hours per week. Working more than the allowed number of hours per week is a violation of a student’s study permit conditions and can result in the loss of their immigration status.
Who can’t work off campus?
“You are not allowed to work off campus without a work permit if any of the following apply to you:
If any of these situations apply to you and you want to work while studying in Canada, you need to apply for a work permit.
If your study situation changes and you were previously not eligible to work off campus, you may be able to change the conditions of your study permit. You can apply to change the conditions if:
To change the conditions on your study permit, you must apply for a new study permit from within Canada. When you apply online, you will receive a personalized checklist that includes the Application to Change Conditions, extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Student [IMM 5709]. On this form, check the box to “Apply for a study permit for the first time or extend my study permit” and complete the rest of the required fields. Along with your application, include a letter explaining why you need the condition removed from your study permit. There is a fee for changing the conditions on your permit. You must change the conditions on your permit before you can apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN).”
Working after you complete your study program
After you complete your study program, there are two ways you may be able to work full-time:
To work full-time, you must meet all of the following requirements:
Students who have completed a program of study and will be starting a new program of study within 150 days of receiving written confirmation of program completion from their current institution may work off campus on a full-time basis until the start of their new program if the following criteria are met:
If the new program of study starts more than 150 calendar days after the first date they receive written confirmation of program completion from their current institution, the student is eligible to work off campus only during the first 150 consecutive days after the first date they receive written confirmation of program completion. They should then either apply to change their status (e.g. to visitor status) or leave Canada until their new program commences.
Students who have applied to extend their stay in Canada as a student are required to stop working if their study permit application is refused.
Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)
The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a work permit that allows international students who have graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada to work in Canada for up to three years after completing their studies.
To be eligible for a PGWP, you must:
If you meet these eligibility requirements, you can apply for a PGWP by completing the appropriate application form and submitting it, along with any required documents and the applicable fee, to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Length of the post-graduation work permit
The validity period of the post-graduation work permit must not exceed the expiration date of the applicant’s passport. If the applicant’s passport is set to expire before the requested validity period of the work permit, the officer should note this in the “Notes” section of the Global Case Management System. In this case, the applicant will need to apply for a work permit extension once they have renewed their passport in order to receive the full validity period of the work permit.
Please note that post-graduation work permits can only be extended if the original permit was issued with a shortened validity period due to the expiration date of the applicant’s passport.