Canada has become a popular destination for international students looking for quality education and work opportunities. While studying in Canada, many students seek part-time employment to support themselves financially and gain valuable work experience. However, working while studying in Canada can be complicated, especially for international students who are not familiar with the country’s laws and regulations. 

This blog post will provide an overview of what international students need to know about working while studying in Canada, including the types of jobs available, the regulations they must follow, and the benefits and drawbacks of working while studying.

Eligibility to Work While Studying in Canada

When it comes to working while studying in Canada, the first thing international students need to know is their eligibility to work. It is important to note that not all international students are allowed to work while studying in Canada. The eligibility to work will depend on the type of study permit the student holds and the conditions attached to it.

There are two types of study permits for international students in Canada: regular study permits and co-op/internship work permits. Regular study permits allow international students to work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as winter and summer holidays. On the other hand, co-op/internship work permits allow international students to work full-time while participating in a co-op or internship program that is a mandatory part of their academic curriculum.

To obtain a study permit, international students must apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and meet certain eligibility criteria. Among other things, they must demonstrate that they have been accepted into a designated learning institution (DLI), have enough funds to support themselves and their dependents during their stay in Canada, and have no criminal record.

Once approved, the study permit will specify the conditions and restrictions for working in Canada. It is important to adhere to these conditions to avoid any issues with immigration authorities. It is also important to note that the validity period of the study permit will determine the duration of time that international students are allowed to work in Canada.

Overall, it is crucial for international students to understand their eligibility to work and the conditions and restrictions attached to their study permit. This will ensure that they can work legally in Canada and make the most of their study experience.

Types of Work Available to Students

International students in Canada are eligible to work part-time while studying, but they must ensure that their study permit allows them to do so. Once they have obtained a study permit that allows them to work, there are several types of jobs that they can consider:

  • On-campus jobs: These are jobs located on the university or college campus where the student is enrolled. Examples of on-campus jobs include working at the campus bookstore, food services, or as a research assistant. These jobs are typically convenient as they are located on campus and may offer flexible hours.


  • Off-campus jobs: These are jobs located outside the university or college campus, and are not associated with the student’s institution. Examples of off-campus jobs include retail or customer service positions, food services, or administrative positions. These jobs may offer more variety in terms of work experience and may pay higher wages than on-campus jobs.


  • Co-op or internship placements: These are paid work placements that are related to the student’s field of study. Co-op and internship placements are typically structured and offer valuable work experience that can be included on a student’s resume. They may also provide an opportunity for the student to make professional contacts and gain industry insights.


  • Self-employment: Some students may choose to start their own business while studying in Canada. However, they must ensure that their study permit allows self-employment and that they comply with all applicable Canadian laws and regulations.

It is important for international students to note that they must not work more than 20 hours per week during the academic session, but they can work full-time during scheduled breaks (such as winter and summer breaks). Additionally, it is important to ensure that their job does not interfere with their studies. Students who work too many hours may struggle to keep up with their coursework and their grades may suffer as a result.

Finding a Job While Studying in Canada

Finding a job while studying in Canada can be a great way to gain work experience, earn extra money, and develop new skills. Here are some tips to help you find a job while studying in Canada:

  • Check with your school’s career center: Many schools have a career center that can help you find job opportunities both on and off campus. They may also offer job search workshops and resume reviews to help you prepare for your job search.


  • Use online job boards: There are many online job boards in Canada that list job opportunities for students. Some popular job boards include Indeed, Workopolis, and Job Bank. You can also search for jobs on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook.


  • Network with people in your field: Networking is a great way to learn about job opportunities and make connections in your industry. Attend career fairs, join professional associations, and reach out to alumni from your school to build your network.


  • Consider part-time or temporary work: Part-time or temporary work can be a good option for students who have a busy class schedule. You can find part-time or temporary work in retail, hospitality, or customer service.


  • Apply for co-op or internship programs: Co-op or internship programs allow you to gain work experience in your field while also earning academic credit. Many schools in Canada have co-op or internship programs that you can apply for.


  • Be proactive: Finding a job while studying in Canada requires effort and persistence. Be sure to follow up on job leads, tailor your resume and cover letter to each job you apply for, and prepare for job interviews.

Remember, as an international student, there are restrictions and conditions for working while studying in Canada. Be sure to check with your school’s international student office or immigration consultant to make sure you are following the rules and regulations.


Rights and Obligations of International Students Working in Canada

International students in Canada have rights and obligations related to working while studying. These include:

  • Labour laws: International students have the same rights as Canadian citizens and permanent residents when it comes to labour laws. They are entitled to a minimum wage, overtime pay, and other benefits.


  • Taxes: International students are required to pay income tax on the income earned while working in Canada. The tax rates for international students are the same as for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.


  • Social Insurance Number (SIN): International students need a SIN to work in Canada. They can apply for a SIN from Service Canada.


  • Work hours: International students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks. This includes summer holidays, winter holidays, and spring breaks.


  • Study obligations: International students are primarily in Canada to study, and their studies must be their top priority. They should not allow work to interfere with their studies.


  • Work permit: International students who have a valid study permit are eligible to work in Canada. However, they do not need a separate work permit to work on campus. To work off-campus, they must obtain a work permit.


  • Compliance: International students are required to comply with all Canadian laws and regulations related to working while studying. Failure to do so can result in the revocation of their study permit and their removal from Canada.

It is essential for international students to understand their rights and obligations when working in Canada to ensure compliance with Canadian laws and regulations.


In conclusion, this article has covered important information for international students who want to work while studying in Canada. We discussed the eligibility requirements for working as a student, including the types of study permits available and the restrictions and conditions for working in Canada. We also explored the different types of work available to students and provided tips for finding a job while studying. Lastly, we discussed the rights and obligations of international students working in Canada.

Working while studying in Canada can be a great opportunity for international students to gain work experience, earn money to cover expenses, and improve their language and communication skills. 

However, it is important to ensure that working does not interfere with academic responsibilities and that all legal requirements are met. We encourage international students to take advantage of the resources available to them and to seek guidance from their institution’s international student office if needed. Overall, working while studying can be a rewarding experience that enhances the Canadian study abroad experience.

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