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Work and Study in Canada: Eligibility, …

Work and Study in Canada: Eligibility, Hours, and Job Types

Working While Studying Student in Canada

One of the biggest benefits of picking Canada as your study destination is that you can work while studying. However, there are a few things you need to know before you can start working. Without a work permit, most international students in Canada are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during specified breaks.

Working can be an excellent opportunity for international students studying in Canada to get experience, network, and make extra money to pay the bills. There are limits on who can work while studying in Canada and the kinds of jobs they can hold. Students in Canada are paid the minimum wage, which ranges from $10.25 to $15 per hour, or roughly $400 to $1,000 per month.

Here’s what you need to know:

Eligibility

Before starting to work, you must confirm that you can work while studying in Canada. If you do so without eligibility, you risk being asked to leave the country. Your ability to work on- or off-campus will be outlined in your study permit.

If international students complete all of these requirements, they can work on campus without a work permit. Note that you must end all work on campus when your full-time studies program ends.

  • You are a full-time post-secondary student.
  • You have a valid study permit.
  • You have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Without a Social Insurance Number, you cannot work in Canada. Government organizations use your SIN number to identify you. You need it in order to pay taxes and use government services. Additionally, when you begin a job, businesses require you to present your Canadian Social Insurance Number. The application for a SIN is free.

One of the following requirements must be listed on your study permit for you to apply for a Social Insurance Number to work on campus:

  1. If eligible, may accept employment on and off campus.
  2. The holder of this permit is not permitted to work off-campus in Canada. May only accept jobs on campus if they match the requirements.

If these requirements aren't included in your study permit, but you're qualified to work on campus, you can request that they be added. These conditions can be added to your permit at no additional cost.

Job Types

On-Campus

Any jobs that are located in buildings on your school's campus are considered to be on-campus jobs. You can only work on the campus where your studies are taking place if your school has more than one campus. However, if you're a teaching or research assistant or if your employment is associated with research funding, you may be able to work at other places.

Your school, a staff member, a student organization, a private contractor that offers on-site services, or even if you own a business with a physical presence on campus can all be considered on-campus employers. The amount of hours you can work on campus is unlimited.

You can work on-campus without a work permit if:

  • You’re a full-time post-secondary student.
  • You have a valid study permit.
  • You have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

If you stop taking classes full-time, your study permit expires, you change schools, or you are not actively enrolled in classes, you are not permitted to work on campus.

Off-Campus

You can often work up to 20 hours per week during regular school terms or semesters if you meet all of the requirements for off-campus employment. You are free to work more hours or take on two part-time jobs that total more hours than normal during school breaks, such as the winter or summer holidays.

The 20-hour/week restriction has been temporarily lifted from November 2022 to December 2023. During this time, international students studying in Canada may work off-campus for an additional number of hours. Subject to the maximum permissible limit under the provincial employment standards, which is typically between 40 and 48 hours per week.

You can work off-campus without a work permit if:

  • You’re a full-time student at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
  • You’re enrolled in post-secondary education.
  • Your study program is at least six months long, leading to a degree.
  • You have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

To be eligible, you must be enrolled in school full-time before and after a break. The summer breaks that come before and after your study period are excluded.

Co-op or Internship

Academic internships usually go unpaid, while co-ops are typically paid. However, some academic programs also require work experience.

You can apply for a co-op or internship work permit if:

  • You have a valid study permit.
  • Your study program requires work experience.
  • 50% or less of your study program consists of your co-op or internship.

You don’t qualify for a co-op or internship if you’re taking one of the following courses:

  • English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL).
  • General intern courses.

If you are not qualified for a co-op work permit, you will need a work permit in order to work in Canada.

Related: Top 10 High-Paying Jobs in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Are Students Paid in Canada?

On average, students get paid $10 per hour in Canada. Students are typically paid per hour for part-time jobs

Can I Work in Canada After I Graduate?

As long as you are qualified, you can apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from within Canada. After graduating, you have up to 180 days to submit an application for a PGWP.

Do Working Students Pay Tax in Canada?

Yes, students in Canada must annually pay income taxes on their taxable income.

How Many Hours Is Part-Time in Canada?

The Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) defines part-time work as 30 hours a week.

Can I Get a Work Permit While Studying in Canada?

Yes, under International Experience Canada (IEC), you can have two valid permits at once.

Is It Hard to Find Part-Time Jobs in Canada for International Students?

No, international students have no difficulty finding part-time work in Canada. There are many opportunities for part-time employment, both on and off campus.

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