Working and studying as an international student:
Foreign students who own a valid Canada study permit, and are enrolled in any Canadian educational institution, have varied options when it comes to working in Canada. Most jobs will not require students to get a work permit, but most off-campus jobs do require a work permit, though some are subject to certain exemptions.
Below is a list of Canada work permit options for students:
- On-campus work permit exemption: Foreign students who are studying full-time with a valid Canada study permit do not require a work permit.
- Off-campus work permits: Foreign students studying full-time on a valid Canada study permit may be authorized to work off-campus if their college participates in an off-campus work permit program through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
- Co-op programs and internship work permits: This applies to foreign students who are studying in a program that requires having work experience through a co-op or internship program.
- Post-graduate work permits: : Foreign students who have graduated from an academic program in Canada that lasted a minimum of eight months may qualify for a post-graduate work permit.
- Work permits for the spouse of a foreign student: : A spouse accompanying a foreign student on a valid Canada study permit is also entitled to a Canadian study permit or an open work permit that does not require a job.
Advantages of choosing Canada as your study destination:
- Most international students in Canada can work for up to 20 hours per week, and full-time during scheduled breaks, without a work permit.
- Working while studying can help you support yourself and meet new people and build connections that could make you stand out in your job hunt later.
The process after studying:
Once you’ve finished your studies, you may need to stop working in Canada immediately. However, there are several ways you may continue working under different conditions:
- If you plan to stay and work in Canada, you may be able to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), allowing you to work anywhere in Canada for any employer for up to three years after you graduate. If you’re eligible, you need to apply within 180 days of receiving written confirmation that you’ve finished your study program.
- If you are starting a new study program, you can continue working with the study programs if you:
- Are eligible to work off-campus during your previous study program
- Still have a valid study permit, or applied for an extension before your permit expired
- Have received written confirmation from the college that you completed your program
- Have received a letter of acceptance to a new full-time study program at a DLI; and will start your new study program within 150 days of receiving confirmation that you completed your previous program.
- If you don’t apply for the PGWP and then decide you want to come back to work temporarily.
For further information about our immigration services, or to speak to our consultant, give us a call today, we are more than capable of helping you, and providing you with the best possible solution. Let us make your dream a reality.
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