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Working or Traveling as a Student

Working or Traveling as a Student

If you are working or traveling as a student in Canada, should have researched on employment laws for students in Canada. If not, we are here for you. The Government of Canada provides work permit to international students, with which they can work and earn while they study in Canada. This is a great opportunity for international students as they can support their education and living expenses with this income.

The Government of Canada allows international students to work in Canada if their study visa or permit mentions that they are allowed to work either on or off campus. However, working without a legal work permit is prohibited in Canada. The Canadian job market provides both full time and part time jobs for students in Canada. With this, you can gain your work experience in Canada.

An international student can start working off-campus as soon as the classes begin. During regular school semesters, you can get part time jobs in Canada for up to 20 hours a week. And, during scheduled breaks like summer and winter breaks, you can work full-time. If your program doesn’t have scheduled academic breaks, you can’t work more than 20 hours per week. Also, note that you cannot work during a break that comes before you start your very first school semester.

Work On Campus

If you are an international student in Canada, you need to refer to your study permit to identify if you are allowed to work in Canada. But, even if your study permit allows you to work in Canada, you cannot start your work unless your studies begin.

However, in some cases, you can still work on campus as an international student in Canada even if your study permit does not have your work permit. For this, you need to meet the following criteria.

  • If you are a full-time post-secondary student at a:
    • public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
    • private college-level school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools, and is at least 50% funded by government grants, or
    • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law
  • have a valid study permit, and
  • have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Where Can You Work On-Campus?

As the term itself explains, with your permit to work on campus, you need to find a job within your campus premises. In some cases, your school might have more than one campus in the same premise. In this case you’ll be allowed to work only at the campus where you are studying.

But, if you are working as a teaching or research assistant and your work is strictly related to a research grant, you can work in other locations as well.

Who Can Your Work For?

While working on-campus, you can work for:

  • Your school
  • a faculty member
  • a student organization
  • yourself, if you run a business that is physically located on-campus
  • a private business
  • a private contractor that provides on-campus services to the school

Work Off-Campus

You can also work off-campus if you are a part-time student or you are on an authorized leave. Before applying for off-campus jobs in Canada, you need to make sure that your study permit allows you to do so. Just as in case of working on campus, you studies has to be resumed in order to start working on campus.

Criteria for Working Off Campus

Following are the criteria to be fulfilled if you want to work off campus and gain work experience without a work permit:

If you are a full-time student:

  • You should be enrolled in
  • The length of your study program should be
  • at least 6 months long and
  • leads to a degree, diploma or certificate

If you’re a part-time student:

  • you’re only studying part-time, instead of full-time, because:
  • you’re in the last semester of your study program and you don’t need a full course load to complete your program and
  • you were a full-time student in your program in Canada, up until your last semester

If you’re on an authorized leave:

You can also work off campus if you’re on an authorized leave from your studies, or you’re switching schools. But if you’re not studying, you can’t work off campus. You can only return to work once you’re back to studying.

Work as a Co–op Student or Intern

You can also work as a Co-op student or intern as an international student in Canada. Some programs require students to get into Canada internship program as a part of their curriculum.

Who Can Apply for Co-op or Internships

International students in Canada full filling the following criteria can work as co-op or intern:

  • if you have a valid study permit
  • if these works are required to complete your study program in Canada
  • if you have a letter from your school that confirms all students in your program need to complete work placements to get their degree, and
  • if your co-op placement or internship totals 50% or less of your study program

Who Cannot Apply for Co-op or Internships?

You won’t be eligible for a co-op work permit if fall in one of the criteria mentioned below:

  • if you have English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL),
  • if you are taking general interest courses, or
  • if you are taking courses to prepare for another study program.

However, if you want to work in Canada even if you don’t have a work permit, you can apply for a legal work permit in Canada.

Help Your Spouse or Common-law Partner Work in Canada

You may be glad to know that your spouse or common-law partner will also be able to work in Canada. For this, they’ll need to get an open work permit having fulfilled the following criteria:

  • have a valid study permit and
  • are a full-time student at one of these types of schools:
  • a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
  • a private college-level school in Quebec
  • a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree)

Your spouse or common-law partner’s work permit will be valid for the same period of time as your study permit.

Work in Canada after Graduation

You can also work in Canada for up to three years after you have completed your graduation in Canada. You’ll need to obtain a post-graduation work permit to work in Canada after your graduation, if you want to continue to live and work in Canada. You can apply for various jobs in Canada after graduation. There are 2 types of work permits you can obtain if you want to work in Canada after completing your study program:

#1 Open work permits

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer:

  • who is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions or
  • who regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages

#2 Employer-specific work permits

An employer-specific work permit allows you to work according to the conditions on your work permit, which include:

  • the name of the employer you can work for
  • how long you can work
  • the location where you can work (if applicable)

How long is a Post-graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Valid?

The length of your PGWP depends on the length your study program.

  • International students with study program of less than eight months will not be eligible for PGWP.
  • You’ll be eligible for PGWP if your program was more than 8 months but less than 2 years. In this case, the length of your PGWP will be valid for up to the same length as your study program.
  • If your program was 2 years or more, you’ll be provided with PGWP for 3 years.
  • If you completed more than 1 program the length of your PGWP will be equal to the combined length of each program. For this, each of the programs you completed must be
    • Eligible for PGWP and
    • at least 8 months in length
  • You can’t get a PGWP if you already had one after completing an earlier program of study.

So, if you are planning to study in Canada and lack knowledge on employment opportunities in Canada, you can always contact us.  We will also assist you in finding jobs in Canada after graduation. Canadian Study Center is an education consultancy in Nepal that guides Nepalese students in finding the best universities in Canada. The consultancy has a team of experts who have years of experience in visa counseling, documentations, reviewing SOPs and preparing complete visa applications of Canada . Thus these competences makes Canadian Study Center the best education consultancy in Nepal for Canada.