Working while studying in Canada

Learn about part-time job regulations for international students in Canada.

In this article:

What are the types of jobs available to students?

On-campus jobs

You can take up any part-time job within the campus of your university as soon as you start your classes. You will have multiple employment opportunities like working for the university, a faculty member or a student organisation. You can even start your own small-scale business so long as it is physically present within the campus of your university. 

Even if your university has multiple campuses, in most cases, you will only be permitted to work at the campus where you are studying. You can work at other campuses only if you've taken up roles related to research grants or teaching.

Eligibility requirements

  • You need to be a full-time student at a public post-secondary school or a private college-level school with at least 50% of its expenses funded by government grants or a Canadian private university that has the power to award degrees. 
  • You need to have a valid study permit.
  • You need to have a Social Insurance Number (SIN). You can apply for SIN after arriving.

You need to stop working as soon as:

  • You stop studying a full-time course.
  • Your study permit expires.
  • You’re on authorized leave from your studies.

Off-campus jobs

In most cases, you can work part-time off-campus while studying in Canada without a work permit. Check your study permit beforehand to make sure. You can work for 20 hours per week when school is in session and full-time during vacation and holidays.  

Eligibility requirements:

  • You need to be a full-time student at a Designated Learning Institute (DLI), or you need to be a part-time student at a DLI in your final year.
  • You should be enrolled in a post-secondary academic/vocational/professional training programme or a secondary level vocation training program.
  • Your programme should be at least six months long and must lead to a degree/diploma/certification.
  • You should have a SIN number.

You cannot work off-campus if:

  • Your study permit does not authorize you to work off-campus.
  • You’re enrolled in general interest courses, pre-degree courses, or courses with English/French as a second language.

Co-op jobs and internships

If your course requires you to have work experience as part of the syllabus, you can take up co-op work opportunities or internships after applying for a work permit. 

Eligibility requirements:

  • You need to have a valid study permit.
  • You must be enrolled in a post-secondary academic/vocation/professional training programme or a secondary level vocational training programme offered by a DLI.
  • Your course must lead to a degree/diploma/certification.
  •  The work placement must be an essential part of your course.
  • Your work placement should not form more than 50% of your study program.
  • You need to have a SIN.

If you meet all the requirements, you can go to Canada’s IRCC website to apply for a work permit.

What is SIN and how to apply for it

Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number issued by the government of Canada. You need this number to work part-time and enjoy other government benefits.

To apply, you need to produce your study permit. Note that it should state that you are authorised to work in Canada. If your study permit does not indicate your eligibility to work, you can contact IRCC to verify and add the statement.

Once you have your documents in place, you can fill out the SIN application form and submit it online.