Working while Studying in Canada
Working while studying abroad can add value to your overall experience in a new country, and Canada is known to have one of the friendliest policies on work if you’re a study permit holder. If you’re enrolled in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), you’re entitled to work under certain conditions as an international student in Canada.
There are rules that you can Do and Don’t if you have a study permit in Canada. Before you start applying for work, it’s important to note that working part-time in Canada as an international student comes with its own set of rules and regulations.
What to know about working part-time in Canada?
There are some frequently asked questions about working part-time in Canada as an international student. Here are some:
1. How many hours can I work as an international student in Canada?
As a full-time student, you’re not allowed to work more than 20 hours off-campus during the academic year. This is a condition outlined in your study permit, and violating it can have serious consequences on your immigration status, including ruining your chances of getting a permanent resident status after graduation, or the worst case scenario — deportation.
Your main role as a student in a DLI is to complete your courses and graduate in time. You can exceed the 20-hour-per-week cap if you’re working on campus. However, you shouldn’t pack in those hours at your job, as it can detract you from your studies and place additional pressure on your life abroad.
You can only work full-time off-campus during scheduled academic breaks, such as during the summer or winter holidays.
2. How to calculate my working hours in Canada?
You’re responsible for both of the following:
- keeping track of the hours that you work off campus and
- Hours are defined as any time you spend earning wages or collecting a commission, even if you’re on call during these hours and not actually working.
- proving that you’re complying with the conditions of your study permit
- To do this, you must show that you’re
- actively pursuing your studies
- not working more than 20 hours per week
- meeting any other conditions listed on your study permit
- To do this, you must show that you’re
If you are a self-employed student, you’re also responsible for keeping track of the hours you work off campus and proving that you’re complying with the conditions of your study permit.
Hours are calculated as any time you spend doing any of the following:
- earning wages
- being paid wages for performing a service or selling a product
- collecting a commission for performing a service or selling a product
3. What do I need to prepare before applying for a part-time job in Canada?
To work in Canada, you will first need to obtain a SIN number — a nine-digit number issued by the government that gives you access to various government programs and benefits. It’s completely free to apply for a SIN number, and you can apply for it online, in-person or by mail.
You also need a Canadian bank account is also necessary for you to receive your salary. Popular banks among international students include Scotiabank, CIBC, RBC, BMO and Bank of China.
Then lastly is paying taxes. Any Canadian-earned income is taxable in Canada, meaning that a sum of your salary (usually around 15 to 20%) will be automatically deducted. For instance, if you earn CA$1,200 a month, approximately CA$200 will be deducted from your salary. You may also need to report any income earned from outside of Canada.
Contact the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) if you have questions about filing your tax return in Canada. You may be able to get help at free tax clinics too.
4. What jobs are available for international students in Canada?
If you’re working part-time, most jobs that are open to international students will be entry-level positions. These include jobs in retail and merchandising, front desk duties, servers in food and beverage services, as well as baristas in cafes, which are usually located within or near university campuses.
You’re paid by the hour based on the number of shifts you complete within a week, and it’s your responsibility to inform your managers about the limits to your working hours. Try to request for shifts that don’t conflict with your schedule, so you have some time to recharge in between your work and classes.
Keep an eye out for part-time positions within different faculties, such as lab assistants or data entry positions, which are usually listed in the university’s job portal. International students in Canada are eligible for these roles too, and the work is almost always related to faculty research, which helps build your resume for future careers in your field.
5. How can I apply for an Internship and Co-op in Canada?
Landing an internship or co-op placement as an international student in Canada is a true test of your abilities to apply theoretical knowledge from your lectures to the real world. You are eligible to work as a student intern in Canada only if work experience is required to complete your study program.
You can apply to your co-op placement through your school. Many Canadian Colleges partnered with Canadian companies to help their students have a chance to work and practice what they learn from school. It can be a paid internship or an unpaid internship depending on where you are applying at.
Besides expanding your professional network and developing soft skills that are indispensable for the current job market, internships and co-ops boost your odds of getting hired right after graduation, especially if you made a good impression to your employers.You can also get a recommendation letter from your placement manager for your next job.
Besides Colleges sources, You can look out for opportunities on LinkedIn, job sites like Indeed or your university career center to find the right match for your interests and career goals.
6. Can I work in Canada after graduation?
Yes, you can work after graduation as long as you are eligible to apply for PGWP – a Post-Graduate Work Permit. This is a permit that allows you to work as long as your years of study, but not exceeding three years. The PGWP usually is a one-time deal, meaning that you’re not allowed to extend it after it expires. However, on August 2nd, 2022, IRCC announced very good news for PGWP holders whose post-graduation work permits expired or will expire by end of 2022 will have the opportunity to work in Canada for extra 18 months
The new permit will prolong your right to work in Canada, but how much time you’re given will depend on your situation:
If your PGWP is still valid: The extension is granted up to 18 months from the date your current PGWP expires or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
If your PGWP has expired: The extension comes into effect up to 18 months from the date your open work permit is approved, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
Passport validity is important for this application, as it determines how much time you’re granted for the extension. The IRCC advises applicants to have passports that are valid for at least another 18 months before applying for the work permit.
How to change your Visitor Visa to Study Permit in Canada
Visitors inside Canada who wish to apply for a study visa (Study permit) will have to complete a short-term course or program of study that is a prerequisite to their enrolling at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
- Apply for an approved program for their enrolling DLI. Admission Hub offers a variety of courses that included co-op programs and not required IELTS scores.
- Pay the fee for the study permit extension
- Submit your biometrics. Once you’ve paid the application fee, you’ll need to submit fingerprints and a photo of your face (biometrics). You can do this at a biometric collection service point in Canada or in some cases, at a visa application center (VAC) outside of Canada.
- Fill out the study permit application form (Study Permit Extension IMM 5709)
- Attach documents: proof of acceptance into an educational institution, proof that you have enough money to support yourself while you’re studying in Canada (~$10,000 CAD for a stronger case), any police certificates that might be needed, and medical exam results (if required).
- After submitting your application for a study permit online or by mail, wait until you receive confirmation from IRCC before leaving Canada if you plan to travel outside of the country during the process.
About Canada Admission Hub
Admission Hub is one of the largest International Student Immigration Firm based in Toronto & Vancouver. Currently, it operates in the following markets: Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Europe, Vietnam, and India.
Our parent company CVH Immigration Ltd. Admission Hub is helping and supporting International Students around the world to Study, Work, and Immigrate to Canada. We are proud to partner with over +150 Canadian Institutions.
If you want help with your Study Visa application, the first step is to book a CONSULTATION with Admission Hub’s Consultant, share your background and our consultant will reach out to provide you with as much assistance as possible.
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