Work While You Study In Canada
The Off-Campus Work Permit Program (OCWPP) was terminated on June 1st, 2014, due to regulatory changes to Canada’s International Student Program. International students with a pre-existing Off-Campus Work Permit may continue working, per the terms of their OCWP.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires international students to have sufficient money for their living expenses while studying. However, foreign students also have the option of working while they study in Canada.
International students may now work off-campus without obtaining a work permit. Study permits allow up to 20 hours of off-campus work per week during the academic term, and full-time employment during academic breaks.
International students enrolled in a full-time academic, professional or vocational training program with a designated learning institution in Canada will be:
- eligible to work for an off-campus employer without a work permit;
- permitted to work for an off-campus employer for up to 20hrs per week throughout the regular academic school session and full-time during regularly scheduled academic breaks; and
- eligible for off-campus work immediately upon qualifying for a study permit, instead of waiting six months as was previously required.
*Foreign nationals studying in Canada must remain registered at a designated learning institution, and must obtain a Social Insurance Number from the Government of Canada (Service Canada).
If you hold a pre-existing Canada study permit and OCWP as of June 1st, 2014, you may continue to work as per the conditions of your OCWP, or as per the new regulation (i.e. 20hrs/week during regular academic session and full-time during academic breaks).
When you apply for a Canada study permit after June 1, 2014, the new requirements pertaining to your eligibility to work off-campus will be stated on your study permit.
In either case, students must continue to meet the requirements of their study permit in order to qualify for off-campus work eligibility.
Note: Students participating in English or French as a second language classes (ESL/FSL), or in general interest courses, will not be eligible to work during studies without a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment.
It is the student’s responsibility to confirm his/her eligibility to work off-campus without a work permit prior to employment commencement. Failure to do so appropriately can result in prosecution and fines for the offending employee and employer.
Changes to Co-Op and Intern Work Permits: Co-Op and intern Work Permits will only be available to students whose program of study incorporates a co-op placement or internship employment at a secondary school or other institution designated by a provincial or territorial government. The Co-Op or internship employment portion of the academic program cannot constitute more than 50% (percent) of the total program of study.
Implied Status vis-à-vis Post-Graduation Work Permit: Upon study program completion, candidates who have applied for a Post-Graduation Work Permit are permitted to maintain full-time employment while awaiting a decision on their application.
Spouses of International Students: The spouse, or common-law partner, of an international student may be eligible to apply for a Canadian study permit or an open work permit. The open work permit will be valid for the same duration as his or her spouse’s study permit.