International students with a valid study permit may work while studying in Canada without a work permit. Spouses/Common-law partners of foreign students can also work in Canada while their spouse is studying. The spouse can apply for an Open Work Permit which allows them to work in any job without restriction.

Work On-Campus

Student can work on school campus, without a work permit, if student:

is 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

o has a valid study permit, and
o has a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

An “on-campus” employer can be:
the school
a faculty member
a student organization
yourself, if:

  • you run a business that is physically located on-campus (for example: you own a coffee shop that is located on campus)

a private business
a private contractor that provides on-campus services to the school

Working Off-Campus

Students can only start working in Canada when they start their study program and not before the studies begin.
Students can work off-campus, without a work permit, if they meet all of these requirements:
a valid study permit that includes a condition that says you can work off-campus
a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)
enrolled in a:

  • post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program, or
  • secondary-level vocational training program (Quebec only)

started studying
the study program

  • o is at least 6 months long, and
  • so leads to a degree, diploma or certificate

have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

A part-time student can work off-campus only if meet all of the requirements above and only studying part-time, instead of full-time, because the student:
is in the last semester of the study program
was a full-time student in the program in Canada, up until the last semester
does not need a full course load to complete your program

Permitted hours of work off-campus.
During regular school semesters:
up to 20 hours

During scheduled breaks, like during winter and summer holidays:
work full-time

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