Working in Canada while studying at a university or college

September 12, 2021

Very often, students ask universities whether they can work while studying in Canada. According to the new rules, which were introduced by the Government of Canada in June last year, international students who are studying on long-term programs can work 20 hours a week during school time and full-time during the holidays.

International students need to know that there are several types of work while studying at a university or college in Canada. Please note that students whose course duration is up to 6 months cannot work and study. Even though part-time work is financially beneficial for students, they may struggle with submitting all the assignments on time. That’s one of the reasons why students often get help with homework online.

Work on campus: work on the campus of an educational institution

The student has the right to work on the campus of the university or college where he is studying. In this case, there is no need for an additional work permit. You can work on campus if:

• You are a full-time student of a public higher education institution such as a college or university, or the College of General and Vocational Education (CEGEP) of the province of Quebec.

• You are a student of a private higher education institution that operates under the same rules as the state one, and which receives grants for the development of education from the government in the amount of 50% of the total profit.

• You are a student of a private educational institution accredited by the province.

You are only eligible to work on campus if you have a valid student Visa-Study Permit.

Off-campus work

Students who study at colleges and universities in Canada based on a student visa-study permit have the right to work 20 hours a week while studying off-campus and full-time during the holidays.

They do not need to apply for an additional work permit, under the new rules for international students of June 1, 2014.

Requirements for a student to work off-campus:

* A valid study permit;

• Full-time student;

• You must study at an educational institution registered by the Government of Canada: a designated educational institution

• The training program must be at least 6 months long and lead to obtaining a professional diploma, certificate, bachelor’s or master’s degree.

These rules do not apply to those students whose study permit has expired.

Cooperative programs, work within the framework of the curriculum (internship)

Many programs of Canadian colleges and universities include the option of an internship. The purpose of the internship is to allow the student to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom directly in practice, in the real conditions of companies.

To complete the internship, students must obtain a study permit (study permit) and a work permit (work permit).

To obtain a work permit, a student must meet the following requirements:

• The student must have a valid study permit;

* The work should be part of the curriculum;

* Employment must be part of an academic or professional program, and be provided by a Government of Canada registered educational institution, a designated educational institution;

* The duration of the internship or internship should not exceed 50% of the total academic program;

According to the rules, a student does not have the right to work if his program is an English or French language course, or a preparatory program that does not lead to obtaining a diploma or certificate.

This article was compiled based on the materials of the Citizenship and Immigration of Canada (CIC) website. We recommend using only this resource to search for any information related to obtaining visas to stay in Canada, a residence permit, and a work permit.

How do I get a work permit after graduating from a college or university in Canada?

International students who have received higher education in Canada can get a work permit after graduating from a Canadian university. It is issued for a period of 1 to 3 years. The duration depends on the duration of the training. What do I need to do to get A Work Permit After Graduation?

How does it work?

The goal of your study in Canada is not only about getting a diploma. First of all, it is an opportunity to gain practical experience. In simple words – employment according to your degree. Canada allows foreign students, graduates of Canadian universities and colleges to stay for work. You only need to get a special permit. It is called a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

Why do I need a Work Permit After Graduation?

A Post-graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a work permit for graduates of universities and colleges in Canada. It is issued for a period of 1 to 3 years. With this document, you do not need to look for an employer and issue a work permit. The Government of Canada gives you the time to search and work.

A work permit after graduation (PGWP) gives you the work experience that is needed for further registration of a residence permit in Canada and immigration.

For what period can I get a work permit?

A work permit is issued for 1, 2, or 3 years. The basic rule: the duration of the permit is equal to the duration of your training program.

What you need to consider to get a PGWP

  • The duration of training is not less than 8 months
  • In-patient training – full-time
  • Apply for a permit no later than 90 days before the end of the Study Permit
  • You must complete the training program
  • Valid student visa at the time of submission of documents

Please note that not all educational institutions in Canada make it possible for graduates to get a work permit. These are the requirements for universities and colleges:

* Public college, university, vocational college, or CHEGEP (for the province of Quebec);

* A private university that operates according to the same rules as state educational institutions;

* Private educational institutions of the province of Quebec that offer training in programs with an academic load of 900 hours and lead to obtaining a diploma-a diploma of completion of professional training (DEP) or a certificate of professional specialization (ASP) ;

* Canadian private educational institutions that are under the authority of the provincial statute;

There is an opinion among students that they can complete a program of minimal duration and get a work permit for a fairly long period, more than 3 years. This is a false opinion since the Government of Canada has established a rule that a student can obtain a work permit, which in no case should be longer than the study period.

If the official duration of the training program is:

* Less than 8 months – you do not have the right to get a work permit;

* Less than two years, but more than 8 months – the duration of the permit will correspond to the duration of your program (for example, the program will last 9 months and the permit will be issued for 9 months);

* Two years or longer – a work permit can be issued for no longer than three years;

Who does not have the right to apply for and obtain a work permit:

* Students who study in programs lasting up to 8 months;

* Students participating in the scholarship program The Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program, which is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada (DFATD);

* Students participating in the program of the Government of Canada Awards Program, which is funded by DFATD;

* Students who are funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA);

* Students who participate in the Equal Opportunities Scholarship Program, Canada-Chile;

* Students participating in the Canadian-Chinese Academic Exchange Program;

* Students participating in the Organization of American States Scholarship Program;

* Students, participants of the distance learning program;

* Students who previously had a work permit after completing the academic program;


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