Work Permit for Students

It is possible to work in Canada, while you are here as a student, under any Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC’s) work programs for students. In most cases, you will need to apply for a student work permit.

Off-Campus Work Permit

International students are now able to work off campus.  Once you have been a full time student for 6 months and if you have maintained good academic standing – you can apply for an Off Campus Work Permit.

Eligibility Criteria

If you want to work off campus while you study in Canada, you must be registered as a full-time student at an eligible post-secondary educational institution participating in the Off-Campus Work Permit Program. It is illegal for you to work in Canada with an invalid work permit. The work permit will be invalid if you do not meet the eligibility requirements of the Off-Campus Work Permit Program.

To be eligible for an Off-Campus Work Permit, you must:

  • have a valid study permit
  • study at a participating institution
  • have been a full-time student for at least six of the 12 months preceding the date of your work permit application
  • be in satisfactory academic standing (find out more about satisfactory academic standing in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page) and
  • sign a form authorizing the institution, the province, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to share your personal information (to confirm that you are continuing to study full time and that you are in satisfactory academic standing)
  • for further information contact us

 You are not eligible to apply for an Off-Campus Work Permit if you are:

  • participating in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT)
  • participating in a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by DFAIT
  • receiving funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
  • participating in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship Program, Canada-Chile
  • participating in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program
  • participating in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
  • attending a participating institution and registered in either an English as a Second Language or French as a Second Language program
  • a visiting or exchange student
  • For further information contact us

Work as a co–op student or intern

For some academic programs, work experience is part of the curriculum. Foreign students who wish to participate in a co-op or internship program must apply for a work permit as well as a study permit.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • You must have a valid study permit
  • Your intended employment must be an essential part of your program of study in Canada
  • Your employment must be part of your academic program, certified by a letter from a responsible academic official of the institution
  • Your co-op or internship employment cannot form more than 50% (percent) of the total program of study
  • For further information contact us

Post-graduation work permit

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) issues work permits to foreign post-secondary students who wish to remain temporarily in Canada after graduation to work in their field of study.

Work permits issued under the PGWP program can be valid for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years. The study program must be at least for 8 months.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must have studied full-time for the eight months preceding the completion of their program and must have graduated from:
    • a public post-secondary educational institution (university, college, or CEGEP)
    • a Private post-secondary educational institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, and receives at least 50 per cent of its financing for operations from government grants
    • a Canadian private educational institution authorized by provincial or territorial statute to confer degrees
  • Must apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation from their academic institution that they have met the requirements of their program
  • Must have completed and passed the program of study and received written notification that they are eligible to obtain their degree, diploma, or certificate
  • Must have a valid study permit when applying for the work permit
  • For further information contact us

Contact us at any of the VisaDay Offices for precise and reliable advice or fill the online assessment form for a quick review of your case. VisaDay commits to get back to you within 24 business hours.