Want to Study AND Work in Canada? You Can Do Both!

By Concordia University Modified on March 03, 2020
Tags : Careers

Immerse yourself in Canadian life by working either on campus or in the community.

A Concordia University student works at a construction trade co-op while studying in Canada.

Many international students studying in Canada are eligible to apply for work either on-campus or in the community during their studies. Working while studying is an excellent way to get to know the world beyond your school, to meet new people, and of course, to earn extra money. You won't need a work permit; in many cases, your Study Permit will indicate that you're eligible to work. You will, however, need to get a Social Insurance Number in order to get a job, whether you plan to work on campus or off.

In most cases, international students with an eligible Study Permit can work up to 20 hours per week off campus — and full-time during school breaks.

Check Your Eligibility

You need to have begun your full-time studies in order to get a job. Your Study Permit must be valid, and must include the following statement: "Student may accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186 (f)".

In some cases, your Study Permit won't include working eligibility. In these cases, it's possible to request to amend your Study Permit. You'll have to make that request with the Government of Canada prior to applying for your Social Insurance Number.

Get a Social Insurance Number

Everyone who works in Canada is required to have a nine-digit Social Insurance Number. This number identifies you within the country's tax system. To apply for a SIN, you will need to visit the Service Canada Service Centre nearest to you. There is no fee for a SIN, but you will need to present the following documents:

  • The original copy of your Study Permit
  • Your passport

Know the Guidelines for Working

International students must be enrolled full-time in a degree program at a Designated Learning Institution in order to be able to work. However, if you're in your final semester of classes, and you've completed your course requirements and are therefore only enrolled part-time, you will still be eligible to work.

Co-ops and Internships

Some universities, including Concordia University in Montreal, offer co-op programs, where students are placed in jobs relevant to their fields of study. You will need a Study Permit to work a co-op job or internship, but you will not need to apply for a SIN.

On Campus or Off Campus?

There are benefits to working either on or off campus. On campus jobs in labs, cafeterias, and gyms are a convenient way to earn money while staying close to your existing school routines. Off campus jobs offer a new perspective on your chosen home, and can expose you to members of the general public that you wouldn't otherwise meet while working on campus.

Learn more about Concordia University!

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