As an international student, you are able to work off-campus without a work permit while completing your studies if:
- You have a valid study permit;
- You are a full-time student in a designated learning institution (a post-secondary program, or in Quebec at a vocational program at the secondary level as well);
- Your study program is academic, vocational or professional, it lasts at least six months and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.
- You are only working up to maximum 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions, and full time during scheduled breaks (for example, winter and summer holidays or spring break).
Certain study programs include work requirements such as co-op or internships. In such cases, a work permit is required in order for the foreign student to be able to complete the work.
Off-Campus Work – without a work permit in Canada
Some foreign students may work off campus without a work permit in Canada for up to 20 hours a week during a regular academic semester. These students may also work full time during scheduled breaks such as summer/winter holidays and reading week. This exception only applies in cases where:
- The student holds a valid study permit.
- The student is a full time student enrolled at a designated learning institution. Note: A foreign part-time student will still be allowed to work off-campus if they are in their final semester and the course load required to complete the program of study during the final semester is part-time.
- The program in which the student is enrolled is a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program, or a vocational training program at the secondary level offered in Quebec.
- The program of study is at least six months or more in duration and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.
- The student continues to fulfil the terms and conditions of their study permit.
- The student works no more than 20 hours a week during a regular academic semester.
Foreign students are ineligible for this exception if they:
- Are a visiting or exchange student.
- Are registered in a general interest program.
- Are registered in an English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program.
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Students who are registered as full-time students during summer semesters (May to August) may only work up to 20 hours per week during that period.
Some intensive programs may not have scheduled breaks. Students participating in these programs may thus only work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the entire program of study.
There are no legal restrictions preventing students from working on-campus in addition to working the maximum 20 hours per week off-campus.
If the staff at a designated learning institution goes on strike during a semester, foreign students of that learning institution who have been working off campus must continue working a maximum of 20 hours a week and may not work full-time.
Foreign students can continue to work off-campus after graduation as long as they continue to hold their study permit and have applied for a post-graduation work permit within 90 days following the completion of their program of study. If their post-graduation work permit is rejected, foreign students must cease working immediately.