Work in Canada As An International Student

Canada is home to most international students. Canada is famous for its number of international students studying in the country. According to statistics, about 350,000 international students study at Canadian universities or colleges. There are also thousands of students who travel to Canada for French or English language training, elementary or secondary schools, and short-term programs if these numbers are to be added it is going to be massive. The cost of living in Canada is very moderate, but some bills have to be taken care of. Most international students are confused about how to go about covering these bills. Nevertheless, it is very possible for you to work as an international student while studying in Canada.

Working without a study permit

It is possible that you may study in Canada without a study permit especially if your study program is within a period of six months. If you are studying in Canada without a study permit, it is very unlikely that you will get a job, but if you hold a valid work permit, then you may work.

Working while studying at secondary or elementary schools  

The Canadian immigration law made no provision for students under this category to work in the country, whether you are a minor or not. Although there is an exception, it should be known that studying at an elementary or secondary program does not permit you to work in Canada. 

Nevertheless, there is an exception and you must meet all of the necessary conditions before you are granted the chance to work. They include the following:

You are studying in Quebec

The program is a secondary vocational program leading to a diploma

 The study permit is valid 

You are to work less than 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions, but up to full-time during usual breaks between academic sessions.

If you meet the above conditions, you may work with a work permit on the campus or off-campus.

Working on campus

Finally, we are here. It’s all good news! You can work on the campus of your school if meet the following conditions:

Your school is a university or college.

You must hold a valid study permit.

You must be a full-time student.

The work occurs when you hold a valid study permit.

List of possible areas to work on the campus include:

Teaching assistant (TA)

Barista – working at the school cafĂ©

Administrative assistant – office duties

Library attendant

Mailroom attendant

Research assistant

Fitness or personal trainer at the school gym

Social media assistant


The campus tour guide

Healthcare Students

Working off-campus

You can work off-campus in Canada as an international student if you meet all of these requirements:

you may work off-campus, only if you meet all the following requirements:


You are a full-time student.

Your study permit is valid.

The school is a designated learning institution.

You are taking a post-secondary professional, academic, or vocational program.

You may work full-time during regular school breaks (e.g. the winter break). However, you may only work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions

Working after study completion

Wondering if you can work in Canada after completing your studies as an international student? The answer is yes, but it must be under one of the following conditions:

Transitional situation: 

You have completed your studies.

Your study permit is still valid.

You have applied for a work permit.

The officer has not made a final decision on your work permit application. 

Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP): You hold a valid PGWP.

If you have been in doubt of your chances of surviving in Canada as an international student, then stop thinking negatively. There are lots of opportunities in Canada for you as an international student. Let us know about what you think about surviving in Canada as an international student in the comment box below. 

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