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International students in Canada are privileged to work while they study in Canada if they meet the regulation and act conditions.  An International student can

Work on campus

An international student can work in Canada if your study permit lists a condition that says you’re allowed to work on- or off-campus.


An applicant can work on school campus, without a work permit, if you:

  • are a full-time post-secondary student at a

    • public post-secondary school, such as a college, university, trade or technical school, or CEGEP in Quebec

    • private post-secondary school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec

    • private or public secondary or post-secondary institution in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to a diploma of vocational studies (DVS) or an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS)

    • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate), but only if the student is enrolled in a study program leading to a degree authorized by the province. This may not include all programs of study offered by the private institution.

  • have a valid study permit, and

  • have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Who can’t work on campus

An applicant must stop working on-campus:

  • on the day you stop studying full-time, unless you’re in your final semester and you meet other requirements

  • when your study permit expires

  • if you’re on an authorized leave from your studies

  • if you’re switching schools and aren’t currently studying

You can return to work only once you’re back to studying and you meet all the requirements to work on-campus.

Work on campus

Work off campus

In order to work off-campus an applicant has to meet:

  • you’re a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)

  • you’re enrolled in

    • a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program or

    • a secondary-level vocational training program (Quebec only)

  • your study program

    • is at least 6 months long and

    • leads to a degree, diploma or certificate

  • you’ve started studying

  • you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Who can’t work off campus

You can’t work off campus without a work permit if any of these situations apply to you:

  • your study permit says you aren’t authorized to work off campus while you study

  • you’re only enrolled in an English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program

  • you’re only taking general interest courses

  • you’re only taking courses required to be accepted into a full-time program

  • your situation changes and you no longer meet all of the requirements to work off campus

Work off campus

Work as a co-op student

Some study programs include work experience as part of their curriculum. You can apply for a co-op or intern work permit if:

  • you have a valid study permit

  • work is required to complete your study program in Canada

  • you have a letter from your school that confirms all students in your program need to complete work placements to get their degree, and

  • your co-op placement or internship totals 50% or less of your study program

Who's not eligible

You aren’t eligible for a co-op work permit if you’re taking one of the following:

  • English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL),

  • general interest courses, or

  • courses to prepare for another study program.

Work as a co-op student

Work after graduation

After you graduate from your program of studies, you may be able to work temporarily or even live permanently in Canada. Graduates of certain designated learning institutions are eligible Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). The work experience you gain while working may help you qualify for permanent residence. You have up to 180 days after you graduate to apply for a PGWP.

Please note that these requirements are not exhaustive. Consult our office for detailed requirements if you are looking to apply for a work permit

work after graduation

Call us today at 1-844-727-8326 for an assessment to see if you are eligible to come to Canada, or complete our online assessment form.

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