Convincing Ways to Balance Your Study and Work in Canada

7 min read

Students can be eligible to work while studying in Canada. If you are a Canadian citizen, there's no work limit for you. However, international students who wish to study and work in Canada are eligible to work 20 hours/week during class and as many hours as they wish during study breaks, including reading weeks.   This means you can work for any employer in any occupation throughout Canada, but you must meet a few conditions:

Study and Work in Canada

4 different ways to Study and Work in Canada

There are four different approaches to work and study in Canada for international students.

  1. On-Campus Work

  2. Off-Campus Work

  3. Co-op placements

  4. Internships.

We won’t discuss the co-op placement and internship. Your course coordinator can guide you on this.

Finding Jobs for international students in Canada:

Finding a part-time job as an international student can be very challenging at first. Don’t lose hope. Start looking for a job on your campus, and ask around. Ask your acquaintances if they know of any vacancies. You can check the websites listed below for any job opportunities.







  7. Career Builder

  8. LinkedIn

  9. Indeed

  10. Monster

  11. SimplyHired

Tips: If possible, go to different shops/restaurants, etc., and submit your resumé in person. This way, you will be able to create an excellent first impression. There are plenty of summer jobs in Canada, but start searching in January. Every level of government has them. Even some universities have them.

A guideline to Study and Work in Canada for international students

On-Campus Work

On-Campus means you can work anywhere on your school campus. However, suppose your university has multiple locations? In that case, you can work at the other campuses only if your work is as a teaching assistant or research assistant or is strictly related to a research grant.

You can only have an on-campus job if your study permit says so. Then you can work on campus if:

  • you are a full-time student

  • have a valid study permit and

  • have a social insurance number.

You can’t work on campus if you:

  • Stop studying full time;

  • Study permit expires;

  • Have authorized leave from study;

  • Are switching schools and not studying at the moment.

Your on-campus employers can be:

  • The school

  • Faculty Member

  • A Student Organization

  • Yourself (You running a coffee shop, for example, that is located on campus)

  • A private contractor who provides on-campus services to the school.

It is legal to work more than 20 hours per week on campus.

Off-Campus Work

Off-Campus Work

During school terms or semesters, you can work up to 20 hours per week. You can work full-time if you are on a scheduled break, such as Winter and Summer holidays or a Fall or Spring reading week. You will find enough full-time student work in Canada during the semester break. But you have to be a full-time student after and before the break(s), and you can’t work before you start your first semester.

N.B: There is no hour limit in regards to working full-time.

Off-campus Work Permit Requirements:

  • You are full-time students at a DLI (Designated Learning Institution)

  • You are enrolled in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program or a secondary level vocational training program (Québec Only)

  • Your study program is at least six months long and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.

  • Your study permit says you may work off-campus.

  • You have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) number.

You can also have an off-campus 'work permit' if you are a part-time student:

  • You meet all the above requirements and:

  • You are only studying part-time instead of full-time because you are in the last semester of your study program and don’t need a full course load to complete your program and

  • You were a full-time student in your program in Canada up until your last semester.

You can’t work if you stopped studying full-time or haveb an authorized leave from your studies. Click here for more information.

Who can’t work off-campus?

You won’t have the permission to work off-campus if your study permit doesn't say you are authorized to work off-campus or you are also:

  • Only enrolled in an English/ French language program.

  • You are 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.

Post Graduation Work Permit

Post Graduation Work Permit

The post-graduation work permit is the pillar of the Canadian immigration system. In February 2019, the Canadian Government proposed a few changes: Students do not need a valid study permit when applying for a post-graduation work permit in Canada. The deadline to apply for a post-study work permit has been extended from 90 days to 180days. You can find more information here.

You can also find more information here.

You may be eligible to work full-time if:

  • You applied for a work permit before the expiration of your study permit.

  • Or you are starting a new study program.

Can Your Common-Law Partner Work?

Your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an Open Work Permit if you:

  • Have a valid study permit

  • If you are a full-time student at one of these types of schools:

    • a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Québec

    • a private college-level school in Québec

    • a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees by provincial statute (for example, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate)

Your spouse’s work permit will be valid for the same period as your study permit. To know more about an open work permit for your spouse in Canada, please visit the "Family" section.

How much will you earn from your prospective profession?

The potential earning of international students working in Canada varies from profession to profession. Analyze potential earning between professions or provinces on this website.

Confused about what to study? Avoid wasting time when choosing a career by using this tool which is an unbiased site.

Note: Though these documents are for Canadian Study permit application, you can get a gist of possible documents required for your student visa application. Customize these documents based on your own need.
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Cover Letter
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Forwarding Letter
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Student Financial Planning
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Explanation Letter of Source of Fund
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Explanation on previous Visa Rejection
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Source of Fund (For Businessperson as a sponsor)
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