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Working While Studying in Canada

How to work while studying in Canada? – Benefits and Opportunities

by Anamika Sharma

Working while studying is an important aspect of studying abroad for most of the international students. Since studying abroad can seriously put a dent on a student’s pocket, working while studying relieves that strain on student’s budget. It helps them manage their living cost and makes their stay pleasant in a foreign land. One of the popular destinations to study abroad among Indian students is Canada where the concept of working while studying depends upon the visa/study permit the students hold. The international students pursuing an education in Canada can work on-campus and in some exceptional cases, off-campus as well.

In this article, we have covered information in regards to working while studying in Canada. Get to know about the work permits that are issued to international students to work while studying, the benefits of working while studying, how many hours can international students work in Canada and other details.

Working while studying in Canada – Key Benefits

Before going into visa details and work permits however, let’s read the benefits of working while studying in Canada as enumerated below.

  • Working while attending college helps students pay off their study loan, if any, rather quickly. And, if a student is not burdened down with education loan, he/she can earn money for extra spending or learn to manage finances.
  • Working while studying helps students learn time management and prioritization. They get to learn how to manage their classes and study time along with managing their job by creating a balanced plan.
  • Not only do students earn extra money, but they also get to acquire real-world experience. Having work experience while studying shows a student’s ability to balance work with life.
  • Gaining work experience while studying adds advantage to the professional resume of students and they get to learn some important soft skills and do some networking that could be profitable for their future career.

Working while studying in Canada – Eligibility to Work in Canada

In order to work in Canada while pursuing education, the international students must have their study permit with a condition which states that they can work on or off campus in Canada if they meet all the requirements. Also, the candidates must keep in mind that they cannot start working until their studies begin.

Let’s explore the eligibility conditions for working on and off campus in Canada while studying.

Work on campus

As has already been mentioned above that an international student can only start working in Canada when he/she starts his/her study program. The student can start working if his/her study permit has a condition mentioned in it that the student is allowed to work. They can work for up to 20 hours per week during their regular academic sessions. However, during scheduled breaks such as summer/winter/spring break, the students can work full-time for that duration only.

Given below are the conditions which allow international students to work on school campus if they do not have a work permit.

  • The candidate must be a full-time post-secondary student at a public college/university or CEGEP in Quebec or be enrolled at a private college-level school in Quebec that has the same rules as that of a public school and receives at least 50% of government grant.
  • The students studying at a Canadian private school which can legally award degrees under provincial law are also eligible to work without the work permit.
  • The students must have valid study permits.
  • The international candidates must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Also, look at the points given below to know where and who the students can work for.

  • The international students can work at all the buildings on their school campus subject to the availability of work there. If the school has more than one campus, the students are most likely to work where they are studying.
  • The students can work at other locations if they are working as a teaching/research assistant or if their work is strictly related to a research grant. In this case, the students can either work at a library, hospital or a research facility which is associated with the candidate’s educational institution.
  • Moreover, the students can work for school, faculty members, student organisations, private business or a private contractor that provides on-campus services to the institution.
  • The students can also run their own business such as a coffee shop, provided it is located on campus.

Read ‘Cost of Living in Canada for International Students‘ to get the general idea of how much money it would cost you for studying in Canada

Work Off Campus

The condition to work off-campus in Canada is similar to that of on campus. Also, the working hours for international students is 20 hours a week during regular school semesters and full-time during scheduled school breaks like winter and summer breaks.

Read the list of conditions given below that allows international students to work off campus if they do not have a work permit.

  • The candidates must have a valid study permit which states that the students can work off campus.
  • The candidates must be full-time students enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
  • The students must be pursuing post-secondary academic/vocational /professional training program or secondary-level vocational training program (in Quebec only).
  • The international students must have started their course of study before starting their off-campus work.
  • Also, the duration of study programs pursued by students must not be of less than 6 months and should lead to a degree/diploma/certificate.
  • Furthermore, the candidates must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • Part-time students are eligible to work off campus only if they are studying in part-time mode because they are in the last semester of the program and have been a full-time student in their program in Canada, up until the last semester. Also, the reason for students to opt for part-time study should be that they didn’t need a load of full course to complete the program.
Do you know how to apply for “Canada Student Visa“? Read the article to know the current visa process.

Work as an Intern/Co-op Student

Working while studying as an intern or co-op student requires a student to acquire work permit. Also, the study program of a student must include a required co-op or internship placement in it. As for application process, if it is mentioned in a student’s acceptance letter that a co-op/internship is part of the study program, then applying for study permit is enough as the work permit gets processed as part of the student’s application. Given below are the requirements a student needs to fulfil in order to apply for co-op/intern work permit.

  • The candidate must have a valid study permit.
  • The study program must specify that it requires a student to work as intern or co-op to complete the course.
  • The students must be having a confirmation letter from their institution which should state that all students need to complete work placements to get their degree.

The internship or co-op must amount to 50% or less of the total program of study.

Also, read ‘Study Loan for Canada‘ to know about various financial institutions that can help fund your study abroad with ease.

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