StudyWork in Canada

5 Steps to Work and Study in Canada

It is not uncommon for students to seek out employment while they study, even when they do so overseas. It can be a great way to earn some extra money on the side or gain experience in your field of interest and study. For students opting to take their classes in Canada, there are a few things you should know before you start your job hunt.

Here are 5 steps to working in Canada during your studies:

Step 1: Apply to your university

This step comes before any permit regarding work will be considered. Students must have been admitted to a university in Canada prior to beginning any application for a job in-country.

Step 2: Apply for a Study Permit

Students can either apply online or via written paper for your their permit. To apply online, a student must have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of his or her documents to upload and valid credit card to pay with. The process can be completed here.

For paper submissions, read the instruction guide to get all the details to apply on paper. Once you have read the guide, you can prepare your application package. You must select the country/territory from which you will be applying to get your local visa office instructions.

Step 3: Decide What Type of Work You’re Interested In

Canada has options for students to work while they study in three distinct ways.

  1. The first is off-campus, which includes any position under 20 hours per week that is not considered an internship or co-op (described below), or in any way associated with a student’s degree program.
  2. The second is on-campus, which includes any position under 20 hours per week in a position any university-related capacity, so long as the job is involved with the same university at which the student studies.
  3. The third is internship or co-op, both of which are directly related to a student’s given degree program and result from a partnership between the university and the hiring company. Internships or co-ops contribute to a student’s path to graduation.

Step 4a: Apply for a SIN (Student Identification Number)

Unless you’re working a co-op or internship through your university, you must obtain a student identification number, which can only be obtained after you have received your study permit. The SIN can be acquired through Service Canada, and is required to work in Canada or to get benefits and services from government programs.

To apply for a SIN to work off-campus, you must have one of these conditions printed on your study permit:

  • May work 20 hrs. per week off-campus, or full-time during regular breaks, if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR
  • May accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria

To apply for a SIN to work on campus, your study permit must have these conditions printed on it:

  • May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies
  • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria

Step 4b: Internship and Co-op Permit

For students looking into internship and co-op opportunities, the process is slightly easier, as no SIN is required. Instead, the student’s acceptance letter from his or her chosen university must confirm that a co-op or internship placement is part of the program’s curriculum. The student then only needs to apply for a study permit (see Step 2), and the Canadian government will process the work permit as part of the student’s application.

Step 5: Start earning money and gaining experience

Once a student has completed steps 1-4, they are ready for employment in Canada. Research jobs on or near your desired campus and be ready for your interviews, and make sure they are within the specified guidelines of part-time student jobs, as described above.

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