- Working in Canada
- Social Insurance Number
- Working On-Campus
- Working Off-Campus
- Co-op and Internship Programs
- Post-Graduation Work Program
- Checking the Status of Your Application
- Spouses of International Students
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Northern Lights: International Graduates of Canadian Institutions and the National Workforce (a report)
Citizenship and Immigration Canada states that:
As an international student "you must come to Canada with enough money to live and pay your bills while you are studying, without needing to work. In certain situations, you may be able to work while you are studying. Working will help you earn extra money and gain Canadian work experience."
Students should therefore ensure that they have the funding level required by Citizenship and Immigration before entering university studies and should NOT expect that working in Canada while studying will be enough to cover tuition and living expenses. It is also important to consider the academic demands of your program prior to participating in employment particularly if it is your first year of university studies in Canada.
As a general rule, anyone who is not a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident must have a Work Permit for all work in Canada. Normally, under the Foreign Worker Regulations, an employer has to prove that there are no qualified Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents suitable for the position. This is done through the HRSDC (Human Resources and Skill Development Canada) labour market opinion and confirmation process. However, there are some special exemptions which apply to international students.
International students in the categories below may be granted permission to work without needing HRSDC (Human Resources and Skill Development Canada) Confirmation (i.e., without being subject to the availability of Canadian workers.)
Once You Are Employed as a Worker: Know Your Rights
All workers in Ontario are protected by the Employment Standards Act, a government document which states the minimum workplace standards that employers are legally required to follow. This includes the minimum amount of money a worker must be paid (minimum wage), the number of breaks a worker is entitled to during a work shift, illness and safety issues, as well as a number of other topics.
For more information about the Employment Standards Act, visit: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/faqs/general.php
NOTE - If you want to work in Canada, you must have a Social Insurance Number regardless of the type or duration of your work term. An employer cannot pay you until you have this number. For more information, please visit Social Insurance Number.
International students who hold a valid Study Permit may look for and accept employment on-campus provided they are in attendance and registered as full-time students at the post-secondary institution where the employment will take place. In this case, a Work Permit is NOT required.
"On-campus" employment is defined as employment in facilities owned, leased, or rented by the educational institution (for example it can be a private business located on-campus that provides service to the institution).
ISWOP (International Student Work Opportunities Program) is an on-campus employment program for international undergraduate (main campus degree) students which was piloted in 2005. ISWOP provides students with financial assistance through paid part-time employment on the campus.
For further information including application deadline and eligibility requirements, visit the ISWOP page.
We are pleased to announce the launching of the national Off-Campus Work Permit Program. The program enables eligible full-time international students to be able to apply for an off-campus work permit.
For more information, visit OFF-CAMPUS WORK PERMIT PROGRAM.
International students whose course of study requires that they complete a work component in order to graduate and receive their degree will be permitted to accept employment, either on-campus or off-campus. The internship or co-op work cannot form more than 50% of the total program of study. A Work Permit is required. To apply for a Work Permit, you will need a letter from your Faculty as proof that the employment is an essential part of your course of study and is a requirement of your degree. On your Work Permit, the University will be listed as your employer and the expiry date will match that of your Study Permit. The normal processing fee will NOT be charged in this case. You must obtain a Work Permit prior to starting your employment.
NOTE: In order to participate in this type of co-op or internship experience, you must apply for a Co-op Work Permit; you cannot use an Off-Campus Work Permit to participate in this type of work experience.
For more information on the Co-op Work Permit, please visit:http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work-coop.asp
To download the application kit for a Co-op Work Permit and order the Fees Receipt, visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/work-students.asp
All applications must be mailed to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta. The local Immigration Office will NOT process applications.
Type of Work Permit applications:
Send your application to:
Student work permit extensions (includes Co-op, Off-Campus Work Permits and Internships)
Citizenship and Immigration Work Permit
New Student work permits (includes Co-op, Off-Campus Work Permits, Internships and Post-Graduation Work Permits)
Citizenship and Immigration Work Permit
International students who have completed their program of study at a post-secondary institution in Canada of at least 8 months in length may participate in the Post-Graduation Work Program, which is designed to provide students with work experience. For more information on Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, visit: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/int/visa/index.html?pgwp
You can check the status of your Work Permit application by calling the Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Call Centre at the following toll-free telephone number: 1-888-242-2100. Their automated telephone service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have a touch-tone telephone, you can listen to pre-recorded information about Citizenship and Immigration programs, order an application kit, and check the status of your application. You can also speak directly to a Call Centre Agent by pressing "0" at any time during your call. Agents are available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., local time. Since call volumes are higher on Mondays and Tuesdays, you are encouraged to contact the Call Centre later in the week.
For information or assistance with the Canadian job search process, talk to the staff a International and Exchange Student Centre and/or The Student Success Centre. Visit The Student Success Centre for a number of programs and services, which includes a Job Listing Service on their web page called Western CareerCentral, with listings for jobs both on-campus and off-campus and a list of Potential On-Campus Employers.
- International Students and Job Searching
- Working in Canada Presentation
- Resume and Cover Letter Writing Workshops for ESL and International Students
- Understanding Canadian Culture
- Interview Strategies for International Students
Note: The Work Study Program on-campus in not available to international students. However, for information on the International Student Work Opportunities Program (I.S.W.O.P.), please visit the following website: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca/int/services/index.html?ISWOP
Contact us by e-mail at email@example.com, by telephone at 519-661-2111 ext. 85908, or in person (by dropping by the International and Exchange Student Centre, WSS 2120). You can also book an appointment to meet with an International and Exchange Student Centre's staff member by calling 519-661-3031 or visiting SDC's Reception in WSS 4112.
Last Updated: September 4, 2012
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All information disclosed by students to IESC will be kept confidential. It will not be shared with family, university staff, course instructors, or others without written permission and will not become part of academic records.
The International and Exchange Student Centre is experienced in working with diverse populations.