Work on campus

Who can work on-campus

You can only start working in Canada when you start your study program. You can’t work before your studies begin.

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

You can work on your 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 or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
    • private college-level school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools, and is at least 50% funded by government grants, or
    • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law
  • have a valid study permit, and
  • have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Who can’t work on campus

You must stop working on-campus:

  • on the day you stop studying full-time
  • 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.

Where you can work

“On-campus” means you can work at all the buildings on your school campus. If your school has more than one campus, you may only work at the campus where you’re studying in most cases.

You can work at other locations if

  • you’re working as a teaching or research assistant and
  • your work is strictly related to a research grant

In this case, you may work at a library, hospital or research facility associated with your school, even if they’re outside the campus.

Who you can work for

An “on-campus” employer can be:

  • the school
  • a faculty member
  • a student organization
  • yourself, if:
    • you run a business that is physically located on-campus (for example: you own a coffee shop that is located on campus)
  • a private business
  • a private contractor that provides on-campus services to the school

Get a Social Insurance Number to work in Canada

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9 digit number that the Government of Canada gives you. With this number, you can work in Canada and get government benefits and services.

To apply for a SIN to work on campus, you must have 1 of these conditions printed on your study permit:

  • 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.
  • This permit does not authorize the holder to engage in off campus employment in Canada. May accept employment only on campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.

If you’re eligible to work on campus, but we didn’t include either of these conditions on your study permit, you can ask to have them added. There’s no fee to add these conditions to your permit.

You’ll need to request an amendment to your study permit before you can apply for a SIN from Service Canada.

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