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, university, trade or technical school, or CEGEP in Quebec
    • private post-secondary school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec
    • private or public secondary or post-secondary institution in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to a diploma of vocational studies (DVS) or an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS)
    • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctorate), but only if the student is enrolled in a study program leading to a degree authorized by the province
      • This may not include all programs of study offered by the private institution.
  • have a valid study permit or maintained status
  • have printed conditions on your initial study permit allowing you to work on campus and
  • have a social insurance number (SIN)

Students with a part-time course load in their final semester

If you were a full-time student in every semester of your program, but you’re studying part-time in your final semester to finish your required coursework, you can still work an unlimited number of hours on campus.

Who can’t work on campus

You must stop working on-campus:

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. If you work at a hospital or other place where the protection of public health is important, you’ll need to have a medical exam, unless you’ve already had one.

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

A 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.

How many hours you can work on campus

You can work as many hours as you want, in addition to working off campus, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements for working on campus.

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