Hire international students

You can hire eligible students while they study or after they graduate.

Study permit holders may be eligible to work off campus without a work permit as soon as they begin their studies in Canada.

These students who are eligible may work for any eligible Canadian employer

  • for up to 20 hours a week while class is in session and
  • full-time during scheduled breaks.

To qualify, students must:

  • have a valid study permit
  • be a full-time student
  • be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at the secondary level and
  • be studying in a program that:
    • is academic, vocational or professional training
    • leads to a degree, diploma or certificate
    • is at least six months long.

Students must make sure they meet these criteria and apply for a Social Insurance Number.

As an employer, you should make sure the student you hire has a valid study permit. You may want to ask the student for a letter of enrolment to confirm that they are studying full-time in an eligible program at a post-secondary school (or a vocational program at the secondary level in Quebec).

Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

Foreign students who have completed a program of at least eight months at an eligible Canadian school may apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. This permit lets them work for any eligible employer in Canada for up to three years, depending on the length of their study program.

  • It is up to the foreign worker to apply for a work permit.
  • These permits are open work permits. They let the student to work for any eligible employer in Canada.
  • A Post-Graduation Work Permit can last up to three years, depending on the length of the study program.

Students with work experience may be eligible to apply for permanent residence through Express Entry.

Students, with or without work experience, may also be eligible for Provincial Nominee Programs.


Employers’ roadmap

This roadmap is a guide for employers of small to medium-sized enterprises who are interested in hiring foreign workers.

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