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Study in Canada

You can work in Canada while studying and even after you graduate, through Citizenship Canada’s work permit programs for international students.


You may qualify for the on-campus or off-campus or post-graduate work permit programs. However, under the new rules, your study permit will become invalid 90 days after you have completed your study program. Students must actively pursue studies in Canada, and some students in certain designated programs and institutions can work part-time without a work permit.

Applying for a Study Permit

You will need to fill out an application form

Canada now has a designated learning institution list which identifies selected institutions by their designated learning institution number.  You will need to ensure the institution you wish to study in is on this list.

In addition:

  • You must prove you have the prerequisites and meet the eligibility criteria to take up the area of study

  • You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees

  • You must prove you have sufficient funds to pay for living expenses for yourself and any family members who may accompany you  to Canada

  • You must not have a criminal record or be considered a risk to the security of Canada

  • You must not have any major health issues and may be required to undergo a medical examination

  • You must be able to convince the immigration authorities that you will leave Canada at the end of your program

Sponsorship: Applying
Sponsorship: Working while studying

Working While Studying in Canada

If you are a study permit holder, you may be able to work on-campus or off-campus without an additional work permit if you meet specific criteria.  Also, if your program includes co-op or internship you will need to apply for a work permit. Even after graduation you may apply for a work permit to continue working in Canada.

Working on Campus

You can work on-campus at the institution where you study if you are enrolled as a full-time student  at a post-secondary institution (as per guidelines met by CIC) and have a valid study permit.

Co-op or Internship

Some study programs require co-op or internship as part of the curriculum.  In order to qualify you must have a valid study permit from a designated institution the co-op or internship must be  an essential part of your program of study. In such cases you must obtain a work permit.

Working off Campus

From 1 June 2014 students with valid study permits at designated institutions may work up to 20 hours, without a work-permit, off-campus in order to gain work experience.

Working After Graduation

In order to continue working after graduation you must apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

Can your spouse work while you study?

If you are a foreign student and your spouse or common-law partner accompanies you they are eligible for an open work permit.  Work permits for your spouse or common-law partner are valid only as long as your study permit. As a student you must:

  • Be enrolled full-time at a post-secondary institution as per guidelines met by CIC

  • Must have a valid study permit

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