Many foreign students choose to work full-time during their postgraduate studies to help cover some of their expenses. This can be achieved through part-time work while studying, or by enrolling in a co-op or apprenticeship program. In this article, we go through all the things you need to know about working in Canada.
First, cover all the basics before starting work in Canada –
Get your Social security number, also known as SIN in Canada
All foreign students are required to obtain a nine-digit Social Security Number (SIN) to initiate any type of employment in Canada. Your SIN will also give you access to government programs and benefits. You can apply for your SIN online, by post, or in person at any Canada Service Center, if available in your region. There is no charge for your SIN request. International students must have a valid study permit to apply.
Apply for a Canadian bank account
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has been an immigrant supporter for 150 years. Your university may have a branch directly on campus, or nearby. To open a student bank account via RBC, you will need the following documents:
- Your passport
- Student Permit (IMM 1442) or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
- Proof of registration
- Social Insurance Number (SIN) or proof of residence
Working part-time as an overseas student: On-campus vs. off-campus
Campus operating guidelines
If you are a full-time student after studying in Canada, your study permit will allow you to work on campus. On-campus means you are working physically for an employer on campus at your university. There is no limit to the number of hours you can work on campus. However, it can be challenging to balance work with more than 20 hours a week with a full course of study.
Guidelines for working off-campus
Your study permit may also allow you to work outside of campus. You will be able to work for any type of employer, including restaurants, restaurants, retail stores, and more. This opens up many opportunities for temporary employment if you meet the eligibility requirements:
- You are currently a full-time student studying at a designated study center (DLI)
- You are enrolled in a postgraduate training program, vocational or professional skills or, in a second-level training program (Quebec only)
- Your study schedule is at least six months long and leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
- Your study permit states, in user comments or case categories, that you may work off-campus.
- You have a social security number.
Working as a co-op or intern
Foreign students can find out about Canadian employment through university-focused programs or training programs. Co-op and internship programs can have one or two submissions per year. See your university’s website for more information on available programs.
Combining part-time and collaborative opportunities
Working while studying in Canada is a great way to start rebuilding your resume with a Canadian experience before graduating. Making more money while pursuing a new degree will also support your travel, study, and living expenses while in Canada.