International Students Corner

Studying in Canada? Work Off Campus through an Open Study Permit

Canada, 27th December: You can work off campus through an open study permit as a student in Canada.

Work Off Campus through an Open Study PermitWork off campus

Holders of Canada study permit can get work experience by working off campus along with their study. With effect from 1st June, 2014, one can get qualified to work off campus without any work permit.

Your study permit can allow you to Work off campus

  • Up to 20 hours every week during regular academic sessions; and
  • Full-time during scheduled breaks, including summer and winter holidays or spring break.

How to get qualified to work off campus

To get Qualified for working off campus, you need following—

  • A valid study permit
  • Must be a full-time student;
  • Must be enrolled at any designated learning institute at post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at the secondary level, and
  • Be studying in any academic/vocational/professional training program leading to a degree/diploma or certificate of not less than six months duration.

You need to stop working the day you don’t fulfill the above eligibility conditions. So, if, for example, you are not a full-time student during any academic session, you cant work off campus.

Related Read- Overseas Students Can also Avail Work Permit for their Spouse

SIN—Social Insurance Number(SIN) is needed from Service Canada for working in Canada or for getting benefits and services from government programs.

To apply for a SIN for off-campus work--You need any of the following remarks/conditions printed on your Canada study permit.

  • Can work 20 hours every week off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if fulfilling criteria given in section 186(v) or IRPR.
  • Can accept employment on or off campus if fulfilling eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v), or (w). Need to cease working if you no longer meet these conditions.
  • If your study permit does not include any of the above remarks, then you need to submit a request for an amendment to your study permit before applying for a SIN. You don’t have to pay any fee for this request.
  • You need to apply to change the conditions of your study permit and pay the applicable fee if your study permit has mentioned this—This permit does not permit the holder to engage in off campus employment in Canada, printed on it and you have changed your program of study.

How to apply for a SIN—SIN is a nine digit number needed to work in Canada or to get access to government benefits and programs. Its issued to a person only and cannot be legally used by anyone else. You have the responsibility to protect your SIN.

Applying in person for a SIN—Get all the required original documents and take these to the nearest Service Canada office.

Applying by mail

  • Those living 100 km or more from nearest Service Canada office or in any inaccessible area can apply by mail. To know your eligibility, you need to enter your residential postal code in the box and click submit.
  • Individuals with other extenuating limitations preventing them from visiting a Service Canada point of service and who can’t use the help of another person for submission of an application on their behalf can be eligible to apply by mail.

Can you work off campus?–Applicants issued an initial work permit or study permit on or after 1st August, 2015 will automatically get issued an eTA along with their permit. eTA shall not be renewed automatically for study permit or work permit renewal applications.

Confirmation to work off campus in Canada—Canada immigration department, as of 2nd February, 2015, is not issuing confirmation to work off campus documents. However, you can continue to present a confirmation to work off campus document issued by Canada immigration department previously and present it to Service Canada for applying for a SIN.

Programs of study for the purpose of off-campus work authorization—following definitions are applicable—

  • Academic program—Any post-secondary program that awards academic credentials to persons for whom normal entrance requirement is completion of high school. This program is delivered often at colleges, universities, institutes and seminaries of technology awarding an academic degree/diploma or a certificate.
  • Vocation training—A preparation for any specific occupation in agriculture, trade or industry. This training includes organizational, technical and basic skills training. It can be offered through on-the-job programs, by community colleges/universities in conjunction with a specific industry, by unions in conjunction with businesses, and by private career colleges.
  • Professional training—A type of training offered usually to a person who is a professional already in any given field. This type of training is recognized usually as meeting any official standard of any association, industry or profession.

Maximum working hours allowed for working off campus as student

  • Students having eligibility to work under R186(v) can work for a maximum of 20 hours every week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks and during transition period to a post-graduation work permit(if applicable).
  • Students registered as full-time students during summer academic sessions can work up to 20 hours per week during that time.
  • Students participating in intensive programs not having scheduled breaks can work not more than 20 hours per week during the entire study program.
  • There are no legal conditions preventing students from working off campus in addition to working not more than 20 hours every week off-campus.
  • Students holding any off-campus work permit cannot work full-time if the staff at any designated learning institute goes on a strike.



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