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Studying in Canada – Working while you are a student

Working on campus

You may work on campus at the institution where you study without a work permit if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Co-op and internship students

For some Canadian academic programs, work experience is part of the curriculum. Foreign students enrolled in a school in Canada who wish to participate in a co-op or internship program need both a study permit and a work permit. 

Determine your eligibility and find out how to apply.

Working off campus

As of June 1, 2014, you may qualify to work off campus without a work permit. If you qualify, your study permit will allow you to work up to 20 hours per week:

  • during regular academic sessions; and
  • full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.

Find out if you qualify to work off campus.

Students of non-Canadian institutions wishing to undertake an internship or other on-the-job training:

If you wish to do a work term, internship or on-the-job training in Canada, without being enrolled in a Canadian educational institution, you will need to apply for a work permit (and not a study permit). The requirements and instructions are listed in our Working in Canada section.

If you are enrolled in an educational institution outside Canada that has a formal exchange agreement with a Canadian educational institution to provide Canadian citizens with reciprocal opportunities to work abroad, then you may be exempt from the requirement to obtain a labour market opinion. Include a copy of the agreement in your work permit application.

Healthcare students

If you are a foreign healthcare student (medical, nursing, physiotherapy, etc.) not enrolled in a university or other educational establishment in Canada, you may do a clinical clerkship or medical elective at a Canadian medical teaching institution. You do not require a work permit or a study permit if the main purpose of the work is to acquire training. A normal training practicum should not exceed four months.

Foreign students in residency, extern or fellowship positions in Canadian clinical settings must apply for a work permit.

All healthcare students wishing to study or work temporarily in Canada must undergo a Medical examination.

If you do not need a work permit, follow the steps below. Do not use the work permit application kit and document checklist as these are not designed for you and may delay processing.

Step 1:

Determine whether you need a temporary resident (visitor) visa: Countries and territories whose citizens require a temporary resident visa to enter Canada.

Step 2:

If you require a temporary resident visa, please find out how to apply in our Visiting Canada section. In addition to the requirements listed there, please submit:

  • proof of completion of an upfront medical examination (consult Medical exam requirements);
  • approval letter from the relevant professional regulatory body in Canada;
  • letter on headed notepaper from the Canadian medical institution you will visit confirming its acceptance for the period of training (e-mails will not be accepted);
  • and two self-addressed envelopes.

If you do not require a temporary resident visa, please submit:

  • proof of completion of an upfront medical examination (consult Medical exam requirements);
  • application form (Even if you do not require a temporary resident visa, you must fill in this form so that we may track your medical examination results);
  • two passport photos of yourself (Photos must comply with photo specifications. Photos must be signed, dated, and taken in the past 6 months. Staple the photos to the application form.);
  • photocopy of the identity page of your passport;
  • approval letter from the relevant professional regulatory body in Canada (not required for students destined to Ontario, Alberta or British Columbia);
  • letter on headed notepaper from the Canadian medical institution you will visit confirming its acceptance for the period of training; and
  • two self-addressed envelopes.

Note: Processing times are the same as for study permit applications where medical examinations are required.

 

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Date Modified:
2014-07-14