Working in Canada
Working part-time while you’re studying at Laurier helps you to earn extra income and gain transferable work skills that may assist you in gaining full-time employment after graduation.
As you decide whether you will work part-time, think about the time you need to focus on your courses and complete your homework; your studies must remain your primary purpose for being in Canada.
Note: All information is subject to change and students should refer to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or CIC) website for current information.
Dictated Study Permit
If you decide to work part-time while studying, you do not need to apply for a separate work permit. Your study permit will indicate whether you are allowed to work in Canada. Degree-seeking students are permitted to work on campus during their studies.
During regular academic sessions, you can work up to 20 hours per week and during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break, you can work full-time off campus.
Study permits must say at least one of the following:
- May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies.
- May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.
Career Services for International Students
Employment Support Available to All Students
The Career Development Centre can help you:
- Assess your interests, skills and values and be able to communicate them successfully.
- Learn job search strategies including tapping into the hidden job market.
- Research and prepare for their future academic and career choices, including further education.
- Create an effective resumé and cover letter.
- Impress an employer in a job interview.
Employment Support Specific to International Students
The Career Development Centre offers:
Social Insurance Numbers
You must have a social insurance number (SIN) to be paid for working on-campus or off-campus in Canada. To apply for a SIN card, you must apply in person at a Service Canada office (25 Frederick Street, Kitchener or 58 Dalhousie Street, Brantford) with your study permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC; formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada) that states you “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada, if you meet the criteria for working on or off campus.
If neither of the above statements is on the study permit, you will need to go online to the IRCC website to request an amendment to your Study Permit. You may need a confirmation of enrolment letter from Service Laurier (202 Regina Street, Waterloo; Grand River Hall, Room 202, Brantford) to upload for your application. Check the document checklist with the amendment application for full instructions.
- How to request an amendment to your study permit.
- How to apply for a Social Insurance Number.
- More information on Social Insurance Numbers.
If you need an amendment to your study permit, you must request the amendment before you can apply for a SIN.
It is your responsibility to:
- Provide your valid SIN to your employer.
- Maintain eligibility by remaining a full-time student in good academic standing.
As an international student, you may or may not have to file an income tax return in Canada.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) should be your main source of information about taxes in Canada. The following are resources that may be useful to you.
- Video series on international students and income tax.
- CRA guide for inernational students.
- Video series on newcomers to Canada and the Canadian tax system.
- Tax videos and webinars for individuals and families.
- Video series on preparing your income tax and benefit return.
- CRA topics and services for students.
Working On Campus
As of June 1, 2014, there were significant changes to international students’ eligibility for part-time work in Canada. For the most current guidelines, see the Canadian government’s information on working on campus.
Can I Work on Campus?
To be eligible for on-campus work, students must:
- Be enrolled as full-time undergraduate or graduate student;
- Have a valid study permit; and
- Have a valid SIN card.
You are not entitled to work in Canada if you’re a part-time student or you’re studying in a short-term program, like an English language program.
Where Can I Find a Job on Campus?
Many on-campus departments regularly hire students. Most hiring for part-time on-campus work happens during the winter term for the following academic year. The On-Campus Student Employment and Volunteer Fair is usually held in February and is an opportunity for on-campus departments to advertise their part-time, summer, and volunteer opportunities for the upcoming terms.
Working Off Campus
Starting on June 1, 2014, there were significant changes to international students’ eligibility for part-time work in Canada. For the most current guidelines, see the Canadian government’s information on working off campus.
Where Can I Work Off Campus?
To be eligible to work off campus, students must:
- Have a valid study permit.
- Have a valid SIN card.
- Have attended at least six out of 12 months of the year in full-time study.
- Be currently enrolled in full-time studies and maintain acceptable academic standing.
Students in programs which require full-time work placements may apply for a co-op work permit.
Log in to Navigator to find specific off-campus positions.
What is Volunteering?
Volunteering is an unpaid activity with a group or not-for-profit organization that makes a difference to the wider community. It involves doing something that improves the environment or helps members of that community. In Canada, volunteer experience is highly valued and an asset to future job searches.
What are the Benefits to Volunteering?
- Connect with and contribute to your Laurier community.
- Learn valuable new skills.
- Meet new people.
- Gain experience for your resumé.
- Develop contacts in your field of interest.
- Explore careers that might interest you.
- Information on volunteering at Laurier.
- Canadian Bureau for International Education on the value of volunteering.
Note: Not all types of volunteer work are open to international students. You should carefully read the Canadian government's guidelines on volunteer work before you start volunteering.
Working After Graduation
Can I Work After Graduation?
Yes! After you have completed your degree requirements to graduate from the Laurier, you may work in Canada for up to three years. To do this you must obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) from the Canadian government within 90 days of completion of your degree requirements. You do not need a job offer to obtain a work permit.
For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the Canadian government’s page on spousal work.
Can my Spouse Work While I am Studying in Canada?
Spouses and common-law partners of full-time students are eligible for open work permits valid for any employer. A spouse would need a work permit before she/he begins any employment. There is an application fee. The fee is payable at the time of application and does not guarantee that a work permit will be issued or that work will be found.