Immigration Corner | International student seeks job in Canada
Dear Miss Powell,
I just arrived in Canada as an international student and I’m excited about making sure I do well and save my money. Can you give me some ideas on how to find a job and things I can do to make sure I save money for the future? What are some of the jobs I can do as a student? Thanks for your help.
Welcome to Canada. I’m happy to hear that you are proactive about your strategy to do well here. As an international student at a designated learning institution (DLI), you may be permitted to work off-campus up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during the school term and full-time during the vacation periods.
Your study permit usually tells you whether you are granted permission to work and the sectors in which you are authorised to work. You should not work in Canada unless you are authorised to do so. The length of your programme will affect your ability to work. Pay attention to your permit and note the restrictions, bearing in mind that if your programme is less than six months in duration, or if you are enrolled in an English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) programme, you are not authorised to work. Visiting or exchange students are also not authorised to work while studying in Canada.
In preparation for your employment, you will first need to apply for a social insurance number, or SIN. This will be required when you apply for work. You should also note that you cannot start working until after you start your programme of study.
Strategy to find a job
Once you are authorised to work in Canada, you should not have a difficulty finding a part-time position. You should start by paying a visit to your school counselling and advisory office to get information about jobs on and off campus. Most schools have this facility to assist students to get paid work.
Another strategy is to utilise online services such as job-bank, Indeed, LinkedIn and Workopolis. There are also reputable employment agencies who will not ask you for payment, but they have access to legitimate employers, who will pay these agencies to recruit qualified individuals.
Additionally, you should look at companies that you would like to work with, prepare your résumé, application letter and approach the company directly for employment. Examine the company’s website for information on possible employment opportunities, or for the contact information for the managing director or human resource manager. While emails are good, consider dressing appropriately and even visiting the company with your application, you may be lucky to get an on-the-spot interview.
If you have an unusual skill, talent or favourite hobby, why not use this to earn money? Are you good at tennis, languages or craft? You could basically get paid to do your favourite hobby. “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” Use something you are good at and generate some extra income. Sell your items via Etsy and other online markets. Some students whoo have a car have become an Uber or Lyft driver. There are many creative ways to make money on a part-time basis in Canada. The possibilities are there, you just need to explore them and get creative.
Many schools have bursaries and scholarships that are posted online. Some bursaries are available through international community organisations, charities, churches and NGOs. Start scouting the school’s website, Internet, and reading newspapers to find out about the hundreds of available bursaries and scholarships.
Some students have even applied to companies for grants and received them, even when the companies have not advertised that they are willing to make such a donation. Apply to them. You could get lucky.
I have one parting remark. While your focus is on saving and gaining money, it is a good strategy to find a part-time job and gain work experience in a managerial, supervisory, administrative and other jobs that fall in the category of NOC A, B, 0. This will help you to meet new people, build relationships and gain valuable experience which will help you when you get your postgraduate work permit; and most importantly, it will help you with your application for permanent residence, if you are considering that at the end of your studies. I recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer if you have questions and concerns about additional strategies to achieve your long-term goals.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, commercial and administration of estates. She is on the roster of mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject line: Immigration. Telephone: 613.695.8777/ 876-922-4092.