Tue | Dec 7, 2021

Do I need a work permit AND a study permit for Canada?

Published:Tuesday | June 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell, Canada

Dear Ms Powell,

I just got accepted to study at a college in Ontario and I am about to submit my application for a study permit. Do I also need to submit an application for a work permit separately? I would like to be able to work on a part-time basis so that I don't have to pressure my parents too much for spending money. Your help would be appreciated.


Dear M.P.,

Working while attending school as a full-time student is beneficial to your time management skills, networking, as well as both your and your parents' pockets! ( They must be pleased with your initiative).

There are several avenues that can be explored in terms of working while you are attending school on a study permit in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has recently made changes to the International Student Program (ISP). So as of June 1, it is easier for some students to work off campus without seeking to get a separate work permit.

Under the new rules, students who are attending one of the eligible learning intuitions on a full-time basis may work off campus for up to 20 hours on a part-time basis. However, you may work on a full-time basis during scheduled school holidays such as during the Christmas and summer breaks. There may be some restrictions that apply to this programme if you qualify.

If you are a full-time student, you may work on campus at the institution that you attend without a work permit. There are restrictions regarding which institutions qualify for this programme. However, if you and your institution qualify, working on campus can be beneficial to you and your institution's community. Should you choose to work on campus, contact your school's administration office to enquire about job opportunities. These are often posted on their websites.

Summary of qualifications

In order to be qualified to work in Canada during your studies without a separate work permit, you must:

1. Have a valid study permit;

2. Be a full-time student;

3. Be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level; and

4. Be enrolled in a programme, no shorter than six months, that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Further, although you may not need a separate work permit, you are required to obtain a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN), issued by Service Canada, before you start working.

I like your industrious spirit, however, you should bear in mind that your main purpose for being in Canada is to further your educational qualifications and, therefore, you must ensure that you maintain your grades or risk your study permit being revoked. It will be your responsibility to find employment on or off campus and to ensure that all requirements for both your study and your employment are met at all times.

You may visit my website at www.deidrepowell.com for more information about study permits, work permits, and other immigration programmes.

Congratulations on being accepted by the school of your choice and best of luck in your studies!

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, personal injury, family, and administration of estates. Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration or Tel: 613-695-8777.