Working in Canada

Working in Canada as International Students

As an international student, you may be eligible to work in Canada while studying and after you graduate. As a study permit holder, you may qualify to work on-campus or off-campus without an additional work permit, if you meet specific criteria. You may also apply for a post-graduation work permit after you graduate from an eligible institution. Please visit to learn more about working as an international student while studying.



To work off-campus, an international student must:
  • have a valid Study Permit
  • be a full-time student
  • be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at the secondary level
  • be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) (See details below)


International students cannot work off campus if they are:
  • Registered in an English as a Second Language program
  • A visiting or exchange student without a study permit
  • Participating in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).
  • Participating in a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by DFAIT.
  • Receiving funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
  • Participating in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship Program, Canada-Chile.
  • Participating in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program.
  • Participating in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program.


How many hours can you work off campus per week?

Students who meet the eligibilities may work off campus a maximum of 20 hours per week during the regular academic year (September to April). They may work full-time during academic scheduled breaks (Summer, Reading Week, and breaks between terms) if they meet the eligibilities.

Students in their final term, regardless of when the final term occurs, may work off-campus up to 20 hours/week until their letter of completion becomes available. Once a letter of completion becomes available, you may work full-time if you meet the requirements outlined in the "working while you wait for a post-graduation work permit" section or else, you must stop working.



International students may work on campus at Okanagan College without a work permit if you are a full time student in a degree/diploma/certificate program with a valid study permit. Please note:

  • A work permit is not required for on campus employment
  • There is no time limit for On-Campus work
  • A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required


How many hours can you work on campus per week?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not limit the number of hours students are permitted to work on campus. However, some Okanagan College employers may restrict the hours students can work.


SOCIAL INSURANCE NUMBER (SIN): required to work in Canada


A Social Insurance Number is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. It allows an employer to process payroll while informing the Canadian Revenue Agency of the amount of money a person earns.



If an international student has received a job offer regardless on or off campus, the student must apply for a SIN before he/she can receive earnings and benefits. International students can obtain SIN onsite by presenting original passport, study permit as well as a full time enrollment letter from Okanagan College at any Service Canada location. Please click here to find out more about SIN.


DISCLAIMER: This website has been reviewed by Antriksh Mistry(AR), a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website you are encouraged to visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website (IRCC) to access the most up-to-date information.