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 the IRCC site 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 enrolled at a designated learning institution
  • Have started studying
  • be studying in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate and 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 or French as a Second Language (ESL/FSL) program
  • A visiting or exchange student without a study permit
How many hours can you work off campus per week?
Students who meet the eligibility requirements may work off campus a maximum of 20 hours per week during the regular academic sessions. They may work full-time during regularly scheduled breaks (e.g., summer, Reading Week and breaks between terms, if applicable to your study program) if they meet the following eligibility requirements: 
  • Student holds a valid study permit, and was/will be enrolled full-time during the academic session before and after the scheduled break.
  • The program in which student is enrolled is a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program that is at least 6 months in duration and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.

Students in their final semester prior to graduation may work off-campus up to a maximum of 20 hours/week, if meeting the off-campus work eligibility requirements, until their Letter of Program Completion becomes available. Once a Letter of Program Completion becomes available, student must stop working. Thereafter, student may work full-time after they have submitted their post-graduation work permit (PGWP) application if they meet the relevant eligibility requirements explained at the IRCC webpage


International students may work on campus at Okanagan College without an additional work permit if you are a full time post secondary 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.

International students can obtain SIN by presenting original passport, study permit as well as a full time enrolment letter from Okanagan College at any Service Canada location. Information on Kelowna Service Canada Centre can be found at Service Canada webpage.

    DISCLAIMER: This website has been reviewed by Antriksh Mistry, a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). This is not a legal document. Information herein may change without notice. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, you are encouraged to visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website to access the most up-to-date information. Updated on Aug 2019.