Site Accessibility Statement
Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
May 24, 2015
Canadian Excellence

Working in Canada

Visit Citizenship & Immigration Canada for the most up to date information!

One of the conditions governing your entry into Canada is evidence of sufficient funds to cover all expenses. In assessing this, immigration officials do not take into account the possibility that you or your spouse may find work here. While you may be able to find a job, you should not depend on financing your studies and living expenses by working in Canada alone. You must come to Canada with enough money to live and pay your bills while you are studying. Do not work without a work permit. If you do, you may have to leave Canada.

Working On Campus

You may work on campus at our university without a work permit if:
  • you are a full-time student
  • you have a valid study permit
  • you find an employment (work) at WLU
  • you have a valid Social Insurance Number
On-campus jobs are listed on the website of the Career Centre in the Summer/Part-time/Temporary Employment Service binder in the Centre for Co-operative Education and Career Development. This service is open to current students and Recent Graduate Employment Service registrants only.

Working Off-Campus

Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced "Working Off-Campus, the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for International Students. This allows full-time international students who meet the eligibility criteria to receive a work permit and work up to twenty (20) hours off-campus per week during the school year, and up to forty (40) hours a week during holidays, reading week and the summer break.

In order to be eligible for this program, students must meet ALL the following criteria. An eligible student is one who:

  • possesses a valid study permit
  • has attended at least six out of twelve months of the year in full-time study at a participating institution in Ontario; excluding ESL/FSL programs and general interest courses
  • is currently enrolled in full-time studies and maintains acceptable academic standing
  • has applied for the off campus work permit program through a participating institution (i.e. Wilfrid Laurier University)
  • has signed a Student Acknowledgement and Consent Form authorizing the disclosure of relevant personal information
  • continues to fulfil the conditions of their study and work permit

Please visit the CIC website for more details.

Co-Op and Internship Programs

Co-op and Internship Programs For some academic programs, work experience is part of the curriculum. If you wish to participate in a co-op or internship program, you must apply for a Work Permit. There is no fee for this application. To be eligible for a Work Permit, the following conditions apply:
  • You must have a valid Study Permit
  • The intended employment must be an essential part of your course of study in Canada;
  • The employment must be certified as part of the academic program by a responsible academic official of the institution;
  • The co-op or internship employment cannot form more than 50% of the total program of study.

    Post-Graduation Work Permits

    Post-Graduation Work Permit Program Most recent changes to the program
    • extending the duration of the work permit to three years across the country for those whose program of study is at least two years
    • being able to work in any field and not just their field of study-open work permit
    • removing the requirement to have a job offer.
    To be eligible for the program, international students:
    • Must have studied full-time for the eight months preceding the completion of their program of studies and have graduated from:
    • a public post-secondary institution, such as a college, university or CEGEP (in Quebec); or
    • a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as public institutions, and that receives at least 50 percent of its financing for its overall operations from government grants or
    • a Canadian private institution authorized by provincial or territorial statute to confer degrees.
    • Must apply for a work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation (for example, a transcript or an official letter) from the institution that they have met the requirements of the academic program.
    • Must have completed and passed the program of study and received a notification that they are eligible to obtain their degree, diploma or certificate.
    • Must have a valid study permit when they apply for the work permit.
    Note that if the student’s program of study is less than two years but at least eight months, the student would be eligible for a post-graduate work permit. However, the validity period of the work permit must not be longer than the period of study of the graduate at the particular post-secondary institution in Canada. International students not eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program include the following:
    • Students participating in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program or a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
    • Students receiving funding from the Canadian International Development Agency and participating in a distance learning program.
    • Students who have previously been issued a post-graduation work permit after any other program of study. However, note that graduates who are already working with a work permit issued under the previous rules are eligible to apply for an extension.

    Post-Graduation Self-Employment

    International Students who wish to be self-employed can apply for the year post graduation Work Permit. Instead of submitting a written job offer, you should provide a business plan, contracts to provide services and supporting documents (Ex. Business license, incorporation documents, etc.). The written business plan need not be extensive but should adequately explain your (the applicant’s) intended activities, projected earnings, etc.

    The self-employment should be related to your (the applicant’s) field of study. It should be an opportunity for you to use the knowledge and skills gained through your course of study. The Work Permit will be processed at the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville; other requirements are the same as for any other work permit (see above for requirements).

    Work Permit for Your Spouse or Common-law Partner

    Your spouse or common-law partner may also apply for a Work Permit if:
    • You are a full-time student at a university, community college, CEGEP, publicly funded trade/technical school or at a private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees; and
    • You have a valid Study Permit.
    Download applications at the CIC website: click on “Applications and forms,” click on “Immigration applications for person in Canada,” then click on “Worker” and download the application.