Working in Canada



If you have a valid study permit, you may be able to work on the campus of the institution you attend without a work permit.

You can work for the institution itself, or for a private business located on the campus.

To do this, you must be a full-time student at a public university, a community college, a college d’enseignement general et professionnel (CEGEP), a publicly funded trade or technical school or a private institution authorized to confer degrees.


To work off campus, you must have a work permit. Through the Off-Campus Work Permit Program, you can work part-time during regular academic sessions (20 hours per week) and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as winter and summer holidays, and spring break.

You can work in any occupation, and you can change employers whenever you like.To qualify for the program, you must have a valid study permit and be a full-time student at a recognized postsecondary educational institution.

Recognized institutions generally include a public, post-secondary college or university, a CEGEP in Quebec and degree-granting programs offered by private institutions.


The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allows you to gain valuable Canadian work experience after you have completed your studies in Canada. This can help you apply to become a permanent resident of Canada.

To qualify, you must have graduated from a public or private institution that grants degrees recognized by the province or territory. These institutions may include a university, college or CEGEP.

Work permits under this program are valid for the length of your study program, up to a maximum of three years.

For example, if you graduate from a four-year degree program, you could be eligible for a three year work permit. If you graduate from an eight month certificate program, you would be eligible for a work permit that is valid for up to eight months.

You must apply for a post-graduation work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation from your educational institution that you have met the requirements for completing your academic program.
With this permit, you can work in any occupation and change employers anytime you wish.


If you are a full-time student at a recognized post secondary institution, and you have a valid work permit or study permit, your spouse or common-law partner can apply for a permit to work in Canada.

As long as they have a work permit, they can work in any occupation and change jobs at any time. These permits are valid for the same period of time as your study or work permit.

Spouses/Common-law (including same-sex) Partners of persons on Study and Work Permits may qualify to obtain OPEN Work Permits. Spouses may obtain work permits for employment in the general labour market as long as:

  • The foreign student is the holder of a study permit & attending a full-time post-secondary degree or diploma granting institution; or
  • After graduation, the foreign student has a valid work permit valid for at least 6 months for a qualifying job
  • May work in general labor market. Positions in medical or childcare require medical examination.