If you are looking to work while studying in Canada, you will want to make sure that your study and work permits are set up correctly. For more information on work permits, check out our guide here. This is a great way to help you get started and find some good jobs once your permit is approved. If you’re still not sure what kinds of student jobs are out there or how to get them, this article will give you a few tips on where to start, who may be hiring and what sort of qualifications employers look for in international students.
Working while studying in Canada: Eligibility
As an international student in Canada, you have a number of work options open to you. Upon completion of your studies, or if you wish to switch fields of study, you may qualify for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) allowing you to stay in the country for another two years. International students with a study permit who are enrolled full-time in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), can work off-campus without a work permit. This means you can work for any employer in any occupation anywhere in Canada.
Working on campus is a great way to kick-start your career in Canada. Working off-campus means working for any employer outside of the university or college. Working on campus means working for any employer on the university or college’s campus, such as working for the university or college itself, for a faculty member (as a research assistant, for example), for yourself (self-employed, working on campus), for a student organization, or for a private contractor providing services on campus, for example, a gym or restaurant.
If you’re planning to study and also work while in Canada, you will still need to demonstrate sufficient financial resources when you apply for a Canada post study work visa. However, you should remember that anticipated future earnings will not suffice when demonstrating sufficient financial resources, so the fact that you may plan to be working while studying in Canada won’t satisfy the condition of proving financial capacity before arrival.
If you plan to work while studying in Canada, you must be authorized by your province or territory to do so. The study permit will state whether you are permitted to work in Canada and the conditions of employment. This statement enables you to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada; obtaining a SIN is a key requirement before you can begin working while studying in Canada.
If your study permit is missing the statement you need in order to apply for a SIN, you can get your study permit amended for free. While this can be done after you arrive, it’s much easier to do this when you land and your study permit is first issued.
It’s important to remember that you cannot start working while studying in Canada until you start your study program.
Working while studying in Canada: Finding a job
Finding a job in Canada may seem like the easy part. The next step is to find a job. Employers in Canada are often keen to hire students for part-time positions. Learn more about finding a job in Canada.
Before you start looking for jobs or applying, you’ll need to prepare your resume (CV) and cover letter. Your resume and cover letter are your best chance of catching a potential employer’s attention and standing out as the best candidate for the job. Make sure your resume is up to date and formatted for the expectations of Canadian employers. Your cover letter is your chance to reveal your personality and achievements. Write a tailored cover letter for each position, highlighting how you fit the precise criteria they’re looking for.
Canada is a great place to be looking for work. There are several online job search engines that you could use, or you could even walk around your neighbourhood and see if shops or restaurants are advertising in the window for employees. If you try this method, take paper copies of your resume with you, wear smart clothes appropriate to the business (for example a collared shirt, and avoid blue jeans) and know your availability. If somewhere looks promising, feel free to ask to speak to someone about the position. This is a great opportunity to make a good first impression face-to-face and could turn into an on-the-spot job interview. Networking your way to success in this way is a tried and tested formula, and we have a comprehensive guide on networking techniques to help you on the way.
If you are studying in Canada, you may be eligible to work part-time on or off-campus. As a student visa Canada, you are allowed to work part-time while you study, but your studies come first. If you choose to take on a job, it’s important that you understand how this may affect your internship.