Work in Canada

As an international student, you can get paid work experience in Canada. You do not need a separate work permit if both the following apply to you:

  • Your study permit says you are allowed to work.
  • You have a social insurance number (SIN).

Other criteria depend on whether you are a full-time, part-time, or graduating student. You must also file an income tax return.

Working on-campus with your study permit

You may qualify to work on campus in a work-study position or in a regular part-time job.

As an international student studying full-time (regardless of semester), you can work on campus without a work permit if:

  • You are enrolled in a minimum of 9 credits for the current semester (three courses).
  • You have an unexpired, valid study permit that says you are allowed to work.
  • You started your courses.
  • You are in good academic standing with a CGPA of 2.0 or greater (check your student record through myUFV to confirm).
  • Your courses have not ended for the semester.
  • You have a SIN.

Jobs are available year-round in a variety of areas.

Work-study positions

Work study positions:

  • Include up to 120 hours of paid office or research work per semester.
  • May vary in the number of hours per week depending on the position but cannot exceed 40 hours.
  • Are posted as early as August 15 for the fall semester.
  • Are posted in early December for the winter semester.
  • Pay minimum wage plus 10%.

You must have a SIN before you apply for a job.

Learn more about working on-campus

Working off-campus with your study permit

Working in Canada while studying full-time

As an international student studying full-time, you can work part-time, off campus without a work permit if both the following apply to you:

  • You meet the same criteria as the on-campus/no work permit criteria listed above.
  • Your study program is at least six months long and it leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Working in Canada while studying part-time

As an international student studying part-time, you can work part-time off campus without a work permit if you meet the above criteria and you are studying part-time because:

  • You are in the last semester of your study program and you do not need a full course load to complete your program.
  • You were a full-time student in your program in Canada, up until your last semester.

If your study permit says that you are allowed to work, you may work off-campus without a work permit:

  • Up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions.
  • Full-time during scheduled breaks.

To work off-campus during the summer semester, you can take as few courses as you want for that semester. However, you must:

  • Have studied full-time during the winter semester.
  • Be planning to study full-time in the fall.

Learn more about working off-campus

Post-graduate work permits (PGWP)

When you graduate, you may be eligible for a PGWP. The criteria include:

  • You completed a study program with a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • Your program was at least eight months long.
  • You were a full-time student in Canada during each semester of your program.

See the full list of PGWP criteria and apply for a PGWP.

How to find jobs

The UFV Centre for Experiential and Career Education offers several resources through CareerLink. You can:

  • View job postings.
  • Learn about info sessions.
  • Book an appointment with a career coach for help with your resume, cover letter, interviewing, and job-search skills.

CareerLink has jobs for undergraduate, co-op, and graduate students.

Finding a co-op job

The Centre for Experiential and Career Education works with employers to find suitable work placements for co-op students. These work opportunities are not listed outside the program and are reserved for co-op students. You can apply for them through CareerLink.

If you are in a co-op program, UFV will set up a pre-employment workshop to show you how to find a job placement.

If you are interested in a job that is not listed in the CareerLink co-op jobs, talk to the Centre for Experiential and Career Education. They can approach an employer on your behalf to explore the possibility of setting up a work placement.

Learn more about the UFV Centre for Experiential and Career Education

Sign up for CareerLink

Get a social insurance number (SIN) and get authorization to work

To work in Canada:

  • You must have a SIN.
  • Your employer(s) must provide your SIN to Revenue Canada for income tax purposes.
  • You will need to file an income tax return, using your SIN.

How to apply for a SIN

To apply for a SIN as an international student, you must have a study permit issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCCC). The study permit must clearly state that you “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada.

You can apply for your SIN:

  • Online
  • By mail
  • In person at a Service Canada Centre

The closest Service Canada Centre to the Abbotsford campus is:

Address: 32525 Simon Avenue, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6T6
Phone: 604-854-5852
Hours of service: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Learn more about and apply for your SIN

When your study permit does not give you authorization to work

If your study permit does not clearly indicate that you may accept employment, you must submit a request for an amendment to it before you can apply for a SIN.

You may also need to apply to change the conditions of your study permit and pay the applicable fee if both of these criteria apply to you:

  • Your study permit says “This permit does not permit the holder to engage in off-campus employment in Canada”.
  • You changed your program of study.

There are two common situations where a study permit is issued without a statement of permission to work:

  • If you came to UFV for an undergraduate program and your study permit was issued to you without the statement, then you can request an amendment.
  • If your Letter of Acceptance to UFV indicated that you started at either the English Language Studies or Qualifying Studies program level, your study permit may not have the authorization. Even if you are now studying at the undergraduate level, you will not be given an amendment.

Income tax

As a student, if you earn income in Canada you are expected to file a tax return every year, regardless of how much you earn. You are unlikely to earn enough money to have to pay income tax to the Canadian government.

When you complete a Canadian Income Tax form, you may qualify for a tax refund and long-term tax credits against future Canadian income.

To complete your income tax return, these are the receipts that most students need:

  • T2202A (Tuition and Education Amount) – available through myUFV
  • T4 (Employment Income) – issued by your employer if you did paid work
  • T4A (Scholarship and Bursary Income, if you received either) – issued by UFV if applicable

These tax-related receipts are produced in January and February for the previous tax year. Taxes owing must be paid by April 30, or you will be charged interest.

Watch Canada Revenue Agency’s helpful "How to file your taxes” YouTube playlist.

Learn more from Canada Revenue Agency about income tax for international students.

Immigration workshops

UFV online immigration workshops give you useful information about:

  • Study permit/work permits
  • Post-graduate work permits
  • Spousal work permits
  • Other types of work permits
  • Temporary resident visa (TRV)
  • Inviting family members (visitors visas)
  • Replacing or amending your study permit
  • Designated learning institution (DLI) transfer to UFV
  • Immigration rules on academic standing and non-study
  • How to schedule a break at UFV

Register for an immigration workshop

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