Working in Canada


Due to temporary policies, some international students can work off-campus more than 20 hours a week between Nov 15, 2022 and Apr 30, 2024. If you are eligible for the temporary policies, you might also be exempt from requiring a co-op work permit for co-op placements during this period. Check the FAQ for important eligibility details.

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Overview of permits required to work in Canada

Work experience can help you prepare for your career, gain exposure to the Canadian workplace, form a closer connection to the local community, and provide you with extra money.

As an international student, there are several types of work you can do in Canada. Some of them will require applying for a specific work permit. Use the information below to determine what type of work regulations you need to follow.

On-campus work

You do not need a work permit in order to work on campus while attending UBC, as your study permit gives you permission to accept on-campus employment as long as you’re registered in full-time studies. There are however, certain conditions you must observe to work on-campus.

Off-campus work (up to 20 hours per week during regular study periods)

Students in degree, diploma, certificate programs, or on exchange do not need a work permit to work off-campus while attending UBC. If you meet the requirements, you can work off-campus for up to 20 hours a week during academic terms (or more under temporary policies, if you are eligible), and unlimited hours during your program’s scheduled breaks.

Check your eligibility to work off-campus.

Co-op or internship (if the work is integral to your academic program)

If work is required to complete your academic program, such as co-op, a practicum, or an internship, you need a co-op work permit, even if you can work on or off campus (unless you are eligible for the temporary policies).

Volunteer work (unpaid)

Some volunteer positions may be considered work by IRCC – for example, volunteering for a job that is normally performed by paid employees (photocopying, customer service, etc.) is considered work regardless of whether you are paid or not. Review the meaning of work according to the IRCC definition to decide. If your volunteer position is considered work, you need to follow the relevant work regulations (e.g. on- or off-campus work conditions).

If you work with children or seniors, in healthcare settings, or in agriculture

You need to complete a medical exam and have the right conditions on your study and/or work permit if:

  • You work in jobs which bring you into close contact with people, such as:
    • Workers in health-care settings
    • Clinical laboratory workers
    • Patient attendants in nursing and geriatric homes
    • Medical electives and physicians on short-term locums
    • Workers in primary or secondary school settings, or workers in child-care settings
    • Domestics
    • Workers who give in-home care to children, the elderly and the disabled
    • Day nursery employees and
    • Other similar jobs
  • You are a medical student.
  • You will work in agriculture and have lived in a designated country for more than 6 months in the past year.

This is required even if your position is unpaid. See the list of example occupations.

Work after you graduate

Post-graduation work permit

Work for spouse or common-law partner

Spouse/partner work permit

If your documents get lost or stolen

If your documents such as study or work permits are lost or stolen, you must request a replacement from IRCC. Follow instructions on the IRCC website, submit your application for replacement and a $30 processing fee, and expect your documents to arrive by mail in approximately two weeks. You may continue studying and/or working while your documents are being replaced. However, you should not leave Canada until you receive your replacement study or work permit.

If your passport has also been lost or stolen, you must replace it as well. If you had a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) in the lost or stolen passport, make sure you apply for a new TRV.

The information on this page may change

The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information.