Balancing Studies and Employment: How to Work in Canada on a Study Permit



Canada’s reputation as a top-notch destination for education is enhanced by the opportunity it offers to international students to work part-time while pursuing their studies. Working while on a study permit not only helps students offset their expenses but also provides valuable experience and exposure to the Canadian job market. This article delves into the guidelines, benefits, and considerations for working in Canada on a study permit.

Understanding Work Opportunities

1. On-Campus Work: International students with a valid study permit can work on their school’s campus without needing a separate work permit. This includes working for the educational institution, a student organization, or a private business located on campus.

2. Off-Campus Work: Full-time international students enrolled at designated learning institutions can work off-campus for up to 20 hours a week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks.

3. Co-op and Internship Programs: Many academic programs include co-op or internship components, allowing students to gain practical experience related to their field of study.

4. Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP): After completing their studies, international students may apply for a PGWP, which allows them to work in Canada for up to three years, depending on the length of their program of study.

Application Process

1. Eligibility: To work on a study permit, you must be a registered full-time student at a designated learning institution and have a valid study permit.

2. Social Insurance Number (SIN): Before you start working, you need to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), a unique identifier required for employment in Canada.

3. Compliance with Conditions: Ensure you abide by the conditions outlined in your study permit and adhere to the authorized working hours.

Benefits of Working on a Study Permit

1. Financial Support: Part-time work can help you cover living expenses, reducing the financial burden of studying abroad.

2. Skill Development: Working exposes you to Canadian workplace culture and allows you to develop transferable skills.

3. Networking Opportunities: Part-time work provides a platform to connect with professionals in your field, potentially leading to future job opportunities.

Considerations and Limitations

1. Balance with Studies: While working can be advantageous, prioritize your studies to ensure academic success.

2. Authorized Hours: Be aware of the maximum working hours allowed to maintain your study permit status.

3. Visa Expiry and PGWP: Ensure you are familiar with your visa’s expiry date and explore options for extending your stay through a PGWP if desired.

4. Eligibility for PGWP: To be eligible for a PGWP, your program must be at least eight months long, and you should apply within 180 days of receiving your final marks.


Working in Canada on a study permit is a well-rounded experience that not only helps offset your expenses but also integrates you into the Canadian work environment. By understanding the regulations, benefits, and considerations associated with working on a study permit, you can make the most of your time in Canada. As you balance your studies and employment, remember that this dual experience can enrich your academic journey and set you on a path to success in both your chosen field and in your adopted country.