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Study and Work in Canada – Everything You Need to Know

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Do you wish to study in Canada but wondering if you can study and work in Canada at the same time? Worry no more because that is 100% possible as long as you meet all the necessary requirements. In fact, this is one of the advantages of studying in Canada, as international students have the right to work. Which helps offset the cost of tuition and living expenses.

Study and Work in Canada

Besides, working during your studies in Canada can be a great way for you as an international student to gain experience, make connections, and earn extra money to pay the bills. Moreover, it can even help you immigrate to Canada permanently after you graduate.

However, just as we mentioned earlier there are some requirements or restrictions on who can work while studying in Canada. Including what type of work they can do. In this article, we will provide information in detail on everything you need to know before you start your job and study plans.

When an individual plans to study and work in Canada, it provides the opportunity for meeting new people, acquiring experience, and also building connections with Canadian citizens. Some people have followed this route as a student, and it has helped them in getting a better job at the later stages of their careers. The important thing for such a student he or she has to be eligible before they can get the privilege to study and work in Canada. Let’s get to see these things if a student must meet up the basic requirements.

Who Can Work While Studying in Canada?

However, it is very crucial to ensure that you meet the requirements and qualify to work while studying in Canada before engaging in any employment activity. Otherwise, you could be asked to leave Canada if caught working illegally in the country. This will be determined by your study permit, which will include information about whether you are qualified to work on or off-campus.

An international student who is studying in Canada can work in any Canadian company using his or her study permit. The study permit allows the student to obtain a job even without any work permit. The student needs to provide a financial statement before they will be given admission to any of the institutions in Canada even when they have the intention of picking up a job to fund some of their bills. Let’s see these key things one has to do:

1. Understand Basic Requirements:

Each of the Canadian institutions has specific requirements that have been listed out for any foreign students who have the intention of becoming their students. It is expected of the student to research to know the study permit process of the school. One should prepare one year ahead of time for a study permit. There is no way an institution won’t ask for things such as a valid passport, financial records, proficiency in English or French language, etc.

2. Select Course and Institution:

Here, the student must pick his or her course and institution. The school will give the student an admission letter to prove the student has been admitted as a student of the school. It will be expected for students to pick a course they will major on, and the good thing is they can also do other courses together with their main course. One needs to be sure about the course they are going for.

3. Language Proficiency Test:

This is another important step in gaining enrolled as an international student in Canada. The test shows your level of fluency in either the English or French language. The common test language English test is IELTS, and there are other tests like TOEFL. For French language tests, we have TCF, DALF, and DELF. The most common French test option is TCF, and this will make you eligible for a study permit in Canada.

4. Apply to Universities:

There are different universities in Canada, and this shows you can send out various applications. Applying to different schools increases the chances of getting admission. The application fee has to be paid, and this varies from $100 to $250. You need to be intentional with your numerous applications, and the information given out should be detailed. If you are being accepted as a student, the school will send an admission letter to you.

5. Application for a Study Permit:

This can be done by applying online or visiting a local visa center. The letter of application must be attached alongside other documents such as passport, financial statement, letter of admission, etc. If your institution is found in the Quebec province, a letter of acceptance (Certificat d’acceptation du Québec) will be given to you.

6. Travel Time:

After the right things have been done such as processing of an application, and also interview has been carried out. If you are lucky, you need to schedule a date to travel to Canada. The permit issued to you has a fixed rate already, and it is the date you should travel to Canada for your admission.

7. Study Time:

Before you enter Canada, your various documents will be scrutinized to ensure they are authentic. This is the last step that will make you become a full-time student in Canada as a foreigner, but students need to identify the methods of finding jobs in Canada to ensure they get the ideal one to boost their careers later on.

Finding Jobs in Canada

The following are tips to help students secure a job in Canada:

1. A Well-Written Resume or CV:

A good resume or CV is important during finding jobs. Students with poorly written resumes find it hard to get a job. This should be arranged in such a way to show your mini-bio, academic qualifications, work experience (if any), hobbies, certifications, etc. They should be able to impress the Canadian employer. A student who wants to study and work in Canada needs a resume or CV.

2. Two Strong References:

Two references make the job process very easy, and you can get this from your past employers in your country of residence or other regions you have been employed. The two referees you are going to use should be relevant to the role you want to apply for as an international student who wants to study and work in Canada.

3. Social Media Tools:

We are in the era of social media whereby many opportunities are being derived from the internet. For instance, on LinkedIn, different employers are in search of competent workers to employ. If you are conversant with the tool, you can use it to secure a job while studying in Canada.

4. Proper Networking:

Everyone needs a successful network to gain massive connections both socially and professionally. If you have different contacts on your phone, it will broaden job opportunities for you. You need to find people who have the same passion for the type of things you do as a foreign student. Therefore, you don’t have to sideline a proper networking system.

Study and Work in Canada

However, as an international student, if you plan to work while you study in Canada, you do not need to apply for a work permit.

Generally, international students do not need a separate work permit in order to work while studying in Canada. You may be eligible to study and work in Canada, only if your study permit includes a condition that says you can work on or off-campus. You must also meet all the other requirements.

Therefore, after you apply for a Canadian study permit, it is very essential to inform the immigration officer at the Canadian port of entry of your intent to study and work in Canada. So they can mark your study permit with “May accept employment” or “May work”.

Moreover, you may only be allowed to study and work in Canada, depending on your registration status and employment location. Besides, international students cannot work before their studies begin. This is to say, you can only start working in Canada when you start your study program. You can’t work before your studies begin.

Furthermore, there are only three ways or types of employment that Canada’s immigration regulations can permit for international students during their studies:

  • Work on campus
  • Work off-campus
  • As a co-op student or intern

Work on Campus:

“On-campus” refers to all the buildings on your university or college campus. As an international student, you will be able to study and work on campus without a work permit if you meet the requirements. However, the requirements are as follows:

  • You must be a full-time post-secondary student at a:
    • public post-secondary schools, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
    • private college-level school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools, and is at least 50% funded by government grants, or
    • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law
  • You must have a valid study permit
  • You must also have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Moreover, you can’t work or must stop working on-campus on certain circumstances such as:

  • On the day you stop studying full-time
  • When your Canadian study permit expires
  • If you are on authorized leave from your studies
  • If you are switching schools and aren’t currently studying

However, you can return to work only once you are back to studying and you meet all the requirements to work on campus.

Where and who can you for on-campus

Just as we said earlier, “on-campus” refers to all the buildings on your university or college campus. Therefore, you can work at all the buildings on your school campus. If your school has more than one campus, you may only work at the campus where you’re studying in most cases.

Moreover, an “on campus” employer who you can work for may include:

  • The school
  • A faculty member
  • A student organization
  • Yourself, if:
    • you run a business that is physically located on-campus (for example you own a coffee shop that is located on campus)
  • A private business
  • A private contractor that provides on-campus services to the school

Work off-campus:

Furthermore, “off-campus” means the parts of the Canadian town or city that are not part of the university or college campus. Also, just like to study and work on-campus, you do not need a work permit to work off-campus. As long as you have a valid study permit with the remarks “may accept employment or may work”.

However, you can only work off-campus without a work permit if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must be a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • You must be enrolled in:
    • a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program or
    • a secondary-level vocational training program (Quebec only)
  • your study program:
    • is at least 6 months long and
    • leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate
  • You must have started studying
  • You have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Moreover, you can work up to 20 hours per week during regular school terms or semesters.

You can work full-time during official school breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break. You must be a full-time student both before and after the break to work full-time.

Study and Work in Canada as a co-op student or intern:

Some academic programs may require that you gain work experience as part of the curriculum. Therefore, co-op placement or program involves working as part of your program of study. You may work on or off-campus. An internship provides you with on-the-job training. When you are an intern, someone in the workplace supervises you. By working as an intern, you gain knowledge and skills to help you succeed in a trade or profession.

However, you can apply for a co-op or intern work permit if you meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • You must have a valid study permit
  • Work is required to complete your study program in Canada
  • You have a letter from your school that confirms all students in your program need to complete work placements to get their degree
  • Your co-op placement or internship totals 50% or less of your study program

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Study and Work in Canada Tips for International Students

In addition, here are tips for international students who wish to work while studying in Canada:

  • Firstly, plan your schedule between work and school well. Try not to overcommit yourself, especially in your first year of study. It’s best to give yourself some time to adjust to your new study schedule before seeking out additional work.
  • Secondly, when seeking employment look for opportunities that are aligned with your field of study or ones that allow you to develop new skills. Jobs can have more benefits than just making money. Take this opportunity to learn outside the classroom and even make some valuable connections in your field.
  • Thirdly, consider future employment prospects with your employer. This is why we recommend looking for opportunities aligned with your field of study. However, Canadian companies often offer full-time jobs to former interns or employees they have already worked with on a part-time basis. You can use your co-op or part-time gig as a chance to get your foot in the door.
  • Moreover, try to network in the workplace and ask your manager to give you a referral on LinkedIn to show future employers you’re a valuable asset to their team. In Canada, many positions are filled through recruiters’ networks, so building your network will be key to hearing about job opportunities. Take this opportunity to meet others in your field. Even if they don’t end up hiring you down the road, they may know someone else looking to fill a position.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your manager for additional opportunities or express your interest in working on a particular project. Try to be proactive. If you don’t ask, you don’t get it!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, working while studying in Canada is a great way to make the most of your study permit. Finding the right job, internship, or co-op placement gives you an opportunity to learn new skills, make valuable connections, and further define your future career goals.

Moreover, keep in mind that even after graduation, you can still work in Canada for up to three years to gain strategic work experience and skills that will stand out on your resume. However, to work in Canada after graduation, you must apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP)However, the Post-Graduation Work Permit may be issued for a maximum of 3 years if the program of study is at least 2 years long.

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