Working in Canada as a Student

As an international student studying full-time with a valid Study Permit, there are a couple of work options that are available to you. Most scenarios do not require a work permit.

  • All International student work programs require you to be a FULL-TIME student with a VALID STUDY-PERMIT. If you are not enrolled full-time or you do not have a valid study permit, you may not be eligible to work in Canada.
  • If you are an UCalgary student registered full-time and have a valid Study Permit, you may work on-campus regardless of your program of study.1
  • How many hours can I work on-campus?
    • There is no legal restriction on the amount of hours you may work on-campus, so long as you remain a full-time student. You may also work more than one job. Please note that there may be union restrictions to the amount of hours you may work. Your on-campus employer can provide further details on union restrictions.
  • What is considered “on-campus”?
    • You may work for either the University of Calgary itself or for a vendor located on the physical campus. Campus includes:
      • UCalgary Main Campus
      • UCalgary Downtown Campus
      • Portions of Foothills Hospital (ask the prospective employer if they are within UCalgary facilities)
      • McMahon Stadium
      • Spyhill Campus
    • Your Study Permit should state the following:
      • "May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies"
      • "May accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v)or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting those criteria"
  • If your Study Permit does NOT have one of those above statements, you may have to Apply to Amend your Study Permit. This process is free, cannot be done online, and can take up to a month to process. Click here for Current Processing Times.2
  1. 1

    NOTE: You must stop working should you go down to part-time or your Study Permit expires and you have not applied to renew it.

  2. 2

    NOTE: Your Study Permit must have one of the above-mentioned remarks on it to be able to obtain a Social Insurance Number.

  • If you are enrolled full-time, have a valid study permit, and are in a program that leads to a UCalgary degree that takes longer than 6 months to complete, you may be eligible to work off-campus.
  • Use this self-assessment tool to determine whether you can work off campus.
  • Who is not eligible to work off-campus?
    1. Visiting students
    2. Students registered in English Second Language (ESL) programs
    3. Students who are registered in general interest programs that do not lead to a degree, diploma or certificate (example: open studies or continuing education students)
  • How many hours can I work?1
    1. 20 hours a week during regular academic sessions (Fall and Winter terms)
    2. Full-time during scheduled breaks 
    3. MOST GRADUATE STUDENTS ARE ENROLLED FULL-TIME ALL YEAR LONG and such may only work 20 hours/week off-campus all year (January through December). This includes course-based Master's students as well. Please confirm with your program advisor if your program has a scheduled break.
  • Do I Need a Work Permit?2
    1. No. Your study permit is also your student work permit.
    2. Your study permit should state one of the following:
      1. "May work 20 hours per week off-campus or full-time during regular scheduled breaks if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR"
      2. "May accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria."
  1. 1

    NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure you are in compliance with these regulations. Should you work over the amount of hours allowed, this may result in an investigation by IRCC. The University of Calgary is required to report on the enrolment status of all international students. If you are classified as full-time and you are also working full-time off campus, this may result in serious negative repercussions for you.

  2. 2

    NOTE: If you are an Exchange student, you would be able to work off campus if you hold a study permit. Please visit the IRCC website for details.

  • A work permit that allows international students to work full-time while still being enrolled full-time. You may only use this work permit to work full-time during your co-op/practicum term(s) in a work placement authorized by your University of Calgary Co-Op/Practicum Office. You are not eligible for this work permit if your program does not have a formal co-op/internship/practicum program.
  • Which programs offer co-op/internship opportunities?
    • Only certain undergraduate programs offer these opportunities, such as: The Faculty of Arts, Haskayne School of Business, Schulich School of Engineering, The Faculty of Science, The Faculty of Nursing, The Faculty of Social Work and Werklund School of Education.
    • Unfortunately, Graduate Programs do not have a formal co-op/internship opportunities as part of the program.
  • How do I apply for my co-op/internship/practicum work permit?
    • You may apply online through your IRCC online immigration account.
    • You will need an official letter issued by your Co-Op/Internship/Practicum office at UCalgary stating that you are formally enrolled into the Co-Op/Internship/Practicum program. This letter will state the length of your co-op/internship/practicum work term and when you are expected to return to UCalgary to begin your regular studies again.
    • It is important that you have a valid Study Permit.
  • There is no cost associated to the Co-Op/Internship/Practicum work permit application.
  • You may not begin working in your co-op/internship/practicum placement without your valid work permit. Your work permit is required to begin your placement.