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Work Off Campus

You and your employer must make sure you can work off campus without a work permit before you start working. If you start working off campus but don’t meet the requirements, you may have to leave Canada. You can only start working in Canada when your study program has started. You can’t work before you start your studies.

If you’re able to work during your studies, it’ll say so in the conditions on your study permit.

Eligibility requirements

You can work off campus without a work permit if you meet all of these requirements:


If you’re a part-time student

You can work off campus only if:

  • you meet all of the requirements above and 

  • you’re only studying part-time, instead of full-time, because:

    • you’re in the last semester of your study program and you don’t need a full course load to complete your program and

    • you were a full-time student in your program in Canada, up until your last semester


If your study permit doesn’t have work conditions on it

You can ask to have these conditions added if you’re eligible to work off campus. There’s no fee to add these conditions to your permit.

You’ll need to request an amendment to your study permit before you can apply for a SIN from Service Canada.


How many hours you can work off campus? 

During regular school terms/semesters you can work up to 20 hours per week. During scheduled breaks in the school year you can work full-time if you’re on a scheduled break, such as winter and summer holidays, or a fall or spring reading week. You’re free to work overtime or work 2 part-time jobs that add up to a higher than usual number of hours. You must be a full-time student both before and after the break to work full-time. You can’t work during a break that comes before you start your very first school semester.

There is no set number of hours per week that counts as ‘full-time’ work. However, your employer(s) must follow all provincial laws on overtime pay and time between shifts. If your program doesn’t have scheduled breaks you can work up to 20 hours per week.

Working more than 20 hours per week is a violation of your study permit conditions. You can lose your student status for doing this, and may not be approved for a study or work permit in the future. You may also have to leave the country.

Who can’t work off campus

You can’t work off campus without a work permit if any of these situations apply to you:

  • your study permit says you aren’t authorized to work off campus while you study

  • you’re only enrolled in an English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program

  • you’re only taking general interest courses

  • you’re only taking courses required to be accepted into a full-time program

  • your situation changes and you no longer meet all of the requirements to work off campus

If any of these situations apply to you, and you want to work while studying in Canada, you need to apply for a work permit.

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