Work off campus

Study permit holders in Canada may gain work experience by working off campus while completing their studies.

As of June 1, 2014, you may qualify to work off campus without a work permit. If you qualify, your study permit will allow you to work up to 20 hours per week:

  • during regular academic sessions and
  • full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.

To qualify, you must:

  • have a valid study permit,
  • be a full-time student,
  • be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at the secondary level, and
  • be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration.

Use the self-assessment tool to see if you are eligible to work off campus without a work permit.

You do not need a work permit to work off-campus, but you will need a Social Insurance Number. It is your responsibility to look for work. Even if you work off campus, your studies must be the main reason you are in Canada.

Confirmation to work off campus

You may be asked to present a confirmation to work off campus document issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) when applying for a Social Insurance Number from Service Canada.

To get a confirmation document from CIC, you must:

  • have a valid study permit;
  • have applied for a study permit prior to June 1, 2014;
  • not have a work permit under the Off-Campus Work Permit Program;
  • have a proof of enrolment from your designated learning institution. The proof of enrolment must include the following:
    • The official letterhead of the designated learning institution;
    • The designated learning institution’s name;
    • The name of a contact at the institution;
    • Your full name and date of birth; and
    • Confirmation that you are a full-time student, and
    • Confirmation that the program in which you are enrolled:
      • is a post-secondary program leading to a degree, diploma or certificate (ESL/FSL programs and general interest programs are not eligible), or a vocational training program at the secondary level offered in Quebec;
      • is of a duration of six months or more; and

    Note: To facilitate processing of your request, the confirmation of enrolment may also include: the DLI number of the institution; and the position title, and telephone number of a contact at the institution.

  • submit your request by completing a Case Specific Enquiry form.

To complete the form, you must:

  • select “International Student – confirmation letter to work off campus” under “Type of application”.
  • provide your Client Identification Number (UCI); and
  • upload the confirmation of enrolment from your designated learning institution. Failure to do so will result in your request being refused.

Submit a Case Specific Enquiry form.

Note: The processing time for this request is 30 business days. Completing the form multiple times and/or sending multiple emails concerning the same request will slow down processing.

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