Study and Work in Canada: Everything you must know

Pursuing education in Canada offers numerous advantages for international students, including the opportunity to work and establish a sustainable lifestyle. However, it’s important to understand key aspects before beginning your employment journey.

International students who do not possess a work permit can legally work for up to 20 hours per week during their studies, and full-time during school holidays. This provides an excellent opportunity to support your daily life, build relationships, and gain valuable experiences that can shape your future career.


Combining work and studies can be a rewarding experience, and taking the next step towards realizing your dreams in Canada is certainly worth considering. To learn more about working and earning an income as a student in Canada, read this article for insightful information.

How to be Eligible

International students studying in Canada with a valid study permit and acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) have the opportunity to work without a separate work permit. This opens up various job opportunities on and off campus. On-campus employment options include roles such as research assistants, student employees, or self-employment.


While there are job opportunities within the Canadian educational system, it’s important for students to maintain their financial stability by having sufficient funds for their studies without relying solely on income from foreign sources.

To study and work in Canada, it’s necessary to apply for a Student Permit from Service Canada, indicating your intention to study and work. This permit serves as proof of eligibility, although additional evidence of financial capability may be required. You will also need to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) in order to work in any business establishment during your stay in Canada. If your student permit does not indicate the need for a SIN, it can be reassessed upon arrival at no cost.

It’s important to note that international students enrolled in Designated Learning Institutions cannot work during the learning phase. Additionally, programs shorter than six months, including ESL or FSL courses, do not qualify for employment until the official start of the program, which is marked by attending classes and completing required tests/assignments under the guidance of the school supervisor or professors.

Searching For Work in Canada

Preparation Stage

Securing employment in Canada is relatively straightforward, but finding the right job requires effort. Canadian employers offer a wide range of part-time opportunities in various industries, making it easier to find a position that aligns with your interests.


Before embarking on your job search or beginning the application process, it is crucial to create a standout Curriculum Vitae (CV) and cover letter. These documents serve as powerful tools to convince potential employers that you are the ideal candidate for the job.

When crafting your resume, ensure that it highlights your accomplishments and showcases what sets you apart from other applicants. Aim to present yourself as an exceptional candidate who meets and exceeds the requirements of the position.

Customize your cover letter for each specific role you apply to. Use it as an opportunity to demonstrate why you are uniquely suited for the position, emphasizing how your past experiences and future goals align with the listed requirements.

When submitting online applications via email, remember to attach your resume as a PDF file and include any additional written documentation as requested by the employer’s guidelines.

Having two strong references from previous employers in your home country can greatly benefit your application. It is advisable to include individuals who are considered experts in your field, preferably from your most recent place of employment.

Direct Approach

If you’re actively looking for employment, taking a proactive approach by directly contacting establishments can be highly effective. To get started, it’s important to present yourself professionally. Dress in plain trousers and a shirt, and ensure you have multiple copies of your resume with you when visiting the sites.

Focus on visiting locations that align with your skillset and interests. Take the opportunity to gather information about available job opportunities and make a strong first impression with the employers or hiring managers you encounter. This proactive approach can often yield more successful results than relying solely on traditional methods of job searching.

How to Get a Job in Canada as an International Student

To secure a job in Canada as an international student, you can follow these steps:

  1. Begin your job search by exploring job openings on popular platforms such as Monster, Indeed, LinkedIn, and other job portals. These platforms allow you to search for positions based on your preferences and qualifications, all from the convenience of your own home.
  2. Expand your professional network by actively engaging with different social media channels, especially LinkedIn. Connect with professionals in your desired industry, join relevant groups, and participate in discussions. Networking can often lead to valuable job opportunities and connections.
  3. Create a well-crafted resume and cover letter that are specifically tailored to your desired job type. Highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and educational background. Customize your application materials to align with the requirements and preferences of each employer. A well-written resume and cover letter can significantly enhance your chances of securing an interview and ultimately landing the job.

Remember to stay persistent, keep updating your skills, and stay informed about the Canadian job market trends. With dedication and preparation, you can increase your chances of finding a job in Canada as an international student.

Way of Payment

Most Canadian businesses utilize direct deposit to pay their employees, which involves transferring wages directly into their bank accounts. To ensure smooth payment transactions, workers are required to open a bank account and provide their employers with the necessary account details.

Opening a bank account in Canada is a straightforward process. You can choose from various banks and credit unions based on your preferences and convenience. Generally, you will need to provide identification documents such as a passport, driver’s license, or study permit, as well as proof of address, which can be in the form of a utility bill or a rental agreement.

Co-op work permit

During their studies in Canada, international students are eligible to participate in internships or co-op programs as part of their degree program without the need for a separate work permit. Many educational institutions in Canada provide these opportunities to enhance the learning experience of their students.

Internships and co-op programs allow students to apply the knowledge and skills they acquire in the classroom to real-world work settings. These experiential learning opportunities provide valuable industry experience, networking opportunities, and the chance to develop practical skills in a specific field.

A step-by-step guide to obtaining a Co-op work permit

To apply for a Co-op work permit in Canada, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Confirm that you have a valid study permit: To be eligible for a Co-op work permit, you must have a valid study permit in Canada. If your study permit is about to expire, you may need to extend it before applying for the Co-op work permit.
  2. Obtain an official letter from your university or educational institution: Your university or educational institution should provide you with an official letter stating that participating in work placements.
  3. Prepare the required documents: In addition to the official letter, you will need to gather other supporting documents, including a copy of your valid passport, proof of financial support, and proof of enrollment in your academic program.
  4. Complete the application process: Once you have all the necessary documents, you can submit your application for a Co-op work permit. This can be done online or by mail, depending on your country of residence. You may need to pay the application fee and provide biometric information as part of the process.
  5. Wait for the decision
  6. Receive your Co-op work permit:


To maximize your chances of successfully studying or working in Canada, it is crucial to be well-informed about the necessary processes and procedures. We strongly advise reading our comprehensive article to gather all the essential information you need to achieve your goals.