This is the most popular question among students seeking post-secondary education abroad. Working while studying is a great chance to cover essential expenses such as food, accommodation, and transportation.
International students in Canada are allowed to work 20 hours per week and 40 hours during official holidays.
How can I know if I am allowed to work while studying?
When you arrive in Canada for the first time, an immigration officer at the port entry issues a study permit, which states whether you have the right to work during your study program.
If your study permit doesn't state that a student is allowed to work, you can apply for the permit at the Canadian government. The application process, though, might take a while. Once at the port entry, don't hesitate to ask questions.
Please note that international students coming to Canada for language courses can't work in Canada, neither are they allowed to use this pathway as immigration to Canada.
Where can I work in Canada as a student?
A student has a few options to pursue.
Work in Canada on the university or college campus
Each post-secondary institution in Canada has many interesting vacancies. It isn't a secret that employers consider their students in the first place. For example, you can work as a tutor, assistant in the international department, libraries, and different faculties. Also, campuses have cafeterias and restaurants, where students can find a job as a waiter or barista.
The advantage of working on campus is that you don’t need to spend time commuting. So you will easily combine study and work. Besides, students are more than welcome to teach languages or open a drama class if they want. Plus, universities often are willing to finance these activities.
A student usually is paid a minimum wage. However, the exact amount depends on the province. For example, the minimum wage in:
Ontario – 14,35 CAD
British Columbia – 15,20 CAD
Manitoba – 11,90 CAD
Alberta – 15 CAD
Quebec – 13,50 CAD
Prince Edward – 13,00 CAD
Nova Scotia – 12,95 CAD
Saskatchewan – 11,50 CAD
Based on these figures, if you work in the province of Ontario 20 hours per week, you will earn 1148 CAD per month. After a 20%-25% tax obligation, you will be left with 861 CAD, which is enough to cover your basic needs.
Work outside campus
Bachelor program students may opt for working at the campus, while students with a one-or two-year program may prefer a job outside the campus. It can be in restaurants, cafeterias, grocery stores, logistics, and other sectors.
Working in restaurants or cafes can be more profitable because students are paid tips above a minimal wage.
Work in Canada as a promoter
Any business needs a promoter to market its products. For a student, it's an excellent opportunity as a part-time job. An hourly pay would typically exceed a minimal wage and will reach about 20 CAD-30 CAD.
Work in Canada on co-op or internship
A work permit under co-op or internship is issued to international students whose program assigns employment as part of their study process. The program usually is comprised of 50% percent of study and 50% of work. For example, someone taking a co-op in computer programming might be involved in working in a software development company to get hands-on experience in writing codes, etc.
Work in Canada as a freelancer
If a student doesn’t have permission to work in Canada, they can work remotely as freelancers. As long as the student has skills that may interest potential employers, they can earn money without violating laws.
Finally, a student should make advanced preparations to ensure a job before graduation. An employer must provide a job offer for at least one year. The employment agreement is needed to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP).
Study and Work in Canada: FAQ
Which jobs are in demand in Canada?
The most sought-after jobs in Canada are in the IT sector and healthcare. For example, popular jobs are registered nurses, software developers, financial advisors, etc. You can also consider the easiest jobs to find in Canada.
Can I get Canadian permanent residence after two years of study?
After graduating from a Canadian institution, you should apply for a Post-Graduate Work permit to work in your field of study. After obtaining at least one year of work experience, you become eligible for permanent residency. Those planning to work in Canada after graduation should choose a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to apply for PGWP.
You can also read about short careers for Canadian immigration.
Which immigration programs can I apply for to become a permanent resident?
How much money do I need to study in Canada?
The tuition fees in Canada are cheaper than in the UK or the US. The annual cost may vary between 10,000 CAD to 30,000 CAD. However, the exact amount of tuition depends on the institution and program a student chooses.
Which study courses are in demand in Canada?
To improve your employment prospects in Canada, you can choose the following five in-demand study programs: Master of Business Administration, IT & Computer Science, Finance and Business, Engineering and Core Engineering, Medicine, Biosciences, and Healthcare.
Which universities in Canada offer the lowest tuition fees?
Here is the list of Canadian universities with the most affordable tuition fees per year:
- Memorial University of Newfoundland: 2,150-11,460 CAD
- University of Regina: 1,715-20,050 CAD
- Royal Roads University: 3,750-27,600 CAD
- University of Saskatchewan: 4,110-24,000 CAD
- Athabasca University: 1,625-17,250 CAD
As mentioned earlier, some study programs, such as an MA in Business or Law, can cost over 30,000 CAD.
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