Here are a number of possible options for international students to work while pursuing their programs of study in Canada.
A foreign student does not need a work permit in order to work on-campus
An international student requires a work permit in order to work off-campus.
Students who hold off-campus work permits may work up to 20 hours per week during the academic season. During breaks such as winter and summer holidays and spring break, they are permitted to work full-time. International students cannot begin to work off-campus until they have received work permits, and they must maintain status as full-time students in good academic standing in order to continue working.
Before applying for an off-campus work permit, a student must have studied for six months out of the year preceding their application.
Internship or Co-op Program
In order to participate in a co-op or internship, international students need work permits in addition to their study permits. To apply for a work permit, a student must hold a valid study permit, their intended employment must be an essential part of their academic program in Canada, and the employment must be a required component of the program. The employment requirement must be certified with a letter from a responsible academic official of the institution. In addition, the internship or co-op cannot constitute more than half of the total program of study.
Open Work Permits for the Spouses of International Students.
The spouse or common-law partner of an international student is eligible to apply for an open work permit. The foreign student must hold a valid study permit and be studying full-time. The spouse’s open work permit will be valid for the same period as the study permit issued to the international student. The accompanying spouse or common-law partner is not required to obtain a job offer before receiving an open work permit.