Working in Canada
International students can find many opportunities to work in Canada while they study or after they graduate. Throughout the year, the ISO regularly holds information sessions about proper work-related immigration documentation. Check out our information session!
Work while you are a student
International Students are eligible to work on the campus of their educational institution as long as they hold a valid Study Permit and are registered full-time during a regular academic semester (fall/winter). Jobs are available in many different departments on campus such as in labs, cafeterias, gyms, etc.
If you are interested in working on campus please visit the jobs on campus page, which includes a list of departments that employ students.
Graduate students are encouraged to check with their department concerning employment possibilities. They could be hired as a teaching assistant, or a research assistant. They can also apply to work as exam invigilators.
Undergraduate and graduate students may be eligible for the Work Study Program offered by the Financial Aid and Awards Office. The Work Study Program is designed to assist full-time Concordia University students, who are in financial need, to pursue their academic goals by providing part-time employment on campus (maximum 200 hours per term). Visit the Work Study website for more details and to find out if you are eligible to apply.
A Study Permit may allow you to work off campus as well. Your Study Permit must be valid. You must be registered as a full-time student and be studying in an academic program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration at a Designated Learning Instituation (Concordia University is a Designated Learning Institution). You will be allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during the academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks without the need to apply for a separate work permit.
Your study permit MUST state:
"Student may accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186 (f)"
It your study permit does not mention the above information, please come by the ISO and meet with an advisor who will be happy to explain how to ask for an amendment.
As per IRCC regulations there is no maximum hour limit to full-time work. However provincial laws must be followed by the employer in relation to overtime and other benefits. You can refer to Labour Standards in Quebec for more information.
The Co-op work permit allows international students to work full-time off-campus during the semester for the purposes of completing their Co-op or internship only.
The Co-op work permit is required regardless of whether the mandatory work term is on or off campus, paid or unpaid and regardless of the number of work hours involved.
The Co-op work permit will be issued for a specific time period and it’s validity period usually coincides with the validity period of the study permit.
To apply for the co-op work permit, students must have letter from the Co-op Institute or their department, as the case may be. The letter must indicate that your intended employment is an essential part of your program of study.
Work that is part of your degree requirements cannot constitute more than 50% of the total program of study.
There are no application fees for the Co-op work permit.
Remember: your Co-op work permit has been issued for academic purposes only – work that is essential to completing your degree requirements. This means that you cannot use it for any other work than your Co-op program.
- You must be participating in a Co-op or internship program that is part of your degree requirements. If your internship is not part of your degree requirements or you are not obtaining credits for it, then it is not an internship for immigration purposes: it is a job subject to the regular rules for working off-campus even if your employer is calling it an “internship”.
- You must be enrolled at a designated learning institution, such as Concordia University.
- You must have a valid CAQ and a valid study permit
1. Log into or create your IRCC account. Sign in to your IRCC secure account.
2. One you are logged in, choose Apply for Visitor visa, study and/or work permit.
3. Follow the prompts in the electronic questionnaire and answer the questions to generate your personal checklist. Note that you are applying for a work permit and must indicate that work is a component of your degree requirements at the appropriate question.
4. Once your personal checklist and application is generate, you should see tabs for the following:
- Form IMM 5710: This form is embedded within the online application. Complete, validate and save the form locally onto your computer then upload to your online application. You sign this form by typing in your name in the signature box. Note that you will be prompted to provide a digital signature once you are ready to transmit your online application after you have uploaded all of the required documents. Also note that when answering the application questions regarding the details of your intended work in Canada (questions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7), you will leave them blank. These questions do not apply to you.
- Digital Photo: must be in colour, 35 mm x 45 mm, and JPEG. Refer to online specifications.
- Scan of passport pages clearly showing the passport number, the dates of issue and expiry, name and date of birth, the stamp made by the Canadian authorities on your most recent entry into Canada and any other (Entry/Exit) marked pages.
- Letter from the Institute for Co-operative Education.
- Proof of medical exam, if applicable. Find out if you need a medical exam.
5. Once all the above documents are uploaded, you will sign the application electronically.
6. You will pay the 85$ for the biometrics, if required
This is not recommended at this time due to reduced services at the border and travel restrictions due to the pandemic*
Although applying at the border is an option for most students, applying at the border is a riskier method of filing an application. It entails an interview with a border agent, as well as providing additional documents for the application.
- Valid Passport
- Valid Study Permit
- Letter from the Institute of Co-operative Education
- Biometrics, if applicable (85$)
- Unofficial transcript
- All terms attestation letter
- Most recent Admission Letter (all pages)
- Financial documents
*It is highly recommended that students meet with an ISO advisor before they apply at the border. It is strongly recommended that you have a valid US Entry Visa before going to the Land/Border Crossing (Flag-polling) as you will have to pass through US Border Security.
You can go to:
Monday - Thursday: 12: 00p.m. to 5: 00p.m.
Saturday: 9: 00a.m. to 5: 00p.m.
It is possible that even during the scheduled hours some applications may not be processed, due to increases in wait times, and you will be asked to apply online.
This program is currently on hold due to the pandemic.
Prepare for the Canadian workforce by visiting signature Montreal-based companies!
Integrating the job market is often challenging for students, particularly international students. To help prepare for this transition, the International students Office and the Student Success Centre have partenered to offer an inside view of the Canadian workplace culture, all while developing networking skills for the future.
For further information on work while studying, see Canada Immigration website.
International Students who are graduating are eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) to allow you to work in Canada. You can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) and be eligible to work for up to three (3) years in Canada. You must apply for a PGWP within 90 days of receiving your final marks, while still holding a valid Study Permit.
You can start working once you have applied for your PGWP as long as you meet the requirements from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada.
- You must be in possession of a valid study permit at the time of your application for a Post-Graduation Work Permit.
- You must have completed and passed your program of study and be eligible to receive your degree, diploma or certificate.
- You must apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit within 90 days of receiving your final grades.
You can only benefit from this opportunity one time!
To apply online, log into your MyCICPortal. Once logged in choose "Apply for: Visitor visa, study and/or work permit" to complete the PGWP application. Follow the prompts and complete the questionnaire to generate your personal checklist. Your checklist should include the following:
- IMM 5710-this form is embedded within the online application. Complete, validate and save the form locally onto your computer then upload to your online application, there is no need to print the form. - when completing the application questions regarding Details of Intended Work in Canada - questions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7, leave them blank. These questions do not apply to you.
- Digital Photo: must be in colour, 35 mm x 45 mm, JPEG. Refer to online specifications
- Passport: Scan of passport pages clearly showing the passport number, the dates of issue and expiry, name and date of birth, the stamp made by the Canadian authorities on your most recent entry into Canada and any other marked pages
- Completion of degree requirements letter
- All terms attestation letter
- Unofficial transcript
- Biometrics, if applicable (85$)
- Proof of Medical Exam, if applicable. Find out if you need a medical exam.
Once all the above documents are uploaded, you will sign the application electronically and pay $100 Open Work Permit Holder fee in addition to the $155 work permit processing fee and then submit the application
IRCC has recently advised the following:
Students are NOT advised to apply to the Canada Border Services Agency at a port of entry (POE) for a PGWP. Students who apply for a PGWP before their study permit expires are authorized to work while their PGWP application is in process, so there should be no reason to apply for a PGWP at the POE.
A student who completes their program can work full time if they submit their application for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) while their study permit is still valid and they were eligible to work off campus during their studies. If their PGWP application is refused, they must stop working immediately.
To prove eligibility to work to a potential employers, you can provide them with all the following documents:
- proof that they completed their program(s) of study
- a copy of study permit with a remark indicating that they were eligible to work off campus during their studies
- a copy of the acknowledgment of receipt from the PGWP application (submission confirmation) showing that the application was received prior to the expiry date of
- their study permit
Please apply for your PGWP online.
Information for employers
As per IRCC rules, the regulation R 186 (v) allows international students to work off-campus during their studies.
For Concordia students, the Fall & the Winter terms are considered as regular terms, which means that students are limited to only working off-campus up to 20 hours per week. The Summer term is considered as a non-regular term and students are allowed to work off-campus full-time if the student maintains a full-time status before and after the Summer term. For Summer 2022 term, Concordia students can work off-campus full-time from May 2, 2022 to August 15, 2022 as long as the above conditions are met. Even if the students are taking classes during the summer term they are allowed to work off-campus full-time.
In addition, International students are allowed to work off-campus full-time during scheduled breaks. At Concordia this would apply to breaks between the terms and the mid-term break during the Winter term. These are specified below for the current year (2022),
- February 28, 2022 – March 6, 2022
- August 16, 2022 – September 5, 2022
- December 23, 2022 – January 8, 2023
The above information is on the IRCC website https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/temporary-residents/study-permits/campus-work.html#conditions-work.
We also have a handout titled How many hours can I work? available at https://www.concordia.ca/content/dam/concordia/offices/advocacy/iso/docs/How-many-hours-can-i-work.pdf that you can refer to for more information.
If you would like to have a proof of enrollment letter with the term dates and the start of the program dates, please ask the student to provide you with a letter of attestation. Also the information about the end date of the program is indicated on the offer of admission that was provided to the student when they were admitted to Concordia University.
If you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org