Skip to main content

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!

Your responsabilities as an international student

  • You are responsible for maintaining your immigration status and obeying immigration regulations during your stay in Canada.
  • You must maintain full-time status throughout your studies:
  • Always verify that your immigration documents (passport, CAQ, study permit, TRV or ETA) are accurate and still valid. NOTE: Your CAQ and study permit do NOT always have the same expiry date.
  • Upload your immigration as soon as you get them or submit them in person at the ISO.
  • Keep your contact information in your student service centre up to date as ISO may contact you with regards to your immigration documents.

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 Institution (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), (v) or (w).

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.


International students who participate in a co-op or internship program as part of your academic curriculum offered by a DLI (Designated Learning Institution) in Canada must apply for a co-op work permit.

Depending on the conditions of the work term authorized by the DLI, the co-op work permit allows international students to work full-time during the semester. 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 is a closed work permit: it can only be used for one job and one employer. Concordia University will be the employer designated on the work permit.

The co-op work permit will be issued for a specific time period as authorized by the coordinator of the students' co-op work placement.  The validity period of the work permit usually coincides with the validity period of the study permit.

To apply for your co-op work permit log in to your IRCC account: and choose “Apply for Visitor visa, study and/or work permit”. Follow the prompts and complete the questionnaire to generate your personal checklist, which 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. Do not sign this form as you will be asked to provide a digital signature once you are ready to transmit your online application.

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.

Required documents:

  • Digital Photo: must be in colour, 35 mm x 45 mm, 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* (only if applicable)
  • Once all the above documents are uploaded, you will sign the application electronically.
  • Payment of 85$ for biometrics**

There is no application fee for the co-op work permit.

Although applying at the border is an option for most students, the fact is that 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 to the application.

Required documents:

  • Valid Passport
  • Valid Study Permit
  • Letter from the Institute of Co-operative Education
  • Proof of medical exam* (if applicable)
  • Biometrics** (85$)
  • Unofficial Copy of Transcript from LB-185
  • All terms attestation letter from Birks, LB 185.
  • Most recent Admission Letter
  • Financial documents

Where are the closest US-Canada border crossings?

Saint-Bernard-De-Lacolle or Saint-Armand/Philipsburg
Monday - Thursday: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9: 00a.m. to 5: 00p.m.

It is highly recommended that students meet with an ISO advisor before they apply at the border. It is also 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.

It is possible that even during the scheduled hours some applications may not be processed due to increase in wait times and you will be asked to apply online.

Medical Exams*
You will need a medical examination if you plan to work in an occupation that requires a medical exam. You can check the list at:

Ask your doctor for a document confirming that you underwent a medical exam and include this document with your application.

As of December 3, 2019, you need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) if you’re applying within Canada for your Study permit extension or your Temporary Resident Visa. It is not required if in the past 10 years you have given biometrics for an application to come to Canada.

Once you have submitted the application you will receive a notification requesting you to complete the biometrics. If you do not complete this requirement within 30 days then your application will be refused.

For more information please visit:

No. Your Co-op Work Permit has been issued for academic purposes only – work that is essential to your degree program.

  • You must apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • You will receive a Co-op Work Permit that will be valid for the period of time needed to complete the work component for your study program. Note the work permit will not be issued beyond the validity of your study permit.

All persons working in Canada require a SIN (Social Insurance Number).


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.

This program is currently on hold but should return shortly.


For further information on work while studying, please see the Canada Immigration website.


Work after you graduate


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 have maintained full-time status throughout your studies.
  • You must apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit within 90 days of receiving your final grades.

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.

Required documents:

Once all the above-mentioned 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

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.


The ISO does not advise on permanent residency matters.

This said, both Immigration Québec and Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada regularly offer in-person or virtual information sessions on applying for a CSQ and/or Permanent Residency. Please check our events calendar frequently to find out when the next sessions will be available.


Information for employers

As per IRCC rules, regulation R 186 (v) allows international students to work off-campus during their studies, the details of how this would apply to Concordia University students are explained below. 

For Concordia students, the Fall and the Winter terms are considered regular terms, which means that students are limited to working off-campus a maximum of 20 hours per week as long as they are registered full-time time with the exception of the final term where they do not have to be registered full time. 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.

International students are allowed to work off-campus full-time during scheduled breaks (periods where no classes are offered) such as:

  • October 14, 2024 to October 20, 2024 (Fall Reading Week)
  • December 20, 2024 to January 12, 2025 (Holiday break)
  • February 24, 2025 to March 2, 2025 (Winter Reading Week)

Additionally, Summer 2024, which runs from May 2, 2024 to September 2, 2024, can be deemed as a scheduled break for most, but not all students, if you meet the following requirements:

- If you were registered full-time the semester before (Winter 2024) and the semester after the summer (Fall 2024). The only exception to the requirement to be full-time in Fall 2024 is if Fall 2024 is your last term. 

- If, and only if, according to your program requirements, summer is not considered a required term

- If your study permit mentions the following:
May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(F), (V) or (W).


The above information is on the IRCC website.

We also have a handout titled How many hours can I work? 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


Useful resources

Working in Canada presentation

Post-graduation work permit (PGWP) presentation

Related information

Work in Canada pamphlet

View/Download PDF

How many hours can I work?

View/Download PDF
Back to top

© Concordia University