Work in Canada as an international student
Many international students decide to work part-time while they attend university or college in Canada. Many begin to find local leads to a successful career after graduation. This section will lead you to information about working during and after your studies, wages in Canada, opportunities for your future career as well as advice to guide your job search and work life. leaders group
Work while studying in Canada
Do you want to work while you study in Canada? Do you have a spouse or common-law partner who would like to work during your time here? Both of you can work while you study in Canada. Working in Canada can help you develop business contacts and gain practical experience for the future. It can even help you immigrate to Canada after you graduate.
There are many ways to work in Canada while you complete your education:
· On-campus work
· Off-campus work
· Co-op placements · Internships leaders group
“On campus” refers to all the buildings on your university or college campus.
· If your school has more than one campus, you may only be allowed to work at the campus where you attend classes. Check with the school’s administration.
· If you are working as a teaching or research assistant and your work relates to a research grant, you may be able to work at a library, hospital or research centre that is part of the college or university—even if they are not on the campus.
Learn more about working on campus.
“Off campus” means the parts of your town or city that are not part of the university or college campus. When you are working off campus, you may be working:
· As a co-op student
· As an intern
· Part-time with a private business or government department
· Full-time with a private business or government department
Use this self-assessment tool to determine whether you can work off campus.
Generally, international students can work up to 20 hours per week:
· During regular school sessions or while you are studying as part of an intensive program with no planned breaks.
· If your studies are part-time because you are finishing the last session of your program.
· If you are a graduate student who has finished the required courses for your degree.
You can work full-time:
· During official school breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break
· After you finish your studies if you have applied for a non-student work permit
A co-op placement or program involves working as part of your program of study. You may work on or off campus.
For example, you may be enrolled in a co-op degree program in environmental studies. This differs from the standard degree in environmental studies because it allows you to spend 3 or 4 months (or more) each year working in your field of study. It’s a great way to get hands-on professional experience in a Canadian work setting.
When you are part of a co-op program at a college or university, you can apply for a co-op work permit if:
· You have a valid study permit.
· Working is integrated into your study program in Canada.
· You have a letter from your school that confirms all students in your program need to complete work placements to get their degree.
· Your co-op or internship is 50% or less of the total program of study.
You are not eligible for a co-op work permit if you are studying:
· English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL)
· General interest courses
· Courses to prepare you for another study program
In the cases listed directly above, you need to get a valid work permit to work in Canada.
An internship provides you with on-the-job training. When you are an intern, someone in the workplace supervises you. By working as an intern, you gain knowledge and skills to help you succeed in a trade or profession.
The Canadian work permit you need for an internship is the same as the work permit for co-op students.
Federal and provincial laws protect workers and employers in Canada by setting:
· Minimum wage levels
· Health and safety standards
· Hours of work
· Annual paid vacation
· Rules for maternity and paternity leave
Canadian laws also protect workers from discrimination based on race, religion, nationality, gender, age, sexual orientation and disability.
Workers in Canada must be paid no less than the minimum wage as stated by the provincial government. Each province sets its own minimum wage laws.
Your employer will legally deduct money from your wages for income tax, Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and, in some cases, taxable benefits and union dues.
Learn more about labour standards in Canada.
· Sign a contract before you begin work. Without proof of employment, your rights may not be upheld if a dispute occurs.
· Always ask for proof of payment (pay stubs) and keep them in a safe place.
· Check your pay stub to ensure that the necessary taxes are being deducted from your pay. Failure to deduct taxes is illegal.
· Do not work at jobs for cash only (no contract, no pay stub). These jobs are illegal as they do not document collecting tax from workers.
· Learn the basics of Canadian labour laws. These laws protect you from discrimination and encourage safety in the workplace.
· Ensure that you’re paid no less than the minimum wage.
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