Off-campus work

Latest Updates

Get timely updates on immigration, work eligibility, and health insurance for international students.


The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information. 

Overview of Off-campus Work

Many international students who are enrolled full-time in an academic program may be eligible to work off campus. Normally, there is a limit for off-campus work of 20 hours per week while school is in session, based on regular Canadian Immigration Law R186(V).

In the final term of study only, a student who was previously enrolled full-time may be eligible to continue working while taking a part-time course load.

English language programs are not considered “academic programs,” meaning that students in these programs are not eligible to work off campus.

See Work off campus as an international student on the IRCC website for full eligibility requirements and details.

Eligibility Requirements

You can work off campus without a work permit if you meet all of these requirements:

  • you’re a full-time student at TWU
  • you’re enrolled in
    • a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program
  • your study program
    • is at least 6 months long and
    • leads to a degree, diploma or certificate
  • you’ve started studying
  • you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

If you’re a part-time student at TWU, you can work off campus only if:

  • you meet all of the requirements above, except the requirement to be a full-time student,
  • and
  • you’re only studying part-time, instead of full-time, because:
    • you’re in the last semester of your study program and you don’t need a full course load to complete your program and
    • you were a full-time student in your program in Canada, up until your last semester

If you’re on an authorized leave

If you’re on an authorized leave from your studies, or you’re switching schools and you’re not studying, you can’t work off campus. You can only return to work once you’re back to studying.

Working off-campus during scheduled breaks

During regularly scheduled breaks from a program, international students may be permitted to work off campus full-time as long as they maintain a full-time course load in the term before and after the break.

It is important to note that IRCC limits off-campus work during scheduled breaks to 150 consecutive days, even if the break is longer. Taking into account all regularly scheduled breaks, students may only work off campus on a full-time basis for a total of 180 days during each calendar year.

See Study Permits: Off-campus work for more information.

Social Insurance Numbers (SIN)

Before starting to work, it’s important to understand Social Insurance Numbers (SIN). A “SIN number” – as they are commonly referred to in Canada – is a 9-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. If you meet all other eligibility requirements to work in Canada, you will also need to apply for a SIN number before working.

See Social Insurance Number – Overview on the Government of Canada website for more information.

When can I start working?
When must I stop working?
Can I work off campus during my Co-op or Internship?

If you still have questions related to immigration, health insurance, and life as an international student in Canada?

  • Workshops and Seminars: Our workshops and seminars are conducted regularly to help international students stay informed and empowered. Link to TWU Calendar.
  • Service Hub: For personalized assistance in resolving immigration-related questions, please submit your inquiries through Service Hub. Our team is here to provide specific support and help with any concerns you may have. Please note that TWU RCICs or RISIAs can only advise international students, their spouses, common-law partners, and children. We do not submit IRCC applications on behalf of international students.
Print Article


Article ID: 153472
Fri 8/4/23 3:11 PM
Mon 4/29/24 5:53 PM