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How to Work and Study in Canada for International Students






    The privilege of working and studying in Canada is one of the biggest advantages of choosing Canada as your desired study abroad destination, but before you go on this path, there are a few things you should know before you start earning cash.

    Most international students studying in Canada are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week, and also full-time during school breaks, without a work permit. Understandably,working while studying allows you the liberty to support yourself and meet new people while building requisite connections and experience that’ll make you stand out when job hunting later on.

    Before you start looking for your dream student job, read on to learn more about working in Canada as an international student.

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    Eligibility Criteria

    International students in Canada who possess a study permit and are enrolled full-time in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), are able to work off campus without obtaining a work permit. What this  implies is that you can work for any top rated employer anywhere in Canada. If you so wish you can also work on campus.

    Securing a job off campus implies working for an employer who is outside of the university or college.On the other hand, working on campus also means working for any employer that resides on the university or college’s campus, such as working for the university or college admissions office itself, for a faculty member (as a teaching assistant, for example), for yourself (self-employed blogger, working on campus), for a student run organization, or in some cases for a private contractor providing essential services on campus, for example a gym or food delivery company.

    Please note that even if you plan to work while studying in Canada, you will be asked to show proof of  sufficient financial resources when you apply for a study permit. What this means is that you have to show you have sufficient cash to take care of yourself during your studies without working. Projected future earnings will not be enough when demonstrating sufficient financial resources, so the fact that you have plans to be working while studying in Canada will not be enough to justify the condition to prove financial capacity before arrival.

    The study permit you obtain will state whether you are permitted to work in Canada or not plus the conditions of employment. This statement will allow you to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada; please note that obtaining a SIN is an important requirement before you are able to work while studying in Canada.

    Suppose the study permit you obtained does not have the statement you need in order to apply for a SIN, you can easily have your study permit amended for free.This amendment can be done after you’ve arrived, but it advisable and much easier to do it the moment your study permit is first issued. The moment you arrive at Immigration, go on and ask the officer about your student permission to work if you are unsure about anything on your study permit.

    Please note that you cannot work in Canada unless otherwise authorized to do so if your study program lasts less than six months in duration, or if you are doing an English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) program. In addition,please note that visiting or exchange students at a DLI are not allowed to work while studying in Canada.

    It’s important to remember that you are not allowed to start work while studying in Canada unless you’ve started your study program.

    Finding a job

    Checking to see if you’re eligible to work in Canada may seem like the easy part – the next step is finding a suitable job. Employers in Canada are always eager to recruit students for part-time jobs, and there are tons of jobs available .

    Before you start searching  for jobs or applying, please do well to put together your resume (CV) and cover letter. The truth is your resume and cover letter are your best chances of attracting a potential employer’s attention and standing out in the job market. Ensure your resume is well updated and properly formatted for the expectations of Canadian recruiters. Your cover letter allows you the opportunity to showcase your personality and achievements. Do well to write a tailored cover letter for each position and company, indicating how you fit the exact criteria the company is looking for. Suppose you’re applying online the cover letter you put together can form your introductory email, in which you attach your resume as a PDF not ms word.

    In searching for a job, there are tons of places you can start looking for jobs. Reputable Websites such as Indeed, Monster and Craigslist list hundreds of job postings for part-time employment. If you did not know, your city or town may have its own job portal for jobs, such as at recreation centres, libraries, or in administration.

    In addition, you could stroll around your neighbourhood and see if shops or restaurants are recruiting employees. If you decide to do this, take paper copies of your resume with you, and wear smart clothes appropriate to the business (for example a collared shirt, and avoid blue jeans) and know your availability. If a workplace looks promising, do well to ask to speak to someone about the position. This is a fantastic opportunity to make a powerful first impression face-to-face, one that could turn into an immediate job interview. The fact remains that effective networking is a tried and tested formula for achieving your goals.

    You should not be scared, Canada already has a strong culture of working while studying, and you shouldn’t hide be afraid of the fact that you’re a student. Again, do not forget that your studies come first, so do not be too shy to ask for time off during exam periods or in preparation for a big deadline. It might interest you to know that students who work while studying have the same labour rights as all workers in Canada, and you should know what your labour rights are, including the minimum wage in your district or province. Do not forget to save your payslips and the proper record of employment, so you can file your tax return.

    Co-op work permit

    Granted, international students studying  in Canada are not generally mandated to get a separate work permit in order to work while studying, however there is an important exception. Some courses typically require the student to complete a Co-op or internship work placement in order to be able to graduate on time. In such a  situation, international students really do need a Co-op work permit in addition to their study permit.

    For you to get  a Co-op work permit, you’ll require a valid study permit and a stamped letter from your university or college confirming all students in your program need to complete work placements to get their degree.

    The Co-op work permit is typically issued along with  your study permit. Assuming your acceptance letter says that a Co-op or internship placement is required as part of your study program, your work permit will then be processed along with your study permit application.

    You’re also able to apply for a Co-op work permit the moment you have  obtained your study permit, and then go on to apply online or by paper. Please note that your university or college should be adequately  able to help you with this, as the placement is a big part of your study program and they probably help many international students to apply for this permit each year.

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