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Full-time post-secondary students may work without a work permit on the campus of the university or college at which they are a full-time student [R186(f)]. This authorization is valid for the period for which they hold a study permit at the institution and during which they are enrolled in full-time studies.
This regulation applies to students who are:
Note: Students need a social insurance number (SIN) to work in Canada. To apply for a SIN for on-campus employment, they must have a valid study permit and an employment contract. Students can apply for a SIN before or within the first three days of employment.
As of June 1, 2014, R186(v) allows certain students to work off campus without work permit for up to 20 hours a week during a regular academic session and full time during regularly scheduled breaks, provided that:
For the purpose of off-campus work authorization, the following definitions apply:
Students are ineligible if any of the following apply:
Note: Students who are enrolled in a degree program that includes an ESL/FSL component may be eligible to work off campus only once they have completed the ESL/FSL component.
Designated learning institutions set the number of hours/credits toward a degree, diploma or certificate that is required for a student to hold full-time status. Students must cease working off-campus as soon as their status changes (e.g., a student may begin an academic session on a full-time basis and become part-time during the same session as they drop courses).
One or two distance learning courses within an academic, vocational or professional training program are acceptable within the context of determining full-time status.
If the designated learning institution considers a student to have full-time status during the “work experience” portion of the program (for which a work permit under the co-op work permit program is required) and the student continues to comply with the eligibility requirements under the co-op work permit program, the student may be eligible to work off campus pursuant to R186(v).
Students must hold full-time status during the academic session prior to, as well as subsequent to, their scheduled break. Each scheduled break should not be more than four months consecutively and students are not eligible to work full-time if the institution allows for back-to-back scheduled breaks. Essentially, taking into account reading breaks and the winter holiday, students may only work off campus on a full-time basis for no longer than five months during each calendar year (e.g., working full-time for four months consecutively during a scheduled break plus full-time during reading breaks that generally do not exceed one week at a time).
Maximum working hours permited
Students eligible to work under R186(v) can work up to 20 hours per week during their regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks (e.g., winter/summer holidays, reading week) and during the transition period to a post-graduation work permit (if applicable).
Students who are registered as full-time students during summer academic sessions (May to August) may only work up to 20 hours per week during that period.
Some intensive programs may not have scheduled breaks. Students participating in such programs may work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the entire program of study.
There are no legal restrictions preventing students from working on-campus in addition to working the maximum 20 hours per week off-campus.
If staff at a designated learning institution goes on strike, students holding an off-campus work permit may not work full-time.
Final academic session transition from off-campus work permits to post-graduation work permits
Students who fail to comply with the terms and conditions of their study permits are considered non-compliant. Students who become ineligible and who do not cease working would be violating the conditions of their study permit. Non-compliance may also result in enforcement action taken by the Canada Border Services Agency, or invalidation of the study permit. It may also negatively affect future applications made under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations.