International Students

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Work and Internships

IMPORTANT: This website has no legal value; it’s simply a summary of the procedures in effect, compiled to the best of our knowledge on the date it was prepared. This information is subject to change without notice. The laws and regulations of Québec and Canada, as well as the information found on the MIDI and IRCC websites take precedence over this website.
Updated: 2016-02-26

WHAT DO I NEED TO WORK IN CANADA?

To work legally in Canada, you need:

  • To be a Canadian citizen; or
  • To be a permanent resident of Canada; or
  • To hold a work permit (WP) or work permit exemption pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and abide by its conditions;

and

  • In all cases, you must have a social insurance number (SIN).

Everyone who works in Canada must pay income tax to the provincial and federal governments.

Therefore, anyone who wishes to work in Canada must first inquire about work permits, SIN numbers and taxes. 

What is considered work in Canada?

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) define work as:

"Activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned, or that competes directly with activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market."

Source: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2002-227/FullText.html

Therefore, remuneration is not the only factor that determines whether or not an activity is considered work. The main criterion is whether an activity has an impact on employment opportunities for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.  

For example, the following is considered work:

"Unpaid employment undertaken for the purpose of obtaining work experience, such as an internship or practicum normally done by a student."

Source: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/tools/temp/work/about.asp

Why is it important comply with the rules that apply to student work?

Failure to comply with the rules that apply to international students is a violation of Canada’s immigration laws and could result in the following consequences:

  • Rejection of a study permit renewal application;
  • Rejection of a post-graduation work permit or permanent residence application;
  • Denial of a request to enter Canada;
  • Removal from Canada.

To prevent problems, make sure you have the right permits and comply with all applicable conditions!

WHAT TYPES OF WORK PERMITS ARE AVAILABLE TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS?

During your study program:

After your study program: