International Students

Off-Campus Work

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 MIFI and IRCC websites take precedence over this website.
Updated: 2024-05-10

Starting in the fall of 2024, Canada will increase the number of off-campus work hours allowed during regular terms to 24 hours per week.  Until then, the hours described in the table below will continue to apply.

When deciding how many hours to work, please consider the following:

  • Maintaining a school/work/life balance is important.  Your well-being and success are at stake;
  • Immigration rules state that you must make your studies your primary activity and that you must make progress towards completing your program of study.  This means passing your courses and not unduly stretching the length of your normal curriculum;  
  • You must ensure that you continue to meet the academic requirements (cumulative average, maximum time limits, etc.) necessary to pursue your studies and to graduate.  

Off-campus is defined by IRCC as "Any location outside the boundaries of the campus of the educational institution at which the student is registered."
source: Study permits: Off-campus work - Canada.ca

International students are allowed to work off campus, even in jobs that are not related to their studies. No work permit (WP) is required, under what is known as a “work permit exemption.” However, students must comply with certain conditions applicable to off-campus work. 

 

Conditions

To be eligible to work off campus, you must:

  • Hold a valid study permit which bears a condition explicitly authorizing off-campus work;
  • Be enrolled in full-time study during the regular academic year.  You can work off-campus if you are registered part-time and enrolled in your last trimester to complete your program;
  • Be enrolled in a general or professional educational program that is 6 months or more in duration AND that leads to a degree or certificate;
  • Refrain from working more hours than the predetermined weekly maximum.

Students who stop meeting one of the conditions listed above must cease working off campus until they are again able to meet them.

In order to work off campus, you will need to obtain a social insurance number (SIN)

Maximum number of work hours

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) states that students may:

  • Work a maximum of 20 hours/week during the regular academic year; 
     
  • Work full-time during scheduled breaks in the academic year, such as summer/winter holidays and reading week:

    -Course-based programs (Bachelor’s, DESS and Non-Thesis Master’s) do not require students to enrol in the summer session. Therefore, summer can be considered a scheduled break in the academic year for students in these programs.
    The IRCC also states that: [In order to work off campus] students must hold full-time status during the academic session prior to, as well as subsequent to, their scheduled break.

    -Research programs, such as a Thesis Master’s or PhD, do not have scheduled summer breaks. Therefore, students enrolled in these programs can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during all academic sessions. However, they may work full-time during the winter holidays and reading week.

    Source: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/temporary-residents/study-permits/campus-work.html#scheduled-breaks

summary of the number of hours allowed, in each program and according to registration modes

  Registration modes Off-Campus work allowed
Fall (all programs)

Full-time

20 h/week max.  

 

20h/week max.  

 

20h/week max.  

Winter (all programs)

Full-time

Summer (Thesis Master's and Ph.D.)

Full-time

Summer (B.Eng, DESS, Non-Thesis Master’s) Not registered  More than 20 hours/week (you need to have been enrolled full time in the session prior to summer break and to plan maintaining a full time status in the subsequent Fall term)  

Part-time

More than 20h/week (you need to have been enrolled full time in the session prior to summer break and to plan maintaining a full time status in the subsequent Fall term) 

Full-time

More than 20h/week (you need to have been enrolled full time in the session prior to summer break and to plan maintaining a full time status in the subsequent Fall term)  

Scheduled breaks (all programs)

Scheduled break officially listed in the study program (reading weeks, winter holidays)

More than 20h/week

Off-campus work and completion of program
Transition to a post-graduation work permit (PGWP)

For more information regarding your right to work between the end of your program and the transition towards obtaining a post-graduation work permit, please refer to the section of the page dedicated to this topic.

Completion of program without submitting a PGWP

You will have to stop working as soon as Polytechnique confirms the end of your studies through an official letter or a transcript recommanding your diploma.  You must then apply to change your status (eg:change to a visitor status) or leave Canada before your study permit becomes invalid as per article R222.  

Completion of a program and transition towards a new program

Students who have completed their program and who will start a new one within 150 days of having received written confirmation of program completion will be able to work off campus for more than 20h/week during this transition period.  To do so, you will need to observe a certain number of conditions.  Refer to the IRCC website for more detail.  

Take note that students who cease studying without having completed their program (ex: in the case of an exclusion) cannot benefit from this measure.