International Student Work Permit: What You Should Know

by Basma Ihmaidan
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If you’ve come this far, you surely have many questions about international student work permits in Canada. Do not worry! In today’s article, we will be explaining all you should know so that these procedures do not generate more doubts.

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Programs that allow you to obtain a work permit for international students

international student work permit

When you are an international student in Canada, you should know that despite having a student visa, and that international students can work, not all study programs enable you to do this. 

To be clear, we are talking about language programs, they do not allow you to apply for a work permit.

However, there are three types of study programs in Canada that do grant you a work permit. So you can apply for one of the many possible international student jobs. These programs are:

Vocational Programs

These are programs aimed at training you in the specific skills required in the labour market. Vocational programs are very popular in Canada, both for natives and foreigners. 

Upon completion of a vocational study program in Canada, you obtain a “technical” degree in that area, so they are quite useful if you are looking for training in a specific field that will allow you to directly delve into the job market.

University Programs University

programs in Canada cover undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees. These titles are quite attractive, especially for those who want to return to their country with high-quality training. 

In fact, university careers in Canada are very varied, and there are numerous public and private institutions to pursue them.

To carry out certain studies, it is convenient to go to certain areas, for example for business and finance, the reference is Toronto, and for technology Vancouver. However, the decision may also be based on other factors, such as the cost of living or the admission requirements of each institution.

CO-OP programs in Canada

Finally, one of the most interesting options, and one that makes many people choose Canada to complete their studies, are the CO-OP programs. 

These are educational plans specially designed so that you have a work experience in the sector before facing the world of work. How do they get it? Easy! You have an academic training period and a practice period in companies in the sector. 

If you are one of those people who are concerned about lacking work experience, a CO-OP program would be perfect for you. This makes it the favourite alternative for international students, due to the ease of entering the Canadian labour market.

Types of work permits for international students

international student work permit

Among the work permits that you can obtain through the international student visa, there are two directly linked to the studies, which are the following:

Part-time work Permit

This work permit you can Obtain it if you do one of the study programs that we have named in the previous section. There are two modalities to work: work on campus (which does not require a permit) and work off-campus, which does require a permit.

What the part-time work permit offers you is to combine studies with jobs for international students, for 20 hours a week. 

In addition, you will be able to work full time during vacation periods. In this way, you can better cover the cost of living in Canada.

Post-graduation work Permit

This permit enables you to stay working in the country after finishing your studies

This is a permit that you can only obtain if you have studied at a public college. It is important to keep this in mind before registering, in case you are interested.

Additionally, working with a Post-Graduation Work Permit gives you opportunities to score points to apply for a permanent residency. 

Steps to obtain a work permit as an international student

international student work permit

Obtaining your work permit is quite simple if you are an international student in Canada. You only have to follow the following steps:

1. Enroll in a study program that allows you to obtain a work permit

The first thing you always have to have, in order for your student visa to be valid, is enrollment in an appropriate study program, and at an eligible institution

In order to carry out the following steps, this study program must also be one of the ones mentioned in the first part of this article.

2. Apply a visa that allows you to study and work

Once you have the formalized registration, it will not be difficult for you to process the student visa, either to apply for it if you are not in Canada or to renew it, if you are already an international student in the country.

3. Apply for a work permit for international students

When you have registered for one of the training programs we have mentioned, you can apply for a work permit.

For this, you must ensure that you have the necessary documentation that proves that you are a full-time student at an eligible institution. Additionally, you require a SIN number.

Due to carries out this process, not hesitate to use experts whether they are study agencies in Canada or advisors to the school you are interested in. 


Studying and working in Canada as an international student is a simple process if you know what to do. Therefore, we have told you what you should know about the work permit for international students. 

Remember that you can only do it through one of the eligible study programs and that for a few years now language courses no longer count towards work permits.In addition, in this article, we have also discussed the types of work permits that you can obtain through studies in Canada, and the steps necessary to obtain them. Now you just have to take the first step!

guide to work in canada

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