On and Off Campus Work Permit Eligibility - Immigration Law Firm
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On and Off Campus Work Permit Eligibility

On and Off Campus Work Permit Eligibility

Applying for a Work Permit On and/or Off Campus

As an International student in Canada, experiencing the Canadian education system and observing the Canadian culture, can definitely insight some interest in possibly working and seeing what the Canadian economy has to offer. More international students now want to work while studying and they have two options to choose from on-campus and off-campus. The Canadian economy and workplaces are very unique and can attract many students. Of course in order to work in Canada, you must be authorized to do so. Therefore, in this article, I will explain the eligibility requirements for international students wanting to work while studying in Canada, either on-campus or off-campus, and the difference between the two options.

Working On-Campus

The convenience of working on-campus can appeal to many international students as many are unfamiliar with the surrounding environments and are comfortable being near their school and residence. There are eligibility requirements that one must take into consideration before working on-campus. One must abide by these requirements in order to work at the educational institution without a valid work permit. The eligibility requirements are listed below.

In order to work on-campus at your educational institution without a valid work permit, you must:

  • Be a full-time student at a public post-secondary institution
    - For ex: a college or university, OR

  • Be a full-time student at a private post-secondary institution that has the same rules and regulations as a public institution and must receive a minimum of 50% of its financing for its operations from government grants, OR

  • Be a full-time student at a Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees, AND

  • Obtain a valid study permit

Keep in mind, should your study permit expire or you change your studies to a part-time basis, you are required to stop working on-campus.

In addition to the above mentioned eligibility requirements, it is also very important to acquire a Social Insurance Number prior to working in Canada. With a Social Insurance Number (SIN), you are allowed to work in Canada and/or to receive benefits and services from government programs.

This may seem complicated as most students are only on a study permit; however, there are conditions and/or remarks that are listed on the valid study permit that may allow you to receive a SIN. For instance, your study permit should have these following conditions in order to apply for a SIN for on-campus work:

  • May accept employment on-campus of the institution at which you are registered in full-time studies

  • May accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria as listed in R186(f), (v) or (w)

  • Must discontinue to work if you no longer meet these criteria

Should your study permit not include any of the above mentioned conditions, then you must submit a request for an amendment to your study permit prior to receiving your SIN. Fortunately, there are no additional fees for this specific request.

Working Off-Campus

Luckily for students that enjoy exploring what Canada has to offer outside of their campus, they may be allowed to by working off-campus. As of June 2014, students who hold valid study permits are no longer required to obtain a work permit in order to work in Canada. Of course, you must qualify first before this may be possible. If you indeed qualify, your study permit will allow you to work up to 20 hours/week during the regular academic terms and work full-time during designated breaks, such as the winter or summer holidays or spring break.

Similar to the on-campus work, there are also eligibility requirements that one must take into consideration before working off-campus. The eligibility requirements are very similar to the on-campus work requirements and they are listed below.

In order to work off-campus without a valid work permit, you must:

  • Have a valid study permit,

  • Be a full-time student,

  • Be registered and enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI) at the post-secondary level

  • Be studying in an academic program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration, OR

  • Be studying in a vocational program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration, OR

  • Be studying in a professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration.

Keep in mind, should your study permit expire or you change your studies to a part-time basis, you are required to stop working on-campus. If you are still unsure if you are eligible to work off-campus without a valid work permit, you may go on the government’s website and use the self-assessment tool or contact Akrami & Associates for further assistance.

Just like the on-campus work and in addition to the above mentioned eligibility requirements, it is also very important to acquire a Social Insurance Number prior to working in Canada. With a Social Insurance Number (SIN), you are allowed to work in Canada and/or to receive benefits and services from government programs.

Again, this may seem complicated as most students are only on a study permit; however, there are conditions and/or remarks that are listed on the valid study permit that may allow you to receive a SIN. For instance, your study permit should have these following conditions in order to apply for a SIN for off-campus work:

  • May work 20 hours/week off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting the criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR

  • May accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria as listed in R186(f), (v) or (w)

  • Must discontinue to work if you no longer meet these criteria

Should your study permit not include any of the above mentioned conditions, then you must submit a request for an amendment to your study permit prior to receiving your SIN. Fortunately, there are no additional fees for this specific request.

On the other hand, if your study permit outlines that the permit does not allow the holder to engage in off campus employment in Canada, and you have changed your program of study in the past, then you must apply to change the conditions of your current study permit and pay the appropriate fees. It is very important to do this as you are not authorized to engage in work off-campus if this is printed on your permit.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you wish to work on or off-campus and you are an foreign national and have a valid study permit in Canada, we can help you with this process and determine which option is best for you. Determining whether you can work or if your study permit allows you to work can seem like a complicated process. Much like any other immigration application, this process can become overwhelming if done alone; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to work in Canada while on a study permit. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our international student clients finally obtain work on or off-campus. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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Wednesday, 20 November 2019
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