Hiring International Students and Graduates
International students and graduates have a wide range of academic, professional and cross-cultural experience which can be applied in any workplace. These general resources are intended to remind you, the employer, just how easy it is to hire and retain these skilled candidates.
If you are an international student looking for information about your rights and responsibilities related to work in Canada, visit our “Working in Canada” page.
What is on this page
International student requirements
International students are permitted to work on campus and be paid if:
- they are registered as a full-time student,
- they hold a valid work permit (“open” or naming Queen’s as the employer) or study permit, or have applied to renew an expiring permit (granting them “implied status“), and,
- they hold, a valid Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.), or have applied to renew an expiring work or study permit (granting them “implied status“).
Visiting scholars who hold a work permit identifying Queen’s as their employer, or holders of an “open” work permit (which does not identify an employer), are also permitted to work on campus.
International academic visitors
Resources for international academic visitors and their hosts is available at: http://www.queensu.ca/internationalvisitors
Immigration regulations for students changed on June 1, 2014. A major change related to work, is that students no longer require Off-Campus Work Permits to seek employment off-campus during their studies. Eligible students are allowed to work off-campus with just their study permits (even if the permit does not explicitly note this allowance) from the beginning of their studies.
Eligible students must be studying full-time in a program leading towards a Canadian degree, diploma, or certificate (ie. exchange and ESL students are not eligible).
International student requirements
International students are permitted to work off campus and be paid if:
- they are registered as a full-time student in a program leading towards a Canadian degree, diploma, or certificate (ie. exchange and ESL students are not eligible),
- they hold a valid work permit or study permit, or have applied to renew an expiring permit within Canada (granting them “implied status“), and,
- they hold a valid Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.), or have applied to renew an expiring work or study permit within Canada (granting them “implied status“).
Recent Graduate requirements
Recent graduates are permitted to work on-or-off campus and be paid if:
- they hold a valid work permit or have applied for, and are waiting for, their Post-Graduation Work Permit,
- they hold a valid Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.), or an expired S.I.N. confirmation but applied within Canada for their permit before their study permit expired (granting them “implied status“).
Students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during study periods, and full-time during scheduled breaks.
Recent graduates can begin full-time work under their study permit as soon as they apply for their Post-Graduation Work Permit according the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), Regulation 186 (w). This can happen as soon as they get confirmation from Queen’s that they have completed the requirements of their degree (after the final exam or thesis defence, but before the convocation ceremony).
Detailed information about how graduates can apply for a post graduation work permit is available through our “Working in Canada” page.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s post graduation work permit program will automatically allow a graduate to get a work permit for up to 3 years following their degree. The length of the work permit is dependant on the length of the academic program:
- Programs shorter than 2 academic years = 1 month of work for every month of study
- Programs of 2 academic years or more = 3 year work permit
There are multiple ways that an international student might extend their permission to remain and work in Canada. The main options are becoming a permanent resident or getting a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment.
- Permanent residency (or immigration) – A special class of application was developed specifically for students who complete a degree in Canada and follow it with skilled work experience in Canada. If you hire an international student at the end of their degree, they should be able to become a permanent resident before their 3-year post-graduation work permit expires.
If your employee applied for Permanent Resident status in Canada during the period of their post-graduation work permit but are nearing the expiry date, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced a Bridging Open Work Permit to ensure uninterrupted work.
- Labour Market Impact Assessment – This is permission from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to hire someone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. This permission requires employers to provide details of the position as well as proof of recruitment efforts. Other documentation may also be required.
“Implied Status” allows international students and workers to stay in Canada and continue to work or study if their current work or study permit expires while their application for a permit extension is being processed. This “Implied Status” is recognized by Service Canada allowing the student or worker to also continue to be paid while they wait for their new study or work permit to be issued.
This means that employers can keep international students and graduates in their workforce during this period and keep them on the payroll.
Social Insurance Numbers (SINs)
International students or graduates that are temporary residents of Canada (ie. hold a work permit or study permit) are issued Social Insurance Numbers that start with “9”. Their SIN confirmations (physical cards are no longer issued) also have an expiry date which relates to either their contract or their study or work permit. The “implied status” (noted above) means that you can continue to pay and employ an international student or graduate with an expired SIN confirmation, as long as they have applied to renew their study or work permit.
Applications for initial SINs or extensions of their initial confirmations must included differing supporting documents depending on the immigration document that the student/graduate holds:
Study Permit Holders (with the words “may work” or “may accept employment” on their permit)
- passport, and;
- study permit.
Study Permit holders (without the words “may work” or “may accept employment” on their permit) must apply for an amendment to their permit through Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The amended permit will include the required statements and allow Service Canada to issue them an SIN confirmation.
Work Permit Holders
- passport, and;
- work permit.
With the appropriate documents, a student can apply for their SIN and will be able to provide you with a printed confirmation (physical cards are no longer issued).
Details about how a student applies for the confirmation of eligibility and the SIN are available on the Working in Canada page of our site.
If you have further questions, after reviewing the information above, advising is available (without an appointment) from the International Student Advisers at the Queen’s University International Centre from Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 4:30pm.