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IRCC Help Centre

  • Working While Studying
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  • Working While Studying

    On Campus

    Student Eligibility

    Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada permits students to work on campus and be paid if:

    Queen’s “Work Study” Program

    Queen’s Work Study Program increases access to part-time jobs on campus for students who demonstrate financial need.  It does not guarantee you a job.  Any student who is registered in a minimum 60% course load (or full-time for graduate students) may apply.  See the Work Study page of the Student Awards website for application deadlines and other information.

    Finding a Job

    Queen’s Career Services Office works with students who are looking for part-time jobs during their studies and careers for after they graduate.   Their staff can help you develop skills that will help you find a job.

    They have also developed a guide to some possible on campus employers.

    Visiting Scholars/Researchers

    ting scholars who hold a work permit identifying Queen’s as their employer are permitted to work on campus.

    Queen’s provides information for international academic visitors and their hosts.

    Visiting scholars/researchers are generally eligible to extend their existing status but may have difficulty changing immigration status (ie. Visitor record to work permit).


    st-doctoral fellowship recipient qualifies for a work permit without requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

    An application to do so can be submitted on paper (by mail/post or upon entry to Canada in specific circumstances) or online. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) try to give detailed instructions throughout the online application process.

    Queen’s Office of Post-Doctoral Training has useful resources for post-docs.


    Off Campus


    As of June 1, 2014 eligible students are allowed to work off-campus using their study permit.  Some students will require a work permit if a work placement is a required part of their academic program.

    Spouses or partners of international students also qualify for work permits.

    A  Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.) is required for anyone to be paid for work in Canada.



    Off-campus work with a Study Permit

    ne 1, 2014, new rules came into effect for students interested in working off-campus.

    Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s new rules allow eligible students to work off-campus without a work permit:

    • For up to 20 hours per week during study periods, and full-time during scheduled breaks (ie. summer);
    • from the first day of their program of study.

    Students will be permitted to work off-campus and be paid if:

    •   they are registered as a full-time student (in an academic, vocational, or professional program leading to a Canadian degree, diploma, or certificate),
    •   they hold a valid study permit and,
    •   they have a valid Social Insurance Number (S.I.N.)

    Exchange students and those studying at the Queen’s School of English will not be eligible for off-campus work through this program.  They can still work on-campus if they meet the on-campus work eligibility requirements, or they can consider work permit options for non-degree students.



    Co-op/Internship Work Permit

    cement is a required part of your Canadian academic program then you may qualify for a work permit at no charge.

    There are few programs at Queen’s that qualify their students for a work permit through this program (please confirm with the department or faculty).   They include (but may not be limited to):

    If the offer of admission includes confirmation of the mandatory placement, the work permit can be requested as part of an initial study permit application. If it is not included, the work permit can be requested separately after arrival in Canada. In that case, it is important to check with your department/program/faculty to confirm how soon after arrival the placement/co-op will begin. This is to ensure that there is enough time to submit the work permit application and for it to be processed.

    Information about applying for a co-op/internship work permit on paper or online is available from the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada website. They also provide an instruction guide for completing the application.

    There is no application fee for a co-op/internship work permit because the work is a requirement of your Canadian academic program.

    Bachelor of Education students


    Because the practical placement involves working with children, an immigration medical exam is required to get the co-op/internship work permit.

    If you have not had an immigration medical exam within the 12 months prior to the submission of the work permit application, you will need to have one before your work permit can be issued. Unfortunately, the cost of the exam is not covered by either the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) or your supplemental health insurance provided through the Alma Mater Society (AMS). A list of “panel physicians” that are allowed to provide immigration medical exams is provided by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

    It is a good idea to check with multiple panel physicians as the fees that they charge can vary.

    More information about getting a work permit for any of these programs is available from the International Student Advisers at the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC).


    Finding a Job

    Finding a Job

    a_Job">Finding a Jobef="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Career Services Office works with students who are looking for part-time jobs during their studies and careers for after they graduate.   Their staff can help you develop skills that will help you find a job.





    sions">Extensionsd your work permit should be the same as when you first applied in Canada.



    r of an international student or worker is eligible to work in Canada with an “open work permit”.   The application for the work permit can be submitted online or through the mail.

    The paper application should include, in addition to the documents requested on the document checklist, copies of the spouse/partner’s (ie. the student’s) study permit and passport.   This is necessary because the spouse/partner is eligible for the work permit based on the student’s immigration status in Canada.  The online application system should ask for proof of the student’s status as part of an “open work permit” application.

    Applicants for spousal work permits (and other “open” work permits that are exempt from the requirement for a Labour Market Impact Assessment) must now pay an additional $100 CAN fee. This makes their total application fee $255 CAN.

    General information about applying can be found in the “How to Apply” section below.

    Further information of interest to spouses and partners is available at our Spouses, Partners and Families page.


    Non-Degree StudentsNon-Degree Students

    -Campus Work Permit program is not available to non-degree students (eg. exchange).  That means you are limited to on-campus work during your studies.


    Working after Graduation


    Students who complete an academic degree, diploma or certificate program that is at least 8 months in length may be eligible for a work permit through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP).

    This program is available after the completion of one program. It is a “once-in-a-lifetime” program which means that even if you complete three degrees in Canada, you can only participate in the program once.

    The work permit that is issued is “open”.  This means that it will not name an employer (a job offer is not required).   This allows for movement between employers.

    More information is available from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.


    When To Apply

      When To Apply PGWP application within the 90 days following the completion of the requirements of your program.
    • Your study permit must also still be valid on the day you submit your application.

    You do not need a job offer to apply.

    Undergraduate students are usually considered to have completed the requirements of their degree on the date that marks are released after their final exams.   For graduate programs, it is the date the revised thesis is submitted (in thesis-based programs).   Check with your Faculty, academic department, or the Office of the University Registrar to confirm.

    If your study permit expires after you apply for the PGWP but before it is issued, you can remain in Canada under “implied status” while you wait for a response from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.


    Validity Period

    Validity Periodtable style="width:100%; " class="easy-table easy-table-default " border="0"> Length of academic program Length of work permit 8 months to 2 (academic) years one month of work for every month of study 2 (academic) years or longer 3-year work permit

    If your passport expires during the period of your work permit, you should be able to extend the permit after getting a new passport.


    How To Apply


    How To Apply

    ine or by mail (post).

    Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) try to give detailed instructions through the online application process. A few useful additional notes include:

    • Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) publish an instruction guide that is useful for online and paper applications.
    • All the forms are available for those that want to apply on paper.
    • If you want to apply online, you must answer a series of questions to determine if you are eligible.  The online system will give you access to any forms you require.
    • Whether you use their GCKey or the Sign-in Partner login, keep a record of your username and password somewhere safe.
    • If you decide to exit at any point, all responses submitted until that point will be saved. The next time you access your MyCIC account page and click on the Work Permit application you have in process, you will be brought to the last unanswered question.
    • Application fee information can be found below.
    • Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada publishes current processing times for temporary residency document applications (processing times for an in-Canada PGWP application can be found by selecting “work permit extension [new employer]” under “visiting, studying, and working temporarily”).

    More information on the GCKey and the application process is available from the International Student Advisers or through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada website.  They also provide an instruction guide for completing the application.


    Application Fees


    Application Fees

    ;">The work permit application fee is $155 CAN.  Applicants for post-graduation work permits (and other “open” work permits that are exempt from the requirement for a Labour Market Impact Assessment) must pay an additional $100 CAN fee.

    The application fee can be paid online (if you have a valid credit card), or through a Canadian bank (using a payment form available from our International Student Advisers).


    Finding a Job

    Queen’s Career Services Office works with students who are looking for part-time jobs during their studies and careers for after they graduate.   Their staff can help you develop skills that will help you find a job.


    Starting Work

    If you have app

    Starting Work

    duation Work Permit, you can begin working at any time. This is allowed by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), Regulation 186 (w).

    If your study permit expires after you apply for the PGWP but before it is issued, you can remain in Canada under “implied status” while you wait for a response from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.


    More Information

    The More Information://">“After Queen’s” page of this site provides information about what comes after you complete your studies.



    If your passport expires before the “normal” validity period of your PGWP, you can apply to extend your Post-Graduation Work Permit until the end of your eligibility.

    If you are near the end of your eligibility and you want to continue to work, the rules for getting a work permit extension depend on your situation.

    • One option is for your employer to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada.   With a positive LMIA, your employer can offer you the job extension and you can apply for a new Work Permit.
    • If you have applied for Permanent Resident status in Canada but your Post-Graduation Work Permit will expire before that status is granted, a Bridging Open Work Permit may be an option to ensure uninterrupted work.


    Non-Degree Students

    Because only

    Non-Degree Students

    adian degree, diploma, or certificate are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, non-degree students have limited options to get a Work Permit when they finish at Queen’s.

    The main possibility is to find out whether your government has an agreement with the Canadian government for youth mobility.  International Experience Canada oversees this program.

    Starting in 2016, the International Experience Canada program will not be run on a first-come, first-served model.  Instead, those interested can create a profile and be put into a pool of possible applicants.  Selections are made at random.  If selected, they can proceed with their application.  IRCC publishes more about the pool system.

    If your government does not have such an agreement, there may be an option through specially-recognized third-party organizations.   IRCC lists the recognized organizations separately. Beyond that, it may be very difficult to get a work permit.   Please come in to QUIC to meet with our International Student Advisers to discuss any other options.


    Social Insurance Num

    Social Insurance Number (SIN)

    paid for work in Canada.   International students who successfully apply will get a SIN that starts with a “9” and that has an expiry date (which usually matches their study permit).   The Social Insurance Number is also used for credit record purposes. It is very important and should be kept confidential (you do not need to keep it with you).


    How To Apply

    Applications are processed by

    How To Apply" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Service Canada. The office nearest to Queen’s University is at 1300 Bath Road (in the Frontenac Mall).   It is open from 8:30am to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday.

    The application form is available at the office.   There is no cost to apply for a Social Insurance Number.

    Once you submit your application, you will be given a receipt with your SIN.   The receipt can be shown to your employer to allow you to start work and/or be paid.


    Required Documents

    Required Documentsontent'>
    Study Permit Holders
    • passport, and;
    • study permit (that includes the words “may work” or “may accept employment”).

    Those without the words “may work” or “may accept employment” on their permit will now be required to request an amendment to their permit at no fee or to request renew their Study Permit.

    More details are available through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

    Work Permit Holders
    • passport, and;
    • work permit.

    If IRCC made an error on your permit, Service Canada may refuse to issue a SIN.  In that case, it will be necessary to request a free amendment to the permit.


    Expiry Dates

    International students or workers sh

    Expiry Dates

    al Insurance Number confirmation sheet with an expiry date that matches their study or work permit.   To continue to work and be paid, it will be necessary to extend your confirmation.   This can only be done after extending your study and/or work permit.

    By applying to extend your study and/or work permit before their expiry date, you will have “implied status” which allows you to stay in Canada while a decision is made. That “implied status” also applies to your Social Insurance Number.   That means you can legally continue to work and be paid while you wait for your new immigration document. Once it arrives, you can return to the Service Canada office with the proper documents to apply for extension of your SIN (the number will be the same).


    Social Insurance Number Uses

    A Social Insurance Numb

    Social Insurance Number Uses

    o complete Canadian Income Tax forms.   Those without a Social Insurance Number who wish to complete Canadian Income Tax forms can apply for an Individual Tax Number along with their Tax forms.   More information about Income Taxes is available below.

    Many more organizations ask for your Social Insurance Number than are supposed to.  Service Canada, the portion of our Federal Government that issues and manages Social Insurance Numbers, provides information about which services can require you to give your Social Insurance Number and which cannot and what to do if an organization that should not require your Social Insurance Number refuses to accept other identity documents.


    Income Taxes

    Most students

    Income Taxes

    to be required to pay income tax.   Nonetheless, if you earn income from Canadian sources you are expected to complete Canadian Income Tax forms.

    Completing Canadian Income Tax forms can qualify you for hundreds of dollars in immediate tax refunds and thousands of dollars in long-term tax credits if you have future income in Canada.

    Visit our “Taxes” page for more information.


    Information for Employers


    Information for Employers

    nternational Students and Graduates" href="">“Hiring International Students and Graduates” page.  There you will find details of how easy it is to hire international students during or after their academic program.


    Further Questions?

    Support t

    Further Questions?

    ons, 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.


    Support outside of Queen’s


    Accessibility Options