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Working in Canada

Working While Studying: On or Off-Campus Eligibility

On-Campus work: no work permit required

 Student Eligibility

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

  • they are registered as a full-time student on this campus
  • they hold a valid study permit

On-campus work refers to any employment happens within the campus geographic boundary including university and non-university jobs.

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.

Visiting Scholars/Researchers

Visiting 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.


A post-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.

Finding a Job

 Queen’s Career Services offers a comprehensive range of accessible services to support undergraduate, professional and graduate students, and to recent alumni from all disciplines in making informed decisions around their career development and goals. Career Services staff members can support you in identifying and developing career skills, including resume and cover letter writing, interviewing strategies, networking, applying for further education, and more. There are various supports to meet your needs – please visit their website to learn more and login to MyCareer to book appointments.
Career Services is located on the 3rd floor of Gordon Hall, and open Mondays to Fridays between 8:30am and 4:30pm, in person, by phone at 613 533 2992, or by email at mycareer@queensu.ca

Off-Campus work: no work permit required

Off-campus work with a Study Permit

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 if:

  • they hold a valid study permit
  • they are registered as a full-time student

Students who are 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.

Co-Op Work Permit

If a work placement is a required part of your Canadian academic program, then you may qualify for a Co-op work permit at no charge.

This work permit is a kind of supplemental to the exiting work authorization for Study Permit holders. The off-campus work policy will only allow Study Permit holders to work up to 20 hours per week. But the students in an internship program will be required to work full time during the internship term as part of the degree requirements. This co-op work permit is just to facilitate this situation.

Co-op application

If the offer of admission includes confirmation of the mandatory placement, the co-op work permit can be requested as part of an initial study permit application. If it is not included, the co-op 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 co-op work permit application and for it to be processed.

Co-op work permit application is available online. You will need a letter from Queen’s to confirm that you will need to perform an employment component as required part of your degree, a “Co-op letter”.

Follow our Guide for online application.

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


The same as Study Permit, you could apply extension through the same online system if you need a longer permit to cover your entire internship work. You will need an updated co-op letter.

  • You do not need to have an internship position secured to obtain a co-op work permit. You just need the “co-op letter”. The actual co-op work permit will be issued with Queen’s as your employer, not the actual compony you will be working for.
  • There will be no issues if you obtain a co-op work permit but decide not to do the internship and return to your studies next year. You can only use the co-op work permit for your degree required work component, not any other work.

There are few programs at Queen’s that qualify their students for a co-op work permit. They include (but may not be limited to):

Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

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.


Work Permit Validity Period

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
2 one-year programs where completions dates fall in within 2 years 3-year work permit
When to Apply

You must submit your PGWP application within the 180 days following the completion of the requirements of your program.

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. You will need to request a program completion letter from your faculty as one of the required documents for applying this work permit.

  • You could apply this work permit from inside or outside Canada as long as you submit your application within 180 days from your program completion date.
  • Your study permit will be considered as expired after its expiry date or 90 days after your program completion date whichever comes first.
  • You could start working full-time anywhere in Canada after having submitted PGWP application before your study permit expires. Then you could stay in Canada and working full-time even after your study permit expires before you receive your PGWP application result.
  • You need to stop any work on or off campus from your program completion date, confirmed by the program completion letter from your faculty or the date your final grades were posted, till the date you were able to submit your PGWP application while your study permit is still valid.
How to Apply

Application is available online.

Follow our Guide for online application.

You will need a letter from your faculty to confirm your program completion and the final transcript from your SOLUS portal.

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.


In general, this work permit cannot be extended. But, if your passport expires before the “normal” validity period (the validity period that you should be qualified for based on the study program you have completed) of your PGWP, thus your first approved PGWP would be only valid up to your passport expiry date, not the full length that you should be qualified for, you can apply to extend your Post-Graduation Work Permit until the end of your eligibility once you have extended your passport.

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

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

SIN is managed by Service Canada. It is not part of immigration Canada legal system.

Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) are used for payroll and tax systems. As long as you are still eligible to work in Canada, following related IRCC regulations, your SIN can still be used even after it expires before you are able to extend it. As long as you applied to extend your study permit or work permit before the expiry date, you maintain the same eligibility of work in Canada under what is known as Implied Status. You will be able to extend your SIN after you have received your new study permit or work permit. Employers are encouraged to contact Service Canada if they have questions about the expiry date of your SIN and your eligibility to continue using it.

You can use your SIN to file your tax return at any time despite the expiry date.

Your SIN should never change until you become permanent resident of Canada.