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Work while studying in Canada

Do you want to work while you study in Canada? Do you have a spouse or common-law partner who would like to work during your time here? Both of you may be able to work while you study in Canada. Working in Canada can help you get practical work experience and build your network. It may even help you stay and work in Canada after your studies.

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Information: Minimum wage across Canada

Wages or salaries for work in Canada depend on the employer and the skills required for your position. Minimum wage varies by province and territory and ranges from $14-$19 per hour.

Work while studying

Most international students are eligible to work while studying. There are different requirements for working on campus and off campus.

“On campus” refers to all the buildings on your university or college campus. You can find information about working on campus from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

“Off campus” means the parts of your town or city that are not part of the university or college campus.  

You can work off campus without a work permit if you meet all of these requirements:

Generally, international students can work off campus up to 20 hours per week:

Generally, you can work full-time:

Find out more about working off campus from IRCC.

Changes to rules around off campus work hours for international students

Starting in Fall 2024, international students may work up to 24 hours per week off campus.

Co-op placements

A co-op placement or program involves working as part of your program of study. You may work on or off campus.

For example, you may be enrolled in a co-op degree program in environmental studies. This differs from the standard degree in environmental studies because it allows you to spend 3 or 4 months (or more) each year working in your field of study. It’s a great way to get hands-on professional experience in a Canadian work setting.

When you are part of a co-op program at a college or university, you can apply for a co-op work permit if:

You are not eligible for a co-op work permit and you will need to get a valid work permit if you are studying:


An internship provides you with on-the-job training. When you are an intern, someone in the workplace supervises you. By working as an intern, you gain knowledge and skills to help you succeed in a trade or profession.

The work permit you need for an internship is the same as the work permit for co-op students.

Help your spouse or common-law partner work in Canada

Do you have a spouse or common-law partner who would like to work in Canada while you study? Find out who can get a work permit as the spouse or common-law partner of a student from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Get experience with Mitacs

Gain experience beyond your academic institution and increase your employability and professional networks with Mitacs. Through Mitacs’s programs, post-secondary students and recent graduates can find:

For over 20 years, Mitacs has nurtured talent through innovation internships allowing students and postdocs to apply their academic skills to solving real-world problems.

Learn more

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