Working in Canada

On campus

CIC has introduced new regulations for international students, which will take effect on June 1, 2014. For more information, visit the CIC website.

A work permit is not required for on-campus employment if you are a registered, full-time student with a study permit. On campus employment includes all buildings on campus, Royal University Hospital and Innovation Place. Preston Crossing is not considered on-campus.

  • Full-time undergraduate student = 18 credit units per year
  • Full-time graduate student = Registered in a graduate program


An employer cannot pay you unless you have a Social Insurance Number (see SIN section)

Getting paid while waiting for your study permit to be renewed

In order to continue getting paid while waiting for a response from CIC regarding an extension of your Study Permit, the on-campus employer/department will require proof that you have submitted an application for extension of your study permit.  This is:

  • for paper based applications:  a copy of your postage receipt, or
  • for online applications:  a copy of your “Welcome to MYCIC” homepage indicating the transmission of an “In-Canada Temporary Resident” application.

Once you receive your new permit present it to your on-campus employer.

Off campus

Off-Campus Work Permit Program (OCWPP):

To be  eligible to apply:

  • currently be registered as a full-time student with a valid study permit.
  • be a full-time student for at least six out of the last 12 months of application.
  • have maintained satisfactory academic standing.  Standards are set by the University in alignment with government policy. For graduate students, standards are considered a mininum. Individual academic units may establish a higher standard in a written policy.
  • not be a visiting, exchange or ESL studentor in Open Studies
  • not be recipients of certain specified scholarships
  • agree to the University reporting the above information yearly to CIC


  • You can work off-campus part-time (20 hours per week) during regular academic terms and full-time (40 hours per week) during regular breaks from your studies, ie reading week, spring/summer etc.
  • You must maintain full-time status and maintain good standing (see above cwa's).

How to apply for an OCWP

Information guide and application for all student work opportunities is on CIC’s website.   Check the processing times when deciding to use on-line services or paper based, mail in applications.

  application CIC- Apply for an Off-campus Work Permit (OCWP)

Steps when applying for an Off-Campus Work Permit

Step 1. Confirm eligibility by requesting an Electronic Verification Number (EVN) through your MYCIC profile. Please note, that it can take up to two weeks for the EVN to be processed.

Step 2. When EVN is received, complete an application.


How to surrender an OCWP if you become ineligible

If at anytime during your studies you become a part time student, withdraw from your program and/or do not maintain the required "good standing, CIC requires you to surrender your work permit.  It is important to do this as it could affect future applications.

After completing a degree

Post-graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP)

After successfully completing a degree in, certificate or a diploma in Canada you are eligible to apply for a Post-graduate Work Permit that allows you to receive Canadian work experience for a period up to three years. This is an open work permit, which means that with a Post-Graduate Work Permit, you can work for any employer.

PGWPP guidelines:

 CIC - Apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

  • you do not need a letter of job offer
  • you can have only one post-graduation employment period in your lifetime  (you can access this program once only)
  • students who have completed programs of more than eight months and less than two years in length are eligible to apply for permits that are the same length of time as their program
  • you cannot start work until your receive the permit unless you have an OCWP
  • Cost $150.00.

An application must be submitted within 90 days of having completed a degree, certificate or diploma and proof of completion must be submitted with the application. Your study permit must be valid during the 90 days.

90 days start from the day final marks are issued. In cases where the final graduation requirement is a thesis, the 90-day period will start when the thesis has been defended and the final draft has been accepted. The 90-day time period is not calculated from the convocation date or the expiry date of the Study Permit.

Transition from Off Campus Work Permit to Post Graduate Work Permit

If you hold a valid Off Campus Work Permit, you will be eligible to begin full-time work immediately after completing your final term of study.  You must have submitted your application for the PGWP and be with the 90 day limit.  Your study permit must also be valid.

The off-campus work permit thereby provides the necessary bridge between studies and post-graduation employment. If you do not have an off-campus work permit, you must wait until the post-graduate work permit has been issued before you begin employment.

Co-ops and Internships

International students may participate in Co-op and Internship Programs if it is an integral part of their program. You must submit with your application a letter from a responsible academic official of the University verifying that the internship is an essential and integral part of the course of study (that is, a student will not graduate without this experience). The Co-op Work Permit is employer specific. It is only valid for work with the company where the student is assigned to do the work term.

  CIC -Apply for a Co-op or Internship Work Permit

NOTE: A co-op/internship work permit is not valid for any other off-campus work. An OCWP is required for other employment off campus.

Finding a job

The Student Employment & Career Centre (SECC) can help you look for a job, develop your job search skills, and help you with your career planning.

SECC's Working in Canada Guide  for international students looking for employment

The Edwards School of Business provides students in their Faculty with career advising and counseling and employment search opportunities at their Goodspeed Career Services.

Spouse/partner Work Permits

Accompanying spouses or common-law partners of study permit holders can apply for a work permit after they arrive in Canada.  The spouse/partner does not need a job offer to apply for a work permit. The permit will usually expire the same date as the student’s study permit. It can be extended with the student's study permit.

 CIC- Work Permits for spouse/partner of a student


Social Insurance Number

A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a government issued number that is legally required for all work in Canada and is issued for employment purposes only. After receiving a Work Permit or an on-campus job offer, international students can apply for a Social Insurance Number.

How to apply for a SIN

Documents required to apply for or renew a SIN:  

  • A Social Insurance Number application and,

    • work permit (if applicable)  OR

    • for on campus employment (no work permit):  study permit, University of Sakatchewan’s confirmation of enrolment letter and from your campus employer an employment contract (see below)

  • proof of identification (eg. passport, study permit)

SIN application   Social Insurance Number application formTranslation help video
Take completed application and required documentation to: Services Canada Office 101, 22nd St East

Contract for Campus Employment

Students who do not have a work permit and are working on campus Services Canada requires a letter of job offer.  The letter must follow  Service Canada’s template for Employment Contract
Ask your employer to print the contract on their official letterhead. Service Canada may not accept a contract that has been photocopied onto the letterhead.

International Students on Scholarship/Bursary

Students receiving a scholarship, bursary, fellowship or research grant  are not eligible for a SIN. Such students can file an income tax return without a SIN. (see SIN or ITN - Income Tax and GST section)

SIN Renewals

SINs have expiry dates which coincide with the expiry date of your work or study permit. Be sure to renew your SIN, if necessary, once you receive a renewed immigration document.

Study Permit holders must present a new employment contract containing dates of employment within the “date signed” and “valid until” dates indicated on the renewed Study Permit.

Implied Status for a SIN -  Administrative delay after requesting renewal of study or work permits

Service Canada grants a SIN card implied status of up to eight weeks for those employees who experience an administrative delay in receiving a renewal of their study or work permits. This implied status is granted only if the permit renewal application was made prior to the expiration of the original immigration document. You should be able to keep working and receiving payments while having implied status. Visit the SIN expiry date web page for details.

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