International students generally hold an open work permit in Canada while they work on the summer break or after school.  An open work permit means there is no imposed special restrictions to the permit holder on where to work and who they work for. They do not need a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to obtain a work permit.  


Work on Campus

You can work on your school campus, without a work permit, if you:

  • are a full-time post-secondary student at a:
    • public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
    • private college-level school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools, and is at least 50% funded by government grants, or
  • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law
  • have a valid study permit, and
  • have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).


 Work off Campus

  • Full-time students enrolled in colleges and above in public institutions with a length of more than six months, can work outside the school after full-time study begins
  • May work 20 hours per week off campus
  • Work full time in winter and summer breaks
  • Students who used to be full-time students but became part-time in the last semester can also work outside the school.
  • You do not need to apply for a work permit to work outside the school. You can hold a valid study permit and SIN number.


 Work as a Coop Student or Intern

Some study programs include work experience as part of their curriculum. You can apply for a co-op or intern work permit if:

  • you have a valid study permit
  • work is required to complete your study program in Canada
  • you have a letter from your school that confirms all students in your program need to complete work placements to get their degree, and
  • your co-op placement or internship totals 50% or less of your study program


Post-Graduation Work Permit

The PGWPP allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Skilled Canadian work experience in the national occupational code A, 0 or B that is gained through the PGWPP helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class, within Express Entry.

You have 180 days after your school issues your final marks to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). To be eligible, your study permit must have been valid at some point during these 180 days. You must also have

  • completed a study program
    • at a designated learning institution
    • that was at least 8 months long and
    • that led to a degree, diploma or certificate
  • maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program. This doesn’t include your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took an approved leave from your studies


Spouse Open Work Permit

Your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an open work permit if you:

  • have a valid study permit and
  • are a full-time student at one of these types of schools:
    • a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
    • a private college-level school in Quebec
    • a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree)


Bridging Open Work Permit

You may be eligible for a bridging open work permit if:

  • you applied for permanent residence
  • your current work permit expires in 4 months or less
  • you have valid status on your work permit
  • you are currently in Canada

You can only qualify if you applied to one of these permanent residence programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Caring for Children Class
  • Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class


More questions? Please click the Chat Icon at the bottom right or click this link to book an appointment with our consultant!