Recent changes to Canada’s immigration regulations authorize certain study permit holders to work without first having to obtain a work permit. Full-time students are now eligible to work on-campus and off-campus if they meet the following conditions. Students must:
- Have a valid study permit
- Be currently studying in an academic program of six months or more that leads to a certificate, diploma, or degree
- Maintain satisfactory academic standing as defined by NBCC
- Not be studying in an ESL or FSL program
If these conditions are met, students can work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week and full time during scheduled breaks and holidays.
Applying for Work Authorization
As written above, there is no need to apply for a separate work permit if you are a regular full-time student in an academic program and hold a valid study permit. However, if you are registered in a program that requires a co-op, field placement, or other kind of internship, it is necessary to first apply for a co-op work permit.
Apply for a Co-Op Work Permit
If your intended employment is an integral part of your studies you will also need a separate Co-Op Work Permit.
This work permit is required before starting your co-op, internship, or field placement. Unlike a study permit, moreover, this permit allows you to work full-time while you get credit towards your program. This permit is usually valid for the duration of your study permit and is renewable. You should apply for the co-op work permit at the same time as your study permit. Your co-op work permit is free of charge when you apply for your study permit.
Note: English for Academic Purposes students or students on study permit waiver (i.e.: studying for less than six months) are not eligible for the co-op work permit program.
Note: NBCC must issue a letter from the academic official responsible for your co-op, in order to help you apply for this permit.
Work after Your Studies: Post-Graduation Work Permit
Often called a PGWP, the post-graduation work permit program permits eligible students to remain in Canada and work for up to three years. Most graduates of New Brunswick Community College are eligible for this work permit. However, the length of the PGWP is dependent on the length of the program completed, and other factors.
Work Permits at the Port Of Entry
You may apply for a work permit at the port of entry (for example at the border or on arrival by air) if you meet the requirements of the type of work permit you would like to obtain, have valid status, and have all of the required documentation. This is particularly useful for spouses admitted to Canada as visitors, or any student that qualifies for a Post-Graduation Work Permit.
If you are from a designated country, you will also need a valid medical and certificate. Some types of jobs also require a valid medical certificate. For postgraduate work permit applications, you do not need to provide documentation from an employer is you are exempt from the LMIA requirements.
Work permit applications at the port of entry require applicants to temporarily leave Canada and return. For this reason, you may want to seek legal counsel before attempting an port of entry application.