Working in Canada

International students must be aware of some specific limitations and requirements when it comes to working in Canada. Please take note of the following information.

Working On-Campus

As an international student with a valid study permit, you are eligible to work part-time on campus. Work study is an on-campus part-time job program to assist students with financial need meet their educational costs by working part-time during the study year. Find out how to apply and check out available jobs.

Working Off-Campus

Changes have been made recently regarding work permit requirements that you should be aware of. Visit the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for these new regulations. For clarification regarding these regulations, contact IRCC directly.

Until June 1, 2014: You will need an Off-Campus Work Permit (OCWP) to work off-campus. You can apply an OCWP once you have completed at least 6 months of studies at the post-secondary level. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has provided more information about OCWP on their website.

On and after June 1, 2014: International students with a valid study permit will no longer need a work permit to work off-campus. View details about this change on the IRCC website.

If you are registered in Co-op program, you will need to apply for a Co-op work permit which is different from OCWP. For more information about Co-op work permits, visit the IRCC website.

Social Insurance Number

In order to work in Canada, you need to have (1) authorization to work and 2) a Social Insurance Number (SIN). A SIN allows an employer to process payroll while informing the Canadian Revenue Agency of the amount of money a person earns.

You apply for a SIN in person at Service Canada. The nearest Service Canada location from campus is: 259 Woodlawn Road West, Suite C, Guelph, Ontario

Please be aware that there have been recent changes regarding work permit requirements. Visit the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada website for these new regulations about working off campus as an international student. For clarification regarding these regulations, contact IRCC directly.

What to bring to Service Canada:

If you have received your study permit before June 1st, 2014:

To get a Social Insurance Number, you need to go through the following 3 steps:

  1. Get a Confirmation of Enrollment letter from the registrar’s office (or request at Please include your full name, Student ID, and whether you want to pick up the letter on campus or for them to mail it)
  2. Apply for an amendment to your study permit  before you can apply for a SIN.

If you have received your study permit after June 1st, 2014 and it includes statements such as “may accept employment” or “may work” in Canada

  1. Valid study permit and passport

Note: If your study permit does not have these statements, you need to get an amendment to your study permit as well.

If you have been offered a job on-campus at the University of Guelph:

  1. A job contract (on letterhead) from your employer.
  2. Your valid passport and study permit

**Attention returning students who want to work on or off campus: did you know your SIN has an expiration date? Your SIN expires on the same date as your study permit. If you have applied to extend your study permit, you may also need to extend your SIN at Service Canada.

The new University of Guelph Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number is O19305391192

If you are applying for a SIN, may be asked to provide this number.

Working After Graduation

Should you wish to stay or work in Canada after completing your studies, you will need to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) given that you meet the requirements. Visit the IRCC website for recentregulation updates that may affect you. You must have a valid study permit and apply within 90 days of completing your degree requirements.

Accompanying Family Members

Your spouse or common-law partner is also eligible for a work permit. Learn more about spouse or common-law partners' eligibility to work in Canada.

If you have children under the age of 18 coming with you to Canada, they can attend school in Canada without a study permit. However, if your children are OUTSIDE of Canada, but would like to come and study, they will need a study permit. Information about documentation required for children who wish to study in Canada.