Working in Canada
Work experience can assist you as you begin to pursue your career. It is valuable as it provides you with exposure to the Canadian workplace environment and culture.
As an international student there are various options for work in Canada. Use the section below to determine what work rules you need to follow and type of work opportunities are available to you while pursuing your studies.
Eligibility to Work on/off campus
Full-time international students enrolled in a post-secondary program at a Designated Learning Institution, external link may work on or off campus without a work permit if they meet all of the following conditions:
- Possess a valid study permit;
- Have already started to study in their program;
- Have a Social Insurance Number (SIN);
- Have conditions on their study permit that confirms on and off campus work eligibility;
- Are enrolled in a program that is more than six months in duration and leads to a degree or diploma
By working on campus, you can expand your social and professional networks as well as be more involved in the campus community. From an immigration standpoint, there is no restriction on the number of hours that you can work on campus.
Through the Ryerson Career & Co-op Centre, international students can take advantage of various on campus job opportunities.
International students are eligible for the following on-campus categories:
- Career Boost International Work Experience Program (CBI)
- Other On-Campus Jobs
- Teaching Assistant (TA), Graduate Assistant (GA), Lab Monitor, or Invigilator
Start looking for the tools and help you need to succeed in building your career by checking out the Career Centre website, opens in new window.
Did you know?...
Students enrolled in the Ryerson English as a Second Language Foundation Program (RESLFP), International University Foundation Program (IUFP), exchange students and visiting international students are eligible to work on campus if you have a valid study permit and are full-time.
Off-campus work is work that takes place on any location outside the boundaries of the campus at which a student is registered. If you meet the above eligibility conditions, you may work up to 20 hours per week, external link, opens in new window off campus during a regular academic session.
Start looking for the tools and help you need to succeed in building your career by checking out the Career Centre website. Hyperlink to https://www.ryerson.ca/career/
Did you know?...
Students enrolled in the Ryerson English as a Second Language Foundation Program (RESLFP), International University Foundation Program (IUFP), exchange students and visiting international students are not eligible to work off campus but you may be eligible for on campus work.
If you meet the above eligibility conditions, you may work full-time off campus during scheduled breaks. Scheduled breaks include Fall Reading Week, Mid-Year Break, Winter Reading Week and may also include the Spring/Summer semester if this is not a required academic session in your program.
Did you know?...
Graduate students are continuously enrolled throughout the academic year. This means that the Spring/Summer semester is not a scheduled break for Masters or PhD students. Scheduled breaks for graduate students include Fall Reading Week, Mid-Year Break and Winter Reading Week.
What is it?
The co-op work permit allows international students to work full-time during academic sessions when the work is a requirement of your program of study. Your co-op work permit can only be used for this kind of work and will be issued for the same length as your study permit.
Some programs include work experience as part of their curriculum. As per the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website, you may apply for a co-op or intern work permit if:
- you have a valid study permit
- working 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
- your co-op or internship is 50% or less of the total program of study
Usually, a co-op work permit is issued to the same duration as your study permit; however, may vary depending on the length of your co-op, internship or placement term. Your co-op work permit will not be issued for a longer duration than your study permit.
When to apply
We recommend applying as soon as you have been accepted into the co-op stream of your program or receive confirmation that you can pursue a placement or internship as a part of your program of study. You will need to request a status letter from our office to support your co-op work permit application if you are applying after you have obtained your study permit.
Did you know…
If you apply to extend your study permit and obtain a co-op work permit at the same time, you only need to complete one immigration application. This also applies if you apply for your initial study permit and co-op work permit at the same time. A co-op work permit has no government processing fee - the application is free of charge!
What is it?
A post-graduation work permit, external link, opens in new window (PGWP) is a document that gives you permission to remain in Canada as a worker and work full time for up to three years after you graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution.
Applicants can only receive the PGWP once in a lifetime, therefore, if you have plans to pursue further studies in Canada, you may wish to consult an International Student Advisor to discuss when to apply.
To be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, you must have maintained full-time student status during each session of your program(s) of study with a duration of at least 8 months. To see full eligibility details including those who do not qualify, visit the IRCC website (external link), external link, opens in new window.
When to apply
You must complete all requirements of your program of study prior to applying for the Post-Graduation Work Permit. This means that you are not eligible to apply during your final semester.
Apply within 180 days of completion of your program of study, please note that you must meet one of the following criteria:
- You must have a valid study permit
- Have held a valid study permit at some point within the 180 day period and applied for visitor status before your study permit became invalid.
- Applied to for restoration of temporary resident status
What documents do I need from Ryerson?
Letter of program completion
Letters of program completion are provided by ISS, learn more about requesting a status letter here.
Request your official transcript from Ryerson. An official Ryerson transcript is a complete record of a student's enrolment at Ryerson University including all undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education courses, as well as credits granted towards your program.
Duration of PGWP
How long the post-graduation work permit is valid for depends on the length of your study program. If your program was:
- Less than eight months
- You aren’t eligible for a PGWP
- More than eight months but less than two years
- The length of your PGWP should coincide with the length of your program of study as confirmed in your Letter of Completion provided by ISS. For example, if you studied for nine months, a work permit may be issued for up to nine months.
- Two years or more
- A PGWP may be issued for three years
- More than one program
- The length of the PGWP should combine the length of each program. If the combined length is more than 2 years, the PGWP may be valid for up to 3 years.
Did you know…
Individuals who complete a master’s or doctoral degree in Canada when the DLI has confirmed in the written confirmation of program completion that the degree is 16 to 23 months in duration, (external link, external link) and does not include regularly scheduled breaks may be issued a three year work permit.
In order to work in certain jobs in Canada, you will need to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician, external link, opens in new window. This includes positions through co-op terms, internships and placements, as well as on or off campus positions. Jobs that require medical examination include those in health services, primary or secondary education, child care and more. For a complete list of jobs that require a medical examination, please see medical examination requirements for temporary residents, external link, opens in new window.
Want to get involved on/off campus? Check out the following websites to find more information on how to get involved.
- ConnectRU, opens in new window
- VolunteerLink, opens in new window
- RU Leadership
- Tri-Mentoring Program
- RSU Student Groups, external link, opens in new window
- WUSC Ryerson, opens in new window
- Volunteer Toronto, external link, opens in new window
- YMCA Toronto, external link, opens in new window
- Toronto Public Library Volunteer Programs, external link, opens in new window
Important notice: All students who are eligible to graduate starting June 2019 will be required to attend a PGWP Immigration Insights Workshop before requesting their Letter of Completion from ISS.
To register for one of the PGWP workshops, please visit the following ConnectRU link: