Work Study in Canada – SIN, On & Off-Campus Jobs, Internships

Students at Canadian Universities have a great way to combine work and university education. Work Study Program allows the students to work part-time during school and full-time over summer, while studying in Canada.

In recent years, the cost of living in Canada has increased to an extent where “Work while you Study Program” has become a necessity. A research suggests that work-study program has a positive impact on the students socially and education wise.

Students are provided with the opportunity to work on-campus, off-campus or avail co-op. They may select any, according to their will and availability.

Work Study program is available for both domestic and international students. But, the international students must have a study permit. Also, for co-op or intern, the students need to have work permit too.

This program may or may not enable the students to gain knowledge in their field, especially, through off-campus jobs as it is not necessary that the job is linked to the student’s learning.

Work Study Program Highlights

Types of Program On-Campus, Off-Campus and Co-op
Type of job Part-Time
Number of hours allowed to work 20 hours per week
Average Job remuneration CAD 12 – CAD 15 per hour
Prerequisites Study Permit Work Permit (for co-op) SIN

Work study program inculcates mentorship opportunities, expanded network, responsibility towards work, and self-awareness in students. It enables them to apply their knowledge in practical scenarios. Thus, contributing well for themselves and learning institutions.

Benefits of Work Study Program

  • You get a Paid job – Variable earnings on per hour basis
  • Expansion of social and professional network
  • Enhanced learning through work experience
  • Students with humble background can get financial assistance

Can I work while studying in Canada?

  • Students must belong to any one of the given programs – Undergraduate and Graduate
  • They can be hired for only one work study position
  • Non (Degree, Diploma or Certificate)  students are not eligible for the program
  • Students will require Social Insurance Number (SIN) before starting with the program

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

It is important to obtain Canada Student Visa and then apply for SIN. Students can get their SIN from Service Canada.

Conditions to apply for SIN for working on-campus:-

  • Must have accepted employment from the campus where the student is registered for full-time program.
  • Must accept employment in case the conditions required and provided under Immigration and Refugee protection regulations are met.

Students can attain SIN at the nearest Service Canada Office. They need to carry their original documents along with them.

For students, living beyond 100 km from the office or are at a place which is not accessible easily can apply through mail. Original documents along with SIN application form are required to be submitted.

Documents must be sent at:-

Service Canada

Social Insurance Registration Office

PO Box 7000

Bathurst, New Brunswick E2A 4T1


Why SIN?

This 9 digit number assigned by Government of Canada, gets you work in Canada or get benefits and services.

To apply for SIN the applicant must have anyone of the conditions printed on the study permit:-

  • The applicant may work 20 hours per week off campus or full time during regular breaks.
  • The applicants may accept employment on or off campus if they meet the eligibility criteria.


If the applicant is eligible to work off campus and doesn’t has these conditions listed on study permit then the applicant must request a correction to study permit before applying or a SIN from Service Canada.

The number of hours per week or per semester may vary from university to university.

Work On Campus

Work on-campus provides an opportunity to the students to work while they study in Canada. They can find part-time jobs within the premises and need not search beyond the campus.

The students can apply for the job in their own campus and not any other campus.

Who can apply for On – Campus Work Study Program?

Students may not require a work permit for on-campus job if they are:-

  • Enrolled for full-time studies at
    1. University, College or CEGEP in Quebec
    2. Private college in Quebec which works as public schools and receive 50% funds from the government grants OR
    3. A private college which has the legal rights to provide degrees under provincial law.
  • If any university or college has more than one campus in different cities but under same municipality, students can work at different locations

Where can you apply for Work Study Program?

  • School – Library, Athletics, Dining Services, Bookstore
  • Student Organization
  • Faculty Member
  • Business
  • Private Contractor for on-campus services to the school
  • Self Employed

Apart from the categories, few on-campus jobs available at different universities

Student Financial Service Coordinator Teaching Assistant Design History & Theory Receptionist
Career Boost Programs (Ryerson) Web Promo Design Housing and Job Resources Centre Assistant
Mail Centre Clerk Lab Monitor Campaigns Assistant
Graduate Assistant for Assessment Lab Assistant Design Studio Lab Assistant

The jobs mentioned are provided in different universities. Students may visit the official website of the universities to find on-campus jobs suitable to them.

Work Off-Campus

The students here, have plethora of opportunities outside campus. They can find the job of their choice with flexible timings.

Who can apply for Off – Campus Work Study Program?

If the international students satisfy the given conditions, they are eligible to be the part of Work Study program without the need of Work Permit. For that:-

  • Students must have a valid study permit.
  • Full-time students at Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and is enrolled under
    1. Secondary level vocational training program (offered in Quebec only)
    2. Post-Secondary vocational, academic or professional programs
  • Studies should have started.
  • Study permit stamped with the condition, whether students are allowed to work on or off campus.
  • Enrolled for degree, certificate or diploma programs which must be at least 6 months long.
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Students who are no longer in full-time program, they can still work off-campus, if they have been:-

  • Full-time student since the starting of the program in Canada.
  • Doing part-time studies because the current semester is the last semester and there is less load of courses for program completion.

Who cannot apply for work Off-Campus?

The students cannot work off campus without a work permit if:

  • Study permit states they are not authorized to work on or off campus while studying.
  • No need to meet all the requirements to work off campus.
  • Enrolled in only English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program.
  • Taking only general interest courses.
  • Taking courses that are to be accepted into a full-time program.

Note: If any of these situations applies to the student, then the student needs a valid work permit to work in Canada.

Where can you apply for Off-Campus?

The students’ employer will be generally from private non-profit organization or a public agency, and the work in public interest.

Being a Co-Op student or Intern

Few programs demand work experience as a part of the curriculum. Students can apply for co-op or intern work permit in case of:-

  • A valid study permit.
  • The curriculum must have total program study to be more than 50%.
  • A letter from school demanding work placements for degree completion.

In case, students are still learning English or French or general interest courses which help prepare next study program are not eligible for co-op permit.

The acceptance letter must mention, you are eligible for co-op or internship placement. After this, students need to apply for study permit, institution will handle the rest.

Explore High Paying Jobs in Canada

Apply Online

Students can apply online by submitting the electronic copies of documents along with the fee which is to be paid via credit card.

Apply on Paper

  • Download the application package from the official website of government of Canada.
  • Complete the application form and attach required documents.
  • Submit the application fee at the given mailing address along with the application form package.

Few Co-op Jobs in Canada

Analyst IT-Service Desk Consulting Services
Finance Business Co-op Student Analytics and Reporting

Work Study program helps provide job experience and also offset college expenses. It strengthen students’ skills. They learn better time management skills, get out of the comfort zone, enhance their communication skills, and work under pressure. Practical job experience is very attractive for future employers.

Akhilesh Kumar
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