Everything You Need to Know About Canada Work VISA
Most people will require a work permit to legally work in Canada. Canada welcomes many students, temporary immigrants, and permanent residency immigrants to settle in Canada. There are 2 types of work permits available in Canada.
1. Openwork permit: Under certain conditions and a wide range of categories you become eligible to obtain an open work permit. A few examples are individuals who have applied for permanent residence in Canada including their dependent family members, common-law partners or spouses of international students or skilled workers, destitute students, etc.
2. Employer specific work permit: Under the employer-specific work permit you have to work according to the terms and conditions on your permit. The conditions depend on the employer's name, duration of your employment, and the location of your workplace.
Common eligibility requirements for obtaining a work permit:
1. You should be law-obedient, have no criminal record or should not be recruited for any job that will harm Canada’s security. (Police clearance certificate might be required)
2. You should not be suffering from any serious health condition
3. You should be working for an eligible, legal, and licensed employer
4. You should be able to provide the authorities any document required to validate your identity and stay in Canada.
5. Prove the authorities that you have the finances to provide for yourself and your dependents while you stay in Canada.
6. Most importantly, prove the authorities that you will exit Canada on the expiration of your work permit.
Anybody can apply for a work visa in Canada from inside or outside the country.
You may apply for a work permit while you are in Canada if:
1. You have a valid study permit
2. Your parents/ spouse/ common-law partner has a study or work permit
3. You’ve graduated from a program at a:
· Canadian university or
· Community college or
· CÉGEP or
· Publicly funded trade/technical school, or
· Other eligible schools
4. You hold a temporary permit for 6 months or more.
5. A decision on your permanent residency in Canada is pending.
6. You have claimed refugee protection.
7. You are recognized by the Immigration and refugee board of Canada as a protected person or a refugee.
8. You are working in Canada without a work permit because you have been allowed to do so, but you want to change your job.
9. You are an investor, trader or an intra-company transferee or covered by NAFTA.
International students can work in Canada only if the study permit expressly allows them to work on or off-campus. Students can work on the campus without a work permit if they are studying in some specific schools, have a valid study permit, and have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
Students are expected to stop working on the campus immediately
1. Once they stop studying full-time
2. When the study permit expires
3. If you have taken leave or break from studies
4. If you are planning to get a transfer to another school
On-campus work includes working at any building on the university or school campus you are studying at. You are allowed to work at another location only if you are working as a
· Research Assistant or a teacher on a research project and
· Research work is cohesive to the research grants
Students can work at a library, hospital or research facility associated with their university/school, even if the workplace is located outside the campus. Students are allowed to work on campus with:
· a faculty member of the school
· the school
· you can run a business that is physically located on the campus
· a private business
· student organization
· an agent or vendor that facilitates on-campus services to the school
Before taking up any work you and your employer should make sure that you permitted to work off-campus on your study visa. Students can only start working after their study program has commenced. Your study permit will mention if you are eligible to work while your study and requirements for the same.
1. You are studying full-time at a designated learning institution (DLI)
· You are studying a
· a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program or
· a secondary-level vocational training program (Quebec only)
2. Your education program
· is at least 6 months long and will grant you a
· a degree, diploma or certificate
3. Your study permit expressly mentions that you can work off-campus
4. Your course has commenced
5. You hold a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Part-time students should ensure that they:
· They meet all of the requirements stated above
· They are in the last semester of their program and hence, want to work part-time to focus on studies
· They were a full-time student until their last semester
If a study permit does not mention any terms and conditions about working off/on-campus, you should request an amendment to your study permit which will state all the details with respect to such work. When the school is active, one can work for 20 hours per week and full-time during holidays/vacations or summer breaks. You are also allowed to work overtime or take up 2 part-time jobs.
An international student cannot work off-campus in the following situations:
· The study permit expressly mentions that the student cannot work off-campus
· The student is admitted to a course with English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL)
· The student is studying a general interest program
· Studying a course to become eligible for a full-time program
· The student no longer meet the criteria to work off-campus
If later you enroll in a full-time program from an ESL/FSL or a similar program you can apply for the study permit conditions to be modified accordingly and once the study permit is renewed, you can start working off-campus. You should apply for this change before you apply for a SIN. Also, you have to pay a fee to get conditions regarding off-campus work to be removed from your study permit. A letter explaining your concern and the reason for such a change needs to accompany the application.
Working after you complete your study program
Once you finish your study course, you might be able to work full-time under 2 conditions:
1. If you have applied for a work permit before the study permit expired and you meet the following requirements:
· You were working off-campus while studying
· Before your study permit expired you applied for the work permit or post-graduation work permit (PGWP)
· A decision on your work permit application is still pending
2. If you have enrolled in a new study program and you meet the following requirements:
· You were working off-campus while studying the previous course
· You have applied to extend the validity of your study permit
· You obtained written confirmation from your current school that you have successfully finished the program
· You are officially accepted to a new full-time study program at a DLI (Designated learning institutions)
· You are going to start the new program within 150 days of completing the previous program
You might be eligible for PGWP (Post-graduation work permit) if you completed a graduate program from a (DLI). The PGWP is issued for the same period as the duration of your course. Any graduate course that lasted more than 8 months makes you eligible for PGWP.
Work as a co-op student or intern
Some courses require you to work as part of their curriculum. To apply for a co-op or intern work permit you need to:
· You have a valid study permit
· Work is mandatory to pass your study program in Canada
· Your school has given you in writing to undertake work assignments before you get your degree
· Your co-op placement or internship should not comprise more than 30% of your study program structure.
You aren’t eligible for a co-op work permit if:
· You are studying one of the English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) courses,
· general interest courses,
· courses that would prepare you for other full-time programs in Canada