Working in Canada
For international students
If you’re a full-time international student, you may be able to work for Canadian employers while you complete your degree at UVic.
If you’re a part-time international student or you’re studying in a short-term program like an English Language Program, you are not permitted to work in Canada.
Always refer to the following websites for the most current information:
What you need to work in Canada
All international students must have a Canadian work permit before you can accept a job in Canada.
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada provides information on how to obtain a student work permit and how to work on campus.
- International Student Services has a list of frequently asked questions about working in Canada.
Only authorized representatives are legally allowed to provide immigration advice to international students. This means that University of Victoria staff are not permitted to help you with your application. Please see UVic's official message.
You must have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work in Canada. You must apply in person for your SIN at a Service Canada office.
When you’re hired at a new job, your employer must ask to see your SIN card. You must show your SIN card, or proof that you have applied for the card, within three days of your start date of employment.
Be very careful about who else you give this number to. You should never provide personal information like your SIN or your birth date to anyone, except for payroll and employee records. You should not include this information on your résumé, cover letter or any other documents you submit to your employer.
SIN for working on campus
If you’re eligible to work on campus only, you must apply for a SIN once you have a job offer on campus. To get your SIN, you’ll need to provide an official employment contract signed by you and your supervisor.
SIN for working off campus
If you’re eligible to work off-campus, you must apply for a SIN once you have your off-campus work permit. You will need to provide your off-campus work permit when you apply for your SIN.
In some cases, international students may be eligible to do volunteer work. However, not all types of volunteer work are open to you.
Read carefully about volunteering on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website before you start any volunteer work.
More resources at UVic
- Co-op for international students
- Career workshops
- Meet with a career educator
- Intercultural competencies (skills you develop when working in any diverse workplace)
- International Student Services (including Conversation Cafés to help international students improve their English skills)
- International Commons – Offers a variety of programming and events, from effective listening to presentation skills in English.
Resources in Victoria
- Intercultural Society of Greater Victoria – Administers free English classes (ELSA) for immigrants from beginner to intermediate level
- Toastmasters International – Toastmasters groups can help you build public speaking skills and meet new people
- Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society – Provides support to newcomers’ adjustment to life in Canada