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Working in Canada

Making Canadian connections

Working in Canada image - maple leafIf you’re an international student, consider working for Canadian companies while you complete your degree at UVic. You’ll gain valuable work experience, a salary to help pay for your education, and the chance to try out unique jobs you might not find at home.

CQ workshop

FREE workshop series about succeeding in the Canadian workplace runs Feb 5 to Mar 12 - Registration is FULL, but you can register for the Feb 5 session to be added to the waitlist for future sessions.

The Government of Canada Citizenship and Immigration Canada website provides information on how to obtain student work permits, and about working on campus.

Can you work
in Canada?

What's required?

What's required?

As an international student, you must have a Canadian work permit before you can accept a co-op job in Canada.

In order to apply for a work permit, you will first need to obtain a letter of enrolment from your co-op office. Please complete the Request for Work Authorization form and submit it to your co-op office. Once you have this letter, you can apply for your work permit through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). You can find useful video tutorials on the CIC Youtube channel.

It will take 8 to 12 weeks to receive your work permit. Make sure your study permit is valid for the entire length of your work term.

Can co-op staff help you with your application?

Can co-op staff help you with your application?

According to the Government of Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act only authorized representatives are legally permitted to provide immigration advice to international students. This does not include University of Victoria staff.

Please see UVic's message on this topic.

Volunteer work

Volunteer work

In some cases, you may be eligible to do volunteer work. However, not all types of volunteer work are open to international students. You should carefully read the volunteer work section of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website before you start any volunteer work.

Social insurance number (SIN)

Social insurance number (SIN)

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 on-campus work

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 off-campus work

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.

What jobs
can you do?

What kind of Canadian job are you looking for? Explore your job options below.

Part-time, full-time, casual or volunteer work

Part-time, full-time, casual or volunteer work  
  • You’ll find lots of full-time, part-time and casual job opportunities on our online job board (the board lists both on-campus and off-campus jobs)

Co-op jobs

Co-op jobs

Co-op students have access to a variety of co-op positions posted on our online co-op job board. Co-op work terms are usually four months long and begin in September, January and May. To work in a co-op job, you’ll need a co-op work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and a social insurance number (SIN)

Interested in joining the UVic Co-op Program? Learn more about co-op jobs in Canada!

Other job postings (through Working in Canada)

Other job postings (through Working in Canada)

This widget links you to information from the Government of Canada.

After
graduation

Want to stay and work in Canada after you finish your degree? Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for information about post-graduation work permits and staying in Canada after you graduate. 

Other
resources

We've listed a ton of internal and external resources for international students below.

Co-op and Career resources

Co-op and Career resources

If you are a full-time international student and legally entitled to work on-campus or off-campus (or you’ll be looking for work in Canada after you finish your degree), Co-op and Career can provide you with the following services:

  • online career information and resources
  • individual coaching from career educators—drop in or make a longer appointment at your Co-op and Career office
  • online job postings for full-time, part-time and casual work on our online job board
  • computers you can use to research careers or search for a job
  • career resource library
  • job fairs, career workshops and other Co-op and Career events
  • Mentors Online – career advice and information from people working in a variety of jobs (available through the UVic Online Community)

If you’re a part-time student or you’re studying in a short-term program like an English Language Program, you are not permitted to work in Canada. However, Co-op and Career can provide you with:

  • online career information and resources
  • computers you can use to research careers
  • career resource library
  • job fairs, career workshops and other Co-op and Career events
  • Mentors Online – career advice and information from people working in a variety of jobs (available through the UVic Online Community)

Other UVic resources

Other UVic resources

External resources

External resources
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