Tia's Advice: Working in Canada

UVic Global Community Newsletter: February 5, 2018

Tia's Advice is a section of the UVic Global Community Newsletter that includes valuable information and important dates for undergraduate and graduate international students in the following categories: degree-seeking, incoming exchange and incoming study abroad/visiting.

Can I work in Canada?

As an international student, your primary purpose in Canada must be to study, and you must be able to cover all the costs of your studies without relying on employment income.

However, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations provide some specific options for international students who are interested in gaining Canadian work experience.

Information about these options can be found on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. Please make sure you understand the restrictions associated with each option, and DO NOT work without the proper authorization.

Working in Canada when you are not authorized may result in enforcement action taken by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It could also negatively affect your current immigration documents and any future applications you make under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations.

If you have any questions about this, make sure you confirm the answers BEFORE starting to work in Canada!

More information about work authorization for international students is available on our website. If you can't find the answers you are looking for, visit or contact the International Student Centre.

Who can help me find a job in Canada?

To find a job, you need a résumé and cover letter that will impress Canadian employers.

You also need to be able to communicate your competencies during an interview. Your competencies are the knowledge, skills and attributes you can offer an employer.

Co-operative Education & Career Services is an amazing resource available to all UVic students and alumni, offering resources such as in-person coaching sessions, free career workshops and self-paced online career programs.

Visit their website to:

More information is available on the Co-op & Career website. If you can't find the answers you are looking for, visit or contact the appropriate office.

How can I get a Social Insurance Number?

A Social Insurance Number (SIN) allows you to be paid for work and to access government programs.

Apply for your SIN in person at a Service Canada Centre. The Service Canada Centre in Victoria is located at 1401 Douglas Street. If you have the required documents, you will get a SIN during your visit. There is no application fee.

If you are not able to visit a Service Canada Centre in person, follow the instructions on the Service Canada website to apply by mail.

As an international student, you are a temporary resident of Canada. To qualify for a SIN, temporary residents must have a valid passport and one of the following documents issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC):

  • valid work permit
  • valid study permit that clearly states you are authorized to worik in Canada
  • valid visitor record that clearly states you are authorized to work in Canada

If you do not have a valid work permit, and your study permit does not clearly state that you "may accept employment" or "may work" in Canada, you must obtain a new study permit with corrected wording.

More information about getting a SIN is available on our website. If you can't find the answers you are looking for, visit or contact the International Student Centre.

Important Dates

February 6: Last day for 50% reduction of tuition fees if you drop second term courses. Students must pay 100% of tuition fees for courses dropped after this date. DO NOT assume the instructor will drop you from a course if you do not attend classes. You are responsible for your own registration.*

February 12: Family Day. This is a statutory holiday, so classes will be cancelled and UVic services will be closed.

February 13 - 16: Reading Break. Classes will be cancelled for all Faculties but UVic services will be open.

February 14: Valentine's Day.

February 15: National Flag of Canada Day.

February 15: Deadline for graduate degree-seeking students who complete their program of study during second term to apply to graduate for spring convocation.

February 16: The preliminary exam timetable for second term exams will be available. Travel plans should be made AFTER the final exam timetable has been posted, because the preliminary exam schedule may change.

February 26: The final exam timetable for second term exams will be available.

February 28: Last day for withdrawing from second term and full year courses without penalty of failure.

* Incoming exchange students do not pay tuition fees to UVic.

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