In the Know: Working in Canada

UVic Global Community Newsletter: February 03, 2020

In the Know: Advice for international students 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-seekingincoming 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, there are some specific options available for gaining paid work experience in Canada as an international student.

Information about these options is available on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

Please make sure you understand the restrictions associated with these options BEFORE starting any paid work experience in Canada, and never 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 impact your current temporary resident status and any future applications you make under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations.

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

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 (Co-op & Career) 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 the Co-op & Career website to:

More information is available on the Co-op & Career website. If you can't find the answers you are looking for, please 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 office. If you have the required documents, you will get a SIN during your visit. There is no application fee.

The Victoria Service Canada Centre is located at 1150 Douglas Street in the Bay Centre, 4th floor, Suite 450.

If you are not able to visit a Service Canada office 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 work 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 or visitor record does not clearly state that you "may accept employment" or "may work" in Canada, you must obtain a new study permit or visitor record 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, please visit or contact the International Student Services (ISS).

Updates: 

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