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Working in Canada

Working while you study in Canada

  • Eligibility to work on campus

    Full-time post-secondary students may work without a work permit on the campus of the university or college at which they are a full-time student [R186(f)]. This authorization is valid for the period for which they hold a study permit at the institution and during which they are enrolled in full-time studies.

    There are exceptions and conditions which must be followed. Visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for complete details.

  • Eligibility to work off campus

    You may qualify to work off campus without a work permit. If you qualify, your study permit will allow you to:

    • Work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions; and
    • Work full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.

    To qualify, you must fulfil all of the following conditions:

    • Have a valid study permit.
    • Be a full-time student,
    • Be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at the secondary level.
    • Be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration.

    You must stop working on the day you no longer meet the above eligibility requirements (e.g., if you are no longer a full-time student during an academic session.)

    Visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for information on:

    • eligibility requirements
    • definitions of programs of study
    • ineligible programs of study
    • definition of full-time status
    • definition of scheduled academic breaks
    • conditions for work

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

  • What is a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

    SIN is a nine-digit number you need to work in Canada. It can also be used to file for Canadian taxes. There is no fee to apply for a SIN.

    As a temporary resident, you will be issued a temporary SIN that starts with the number 9. Temporary SINs will have expiration dates based on your status document expiration (i.e. your SIN will expire with your study permit). If you get a new status document, you can extend your SIN.

  • Where can I apply for my SIN?

    Service Canada is the government agency that issues SINs. You must go into a Service Canada location in person to get your SIN. To find the Service Canada location nearest to you and its hours of operation, visit the Service Canada website

  • What documents do I need to apply for my SIN?

    You need to provide a primary document to apply for a SIN, obtain a confirmation of your SIN, or amend your SIN record (e.g. a name change).

    All documents must be written in English or French or be accompanied by an official translation attested to by the translator before a notary public, or prepared by an officer of a foreign government or an official of the British or Canadian Consulate.

    A primary document is an official document that proves your identity and status in Canada. We need to see an original of your primary document. If the name on this document is different from the name you currently use, you will also need to provide a supporting document.

  • What can I use as my primary document?

    You must provide one of the following primary documents:

    * In order to be used as your primary document, your study permit must state one of the following conditions on it:

    • May work in Canada.
    • May accept employment in Canada.
    • Eligible to work in Canada.
  • How do I extend my SIN?

    As a temporary resident, you are given a temporary SIN that begins with 9. Temporary SINs have expiration dates aligned with the expiration of the status document (e.g. work permit or study permit) used to get them.

    If you extend your status document or get a new one, you will want to also extend your SIN. To do so, take your new status document and other required documents to Service Canada. There is no charge to extending your SIN.  

Study permit conditions

  • Incorrect or missing study permit conditions

    If your study permit does not state "may work", "may accept employment" or "is eligible to work" on it, you must either request an amendment to your study permit, or apply to change the conditions of your current study permit.

    Amending your study permit

    An amendment can be used only if the error was made by IRCC. For example, if your study permit was issued after June 1, 2014 and you met the eligibility requirements to work on and off campus, then the processing officer may have just forgotten to add the condition to your permit. In this instance, you can apply to have your study permit amended for free.

    Change the conditions of your study permit

    Applying to change the conditions of your study permit is the same process as extending/renewing your study permit from within Canada. The same application fee and processing times apply.  

    You must use this option to change the conditions on your study permit if:

    • Your permit was issued before the regulation changes on June 1, 2014.
    • Your study permit was issued while you were in ineligible to work in Canada according to the requirements.
  • Amending your study permit

    Frequently asked questions 

    What is a DLI?

    • DLI stands for Designated Learning Institute Number. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology's DLI is O19315945002

    Under the section 'information to be amended,' it asks for my ID No. or document number. Where can I find my document number?

    • Your document number is found on your study permit. It begins with a letter followed by a series of numbers. It is printed in black on the top right hand corner.

    What is a UCI?

    • UCI stands for unique client identifier. It is also known as a client identification number (client ID). It appears on official documents you get from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). It has four numbers, a hyphen and four more numbers. (e.g., 0000-0000). 

    Can I apply for the amendment online?  

    • No, this particular application needs to be mailed into Ottawa, Ontario. For the address, review the instruction guide.

    When was my temporary residence granted?

    • If you first came to Canada as a student, then this would be the date your first study permit was issued to you.
  • Change conditions of your stay as a student

    Applying to change the conditions of your study permit is the same process as renewing your study permit from within Canada.  

    Visit our Immigration information: Study permit section for more information and instruction guides.


Working with expired SINs