International Student Working Eligibility

**Important Notice: IRCC announced an extension of the temporary measure that international students who are in Canada and who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will not be restricted by the 20-hour-per-week rule. Please visit the updates from IRCC.

From November 15, 2022, until April 30, 2024, international students can work more than 20 hours per week off campus while class is in session if they:

  • are a study permit holder and are studying at a DLI full-time (or part-time during your final academic session), OR
  • have been approved for a study permit but haven’t arrived in Canada yet

In addition, they must meet all these requirements:

  • Ensure IRCC received your application for this study permit (including extensions) on or before December 7, 2023.
  • Have an off-campus work authorization on your study permit.
  • Enrolled in an Undergraduate or above level program as full-time students at KPU 

On-Campus Working Eligibility 

International students may work on campus without a work permit if they meet certain eligibility:

  • Have a valid study permit that states the condition allowing on-campus work, and
  • Have a valid SIN (Social Insurance Number), and
  • Are currently enrolled in full-time studies or on a scheduled break. Or,
    • Are studying part-time in their final semester, but have been a full-time student in all previous academic semesters

Students can work on campus in addition to their off-campus work. IRCC does not regulate on-campus working hours, but the employer must follow provincial labour standards

Off-Campus Working Eligibility 

IRCC allows certain students to work off campus without a work permit. If students are able to work during their studies, it’ll say so in the conditions on their study permit as follows.

(a) May work 20 hrs. per week off campus, or full time during regular breaks, if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR. 
(b) May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria. 

** Click here to find out if you can work off-campus as an international student! 

What are the eligibility requirements for working off-campus?

  • you hold a valid study permit 
  • you’re a full-time student at KPU 
  • you’re enrolled in an academic or vocational program 
  • Your study program is at least 6 months long and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate
  • you’ve started studying 
  • you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) 

How many hours can I work after landing in Canada and before starting my first semester?

You are not allowed to work on or off campus until your study program has started

How many hours can I work off-campus during my regular academic semester?

If you’re eligible to work off-campus, you can work up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session.

Find out more about who can work off-campus  See the important notice above.

Can I work off-campus if I am in a pathway program?

KPU Pathway students who are taking full-time course load, with at least one Undergraduate course registered, are eligible to work off-campus. Please discuss this with an International Student Advisor. 

Can I ask to have work conditions added to my study permit if I am eligible to work off campus?

Yes. There’s no fee to add these conditions to your permit. You’ll need to request an amendment to your study permit before you can apply for a SIN from Service Canada. 

Can I work on campus in addition to working off campus?

There are no restrictions on the number of hours students can work on campus in addition to working off campus, provided they continue to meet the applicable eligibility requirements.

What can be considered full-time work?

There is no set number of hours per week that counts as ‘full-time’ work. However, your employer(s) must follow all provincial laws on overtime pay and time between shifts. 

How many hours can I work off campus during my scheduled break?

If you’re eligible to work off-campus, you are allowed to work full-time during the following breaks.

  • One of the Spring (January to April), Summer (May to August) or Fall (September to December) terms in a calendar year (January to December) provided the student remains enrolled full-time at KPU in the term preceding the break and, in the term, following the break.
  • Break between academic semesters (I.e., the day after the posted full-term final exam period until the day before the start of the next semester)
  • Reading break in spring semester

Note: It is important to note that IRCC limits off-campus work during scheduled breaks to 150 consecutive days, even if the break is longer. Considering all regularly scheduled breaks, students may only work off campus on a full-time basis for a total of 180 days during each calendar year (January to December).

How many hours can I work in my last semester with a part-time course load?

Students who have maintained full-time status for the duration of their program of study, and who only require a part-time course load in their final academic session in order to complete their program of study are allowed to work off campus up to 20 hours per week during their final academic session. See the important notice above.

How many hours can I work after completing my studies and while waiting to graduate?

  • If you were enrolled full-time in every term except your last term, and have always respected the allowable hours of work during your studies, you may continue to work up to 20 hours per week until you receive your written notification of program completion. Students may work until the first date they receive written confirmation of program completion from KPU Graduation Office or the International Office, whichever comes first, provided their study permit remains valid during this period. 
  • If the study permit becomes invalid [as per R222] before the student receives the notification of program completion from their institution, the student must cease working the day the study permit becomes invalid. 
  • See the important notice above.

How many hours can I work after receiving confirmation that I have graduated?

Students who have not applied for a subsequent study or work permit or a program of study must stop working when their Credential/ Completion Letter is issued.  

How many hours can I work after submitting my PGWP application?

You can work full-time while waiting for a decision on your post-graduation work permit application if, at the time you submitted your application, you.

  • had a valid study permit, 
  • had completed your program of study, 
  • met the requirements for working off campus without a work permit under paragraph R186(v) (that is, have been full-time throughout your studies (with the exception of the final term of studies))
  • did not work off-campus more than 20 hours a week during academic sessions. 
  • You have applied for PGWP from inside Canada

Please Note: The above information is only applicable to current international students at KPU. While we do our best to ensure that the information provided is accurate and current, please be aware that these are not legal documents and all information provided is subject to change at any time.   
 For updated policies and legal information, it is your sole responsibility to refer to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or other official direct sources, as applicable. If you have any questions or concerns, please check with the International Student Advisor. 

Co-op Work Permit 

The co-op work permit is a work permit that allows international students to work and participate in their co-op during their studies. You need a co-op work permit if you are accepted into the KPU co-op program, practicum, internship or "Work Experience" course which needs students to perform work off-campus more than 20 hours per week, regardless of paid or unpaid. 

How to apply for a co-op work permit?

International students who are interested in participating in the KPU Co-op program are encouraged to attend a Co-op Information Session first. Once they are accepted into a Co-op program, KPU Co-op will provide a Co-op Work Permit letter. Students should apply online for their co-op work permit with this letter as soon as possible and the application is free.

You can click here to review the detailed application procedures. 

Please note, only a certain number of programs at KPU have a Co-op option. For more information, please see your program requirements. You will be submitting the following documents to IRCC for a Co-op Work Permit:

  • Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker.IMM5710E
  • Co-op Work Permit letter from KPU
  • Your current study permit
  • A Scanned copy of your passport 
  • Your digital photo

For full online application instructions, please see Guide 5580- Applying for a Work Permit – Student Guide.

How many hours can I work under my co-op work permit?

  • Your co-op work permit allows you to work full-time in a co-op work term, but it only authorizes you to work for the specific co-op hours approved by KPU and no other types of work (i.e., regular on/off campus work).
  • You are responsible for tracking your hours and should stop using your co-op work permit once you reach the hours required by your program even if your co-op work permit is still valid.
  • If you decide to continue working for the same employer after completing the required hours, you may work under your study permit working authorization for on/off campus work if you meet the eligibility.

During my coop term, can I work in addition to my coop job?

International students enrolled in a 9-credit co-op work term are considered full-time students. You may simultaneously work for other on/off-campus jobs under your study permit working authorization during your coop term.

Post-Graduation Work Permit 

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

Post-Graduation Work Permit allows international students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Students may work in Canada for up to three years after graduation.

You can click here to review the detailed application procedures. 

Am I eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit?

A student who maintains a full-time student status while completing a certificate, diploma, or degree program that is at least 8 months in length at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Please review the criteria below:

  • You must have completed a program at least 8 months in length that led to a certificate, diploma, or degree.
  • You must study consecutive full-time terms excluding Scheduled Breaks
  • You may complete an eligible program in the last term as a part-time student.

*If you were required to put your studies on hold or become part-time study due to course cancellation as a result of public health measures at the university, for Spring and Summer 2020 terms only, your eligibility for a PGWP will not be impacted. 
*How to find out if your online courses are eligible for PGWP, check the Transition period for distance learning measures which allow courses moved online due to the pandemic to count toward the length of PGWP.

When Should I apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit?

You need to apply for PGWP within 180 days after receiving proof of program completion, either from KPU Graduation office or PGWP completion letter from KPU International, whichever comes earlier. Your study permit will be valid till its expiry date or 90 days after you receive your PGWP letter, whichever comes earlier. If you apply for your PGWP while on a valid study permit, you might be eligible to start work immediately (see the following Q&A for details). If you could not apply for your PGWP on a valid study permit, please consider:

  • Change your status to a visitor before your study permit expires, or,
  • Restore your student status and apply for your PGWP, or,
  • Leave Canada and apply for your PGWP from outside of Canada

*Please note: you CANNOT apply for a PGWP while you are under Maintained Status. 

If you plan on staying in Canada after completing your program and your study permit will expire before or at the same time when you finish your program, you could extend your study permit to bridge your graduation period. If you plan to extend your study permit before completing your program, please contact an international education advisor.

International students can receive PGWP once in a lifetime. If you plan to continue studying in Canada, you may apply for PGWP after completing your second program for the full length of the post-graduation work permit, should the following criteria be met; Each program is eligible for the PGWP, you can apply based on the length of both programs, so long as your second program is completed within 2 years of completing the first program.

Post-Graduation Work Permit Length

The length of the post-graduation work permit will vary from a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years based on the length of your program. 
*Scheduled Breaks should be included in the time accumulated toward the length of the post-graduation work permit.

When will I get my proof of program completion letter?

A student becomes a graduate after their program credential is conferred at their Senate meeting. A KPU post-graduation work permit letter will be issued within 5 business days after the Senate meeting to KPU student email. KPU PGWP letter is proof of students' program completion.
*Please check Post-graduation work permit application document checklist 

Can I work after submitting the PGWP application?

If you were previously eligible to work off-campus, you are eligible to continue working 20 hours per week off-campus until receiving a notification from KPU about your program completion (this could be either your KPU PGWP letter or an email from the Graduation office) while your study permit is valid. Once you receive notice in writing, you must stop working immediately. You can work full-time until the decision is made on your work permit application if you:

  • had a valid study permit when you submitted your application
  • completed your study program
  • were eligible to work off campus without a work permit while studying and you didn’t work more hours than you were allowed to.

*Working while PGWP application is processing
If you submit your PGWP application as visitor status in Canada or submit it from outside of Canada, you may only begin working after you receive your Post Graduation Work Permit document.

Can my spouse apply for or extend a work permit while on PGWP?

Your spouses and common-law partners may be eligible to apply for an open work permit under the C41 exemption for (spouses and common-law partners of skilled workers)