International students in Canada may be eligible to work if they meet the specific criteria associated with the different types of employment.  Please read below to learn about authorizations for working on-campus and off-campus, working as part of a mandatory internship embedded in your program, and working post-graduation. It is possible to combine work in the different programs as long as the student meets the criteria of each program.

Working On Campus

As an international student, you may be eligible to work on campus while studying thanks to authorizations granted by your study permit if you meet certain criteria.

To be eligible to work on campus, you must be registered as a full-time student, have a valid study permit that indicates that you are authorized to work, and have a social insurance number (SIN).  If you are registered part-time in your final semester of studies, you maintain the authorization to work as long as you were registered as a full-time student during the duration of your program.

It is important to note that you can only start working in Canada once you have actually started your program of study, that is, as of the first day of the semester.

IRCC does not specify a limit on the number of hours that can be worked on campus but leaves this responsibility to the educational institutions. It is important to find out what the Bishop’s Human Resources limit is for on-campus work during academic terms, as well as scheduled breaks.

For detailed information as well as the definition of what IRCC considers as on-campus work, please visit their website. Work on campus –

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Working Off Campus

International students meeting the following criteria are authorized to work off-campus during their studies:

  • Be registered full-time in a program of study longer than 6 months in duration that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate;
  • Have a valid study permit that indicates that you are authorized to work off campus. One of the following two conditions must appear on your permit: 1) May work 20 hours per week off campus, or full time during regular breaks, if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR; or 2) 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.
  • Have a social insurance number (SIN)

Students who are on a two-semester exchange at Bishop’s could be eligible to work off campus if they have the appropriate conditions indicated on their study permit. One-semester exchange students are not authorized to work off campus unless they have a study permit indicating that they are authorized to do so. As mentioned above, students must be registered full-time to be authorized to work during their studies. Not sure if you meet the eligibility requirements? Use the tool on the IRCC website. Find out if you can work off campus as an international student (

You must respect the limit to the number of hours of off-campus work authorized by IRCC.  During regular academic sessions, students who meet the criteria to work off-campus are authorized to work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours per week. These hours are not transferable from one week to the next. That is, if you only worked 10 hours one week, you are not allowed to work 30 in the following week. Working more than 20 hours per week is a violation of your Study Permit conditions with potentially serious consequences. Take care to respect these guidelines.

During regularly scheduled breaks between academic sessions (ex: summer break), IRCC authorizes full-time work. However, the student must be registered full time before the break AND after the break. Exchange students who are authorized to work must stop working as soon as they complete their exchange.

If you meet the eligibility requirements to work off campus but your Study Permit does not allow you to do so, you will have to apply to change the conditions of your Study Permit.

Students registered part-time are not allowed to work off campus, unless it’s their final term of study and they have maintained full-time status for the duration of the program of study.

It is important to note that you can only start working in Canada once you have actually started your program of study, that is, as of the first day of the semester. Additionally, at the end of your studies, you must stop working thanks to the authorizations granted by your study permit once you receive the attestation of completed studies from the Registrar’s Office. Please read below about the transition to a post graduation work permit at the end of your program of study.

For detailed information on regularly scheduled breaks, part-time course registration in the final semester and other criteria, please visit the IRCC website.

Study permits: Off-campus work –

*The limit on off-campus work hours was lifted temporarily through April 30, 2024, for some students. This policy came to an end as of April 30, 2024, and students are again limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week of off-campus work during regular semesters.

  • If your application for a study permit (including an extension) was received by IRCC on or before October 7, 2022: From November 15, 2022, until April 30, 2024, certain international students who were in Canada and who had an off-campus work authorization on their study permit and may have been eligible to work off-campus without a restriction on the number of hours worked per week.
  • If your application for a study permit (including an extension) was received by IRCC between October 8, 2022 and December 7, 2023: eligible students were authorized to work off campus for more than 20 hours per week during a regular academic session from January 1, 2024 to April 30, 2024.
  • For more information on this measure and the eligibility requirements based on the date by which IRCC received your study permit application, please visit the website: Work off campus as an international student –

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Mandatory Internship in Your Program of Study

Some study programs in Canada include work experience as part of their curriculum. International students whose program includes a mandatory internship must obtain an intern/co-op work permit issued by IRCC. It is important to note that internship in this specific context refers to an activity supervised by a professor and for which the student will receive marks.

At Bishop’s, two programs include mandatory internship components for all students. International students studying in these programs must obtain an intern work permit from IRCC:

  • Arts Administration
  • Bachelor in Education

We encourage Arts Administration and Bachelor in Education students to apply for their co-op work permit at the same time as their initial study permit application. In this case, students should receive both their study permit and their work permit upon arrival in Canada.

Students in Bishop’s Business Co-op and Computer Science Co-op bachelor’s degree programs will decide whether to participate in an internship during the course of their studies. In the event that they choose to complete an internship, they must obtain a co-op work permit from IRCC.

Students who are enrolled in other programs at Bishop’s who have an Academic Internship embedded in their program, or who take part in experiential learning activities, may also require an intern work permit. Co-operative Education Program – Bishop’s University (

The application for an intern work permit is free of charge. As part of the application, students must include proof from the university that the internship is an essential component of their program and that it does not represent more than 50% of the program. Students need to contact their Academic Advisor in order to obtain the attestation confirming that their program includes a mandatory internship. The co-op work permit will list Bishop’s University as the employer, and this permit can only be used during the internship.

In the case of a co-op work permit application processed online from within Canada, the permit will be mailed to the student. Processing times can be long, so we encourage you to plan ahead.

Work as a Co-Op Student or Intern

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

International students who meet certain eligibility requirements may choose to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) upon completion of their program of study. The PGWP is an open work permit, meaning that it can be used to work anywhere in Canada. It is not necessary to have a job offer when applying for the PGWP. However, as its name implies, students must have already successfully completed their program of study before applying. Currently, the duration of a PGWP is issued in accordance with the duration of your program of study. If you complete a program between 8 months and 2 years in duration, your PGWP will have the same length as your program. If you complete a program 2 years or more in duration, you will be eligible for a 3-year PGWP.

Overview of eligibility criteria:

  • Successful completion of an eligible program of study longer than 8 months in duration at a designated learning institution;
  • Having maintained full time registration during each semester of your program of study*;
  • Application submitted within 180 days of having completed the program;
  • Having a study permit that was valid at some point during the aforementioned 180-day window;
  • Having a valid status in Canada at the time of application, if you are applying from within Canada;
  • Please see the IRCC website for a complete listing of eligibility criteria.

*Exceptions include part-time registration in the final semester of study and university-approved leaves of absence. In the case of an approved leave of absence, you would need to include documentation as part of your application. Work in Canada after you graduate: Who can apply –

Amongst the criteria that make you ineligible for the PGWP:

  • Having studied English or French as a second language;
  • Having already received a PGWP;
  • Not applying within the 180-day timeframe;
  • Having completed the major part of a study program through distance learning;
  • Please see the IRCC website for the complete list, including recipients of ineligible scholarship program – Work in Canada after you graduate: Who can apply –

Students are advised to consult the IRCC website in order to learn about accommodations for distance learning that were implemented during the pandemic, as well as how those temporary measures have evolved. As stated on the IRCC website, students who will be held under the lock-in date of September 1, 2024, must complete at least 50% of their program in class inside Canada to be eligible for the PGWP, and time spent studying outside of Canada will be deducted from the length of the PGWP.

When to apply for the PGWP

You can only apply for the PGWP after you have officially graduated. At Bishop’s, graduation is confirmed at the Senate meeting that follows your last semester of study. Remember that up through the Senate meeting, you must have a valid passport, CAQ and study permit in hand. Senate – Bishop’s University (

After the Senate meeting, the Registrar’s Office emails an attestation of completion of studies to all graduates as long as you do not owe funds to the university. You do not have to request this document. Upon receipt of this attestation, international students who have been working during their studies must cease working thanks to the authorizations granted by their study permit since they will be considered graduates. Thus, reception of the attestation of completion of studies marks both the end of your studies and the start of the 180-day timeframe relevant to the PGWP application. Once you have received this attestation, you can request your final official transcript.

How to apply for the PGWP

  • From within Canada:

Apply online on the IRCC website. Your PGWP will be mailed to you at the address that you provided as part of your application. If you will be moving, make sure you update your address with IRCC and consider paying for mail forwarding services from Canada Post.

As stated on the IRCC website, you can work full-time while waiting for a decision to be made on your PGWP application if you completed your program of study, applied online from within Canada and had a valid study permit at the time of application, were eligible to work off campus without a work permit while studying, and always respected the limit to the number of hours associated with off-campus work.  You will receive a letter confirming your eligibility to work that you can provide to a prospective employer.  Work in Canada after you graduate: After you apply –

Thinking about traveling at the end of your studies? If you apply online from within Canada for the PGWP while holding a valid study permit, it is possible to then travel outside of the country and still maintain the authorization to work upon your return. Do not forget that depending on your country of citizenship, you may require a visa or an electronic travel authorization in order to enter Canada.  Please visit the aforementioned IRCC website for more details. If you have visitor status within Canada at the time of your PGWP application, you cannot work while waiting for your application to be processed.

  • From outside of Canada:

It is also possible to apply from outside of Canada. In the case of an online application from outside of Canada, you must wait to receive the letter of introduction confirming that the application has been approved prior to returning to Canada. The work permit will be issued in this case by the border agent.  If you need a visa in order to enter Canada, your visa would be processed at the same time as your PGWP application.

Documents generally needed to apply for the PGWP

  • Attestation of Completed Studies letter – free of charge; emailed to the student by the Registrar’s Office
  • Final official transcript – free of charge; must be requested by the student via the myBU portal. In the comments field, write “PGWP” to signal the reason why are you requesting this document.
  • Study permit;
  • Passport;
  • Passport photo;
  • Explanation letter depending on your situation (ex: leave of absence)


It may be possible to apply for a work permit for your spouse at the same time as you apply for the PGWP. Open work permits for family members of foreign workers: About the document –

IRCC Post-Graduation Work Permit

Obtaining a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to Work in Canada

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9-digit number that the Government of Canada issues to persons authorized to work in Canada and may enable you to receive government benefits and services. The application must be made after your arrival in Canada through Service Canada.

Service Canada recommends that you apply online for your SIN. To learn more about the documents you need to apply for your SIN, and how to apply, see the following document:

Social Insurance Number – Information for Newcomers

To apply for a SIN, you must have one of these conditions printed on your valid Study Permit:

  • May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies.
  • May work 20 hours off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR. **
  • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w).

If you’re eligible to work on or off-campus, but your Study Permit doesn’t include either of these conditions, you can request to have your permit amended free of charge. You will need to request an amendment to your study permit before you will be able to apply for a SIN from Service Canada.

Please consult the following pages for more information:

Filing Taxes in Canada

In Quebec and in Canada, the income tax declaration is due prior to April 30th for the preceding calendar year. Once you are working in Canada you will need to start filing tax returns. However, even if you did not work in Canada during the previous year, it could be to your benefit to file a tax declaration as you may be eligible for certain credits.

Each winter, Bishop’s International invites agents from both Revenu Quebec and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to give a presentation to Bishop’s students regarding filing your taxes. Check our website, our social media accounts and your emails to not miss this essential workshop!

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has launched an online learning tool to help students learn about taxes and empower them to do their taxes on their own. This tool provides lessons that explain what taxes are, why we pay them, how to read paycheques and income tax slips, and finally, how to do taxes for the first time.

Learn About Filing your Taxes in Canada

The following websites from the CRA may be useful to you:

  • Free tax clinics –
  • Information about the Income tax assistance – Volunteer Program, including how to get your taxes done at a free tax clinic and where to find a free tax clinic.

Revenu Quebec

The following websites from Revenu Quebec may be useful to you:

All the information on this website is taken from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website (IRCC, as well as the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration du Québec (MIFI,; in case of discrepancies, the IRCC and MIFI websites prevail. The information contained on this website does not constitute a legal opinion and is not binding on Bishop’s University.