Centre for International Experience

Working in Canada


On-Campus Work

If you are an international student with full-time registration status and a valid study permit, then you are eligible to work on campus.  Students are not permitted to work in excess of 20 hours per week during the academic year (either on campus or off campus)  Total working hours must NOT exceed 20 hours per week, except during university- sanctioned breaks, such as winter or summer holidays and reading week.

You will need to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN); this application will require you to show your valid passport, study permit and letter of employment from your employer. You can make your SIN application in person at any Service Canada office.

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Off-Campus Work Permit (OCWP)

If you wish to work off campus, then you will need to apply for an OCWP.  You should first check to see if you meet the eligibility requirements.

All students who wish to apply for an Off-Campus Work Permit must first obtain an Eligibility Verification Number (EVN).


To apply for an EVN:
1. Register or Sign-in to your MyCIC account.  When registering, make sure to include your Client ID, which can be found on your study permit.
2. Once you have signed in to your account, under “What would you like to do today” select “OCWP - Request an EVN”.
3. Once your eligibility has been verified, you will receive an EVN. This usually takes 2-5 business days, and will appear as a message in your MyCIC account under “My Messages”.  You will also receive an email notification.
4. You will then be able to proceed with your application.  You have the option to either apply online or send in a paper application for the Off-Campus Work Permit.

 

Important Information about Applying Online:
As of December 2012, students who wish to apply online for an off-campus work permit must answer a series of questions in the "Come to Canada" assessment tool to determine their eligibility.  Completing this tool will generate a personal checklist code.  (If you are having difficulty with the questions or the process, please contact CIE's advisors.)  After logging in to your MyCIC account, select "Apply Online".  At this point, you will be asked to enter your personal checklist code.  You may then proceed with your application.

NOTE:    If you are planning to work with children or in the health services field, you must complete and pass a medical examination before submitting your application. Processing can take a while, so you should book your medical examination well in advance.  For a complete list of these occupations and a list of Designated Medical Practitioners who can perform the exam, visit the CIC website.  When you submit your work permit application, attach proof that you underwent a medical exam (i.e. a copy of your medical receipt). Failure to do so may result in processing delays or the rejection of your application.
 

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Co-Op Work Permit

Work experience is a required component of some programs of study. If you are registered in such a program, you will need a work permit to fulfil this requirement. You are permitted to accept employment either on or off campus for a co-op, internship or for professional experience.

 

To be eligible for this work permit you must:

  • have a valid study permit and
  • obtain a letter from your faculty indicating that employment is an integral part of your degree program.

For this type of work permit, the University of Toronto will be listed as the employer and the expiry date should match your study permit.

 

The Co-Op Work Permit is fee-exempt, so there will be no processing fee required.

 

As of December 2012, students applying for a Co-Op Work Permit have the option to either apply online or send in a paper application.  Students should make sure to include a letter from the University of Toronto in their application indicating that employment is an essential part of their degree program.

Important Information about Applying Online:
As of December 2012, students who wish to apply online for a co-op work permit must first answer a series of questions in the "Come to Canada" assessment tool to determine their eligibility.  Completing this tool will generate a personal checklist code.  (If you are having difficulty with the questions or the process, please contact CIE's advisors.)  After logging in to your MyCIC account, select "Apply Online".  At this point, you will be asked to enter your personal checklist code.  You may then proceed with your application.

NOTE:    If you are planning to work with children or in the health services field, you must complete and pass a medical examination before submitting your application. Processing can take a while, so you should book your medical examination well in advance.  For a complete list of these occupations and a list of Designated Medical Practitioners who can perform the exam, visit the CIC website.  When you submit your work permit application, attach proof that you underwent a medical exam (i.e. a copy of your medical receipt). Failure to do so may result in processing delays or the rejection of your application.

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Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

The post-graduation employment program is designed to provide graduating students with Canadian work experience. International students who studied in Toronto may accept employment anywhere in Canada for a maximum of 3 years upon completion of their studies. The work permit cannot be valid longer than the length of time the student studied. This means that if you graduated from a four-year degree program, you might be eligible for a three-year work permit. However, if you graduated from an eight-month certificate program, you would only be eligible for a work permit of eight months.

 

You may only apply for this work permit once during  your temporary stay in Canada as an International student. To be eligible, you must:

  • Apply within the ninety day period since you received a formal notification from the University that you have successfully completed your program requirements, or since your final marks were posted whichever comes first.(Please note that it is this date which is important for CIC and not the Graduation Ceremony date)
  • Have a valid Study Permit at the time of application and
  • Provide proof of completion of your program (i.e., final transcript showing grades and/ or a letter from the University).
  • Have not preeviously been issued a PGWP

You may make your application online or by mail. For more information, go to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Important Information about Applying Online:
As of December 2012, students who wish to apply online for a post-graduation work permit must first answer a series of questions in the "Come to Canada" assessment tool to determine their eligibility.  Completing this tool will generate a personal checklist code.  (If you are having difficulty with the questions or the process, please contact CIE's advisors.)  After logging in to your MyCIC account, select "Apply Online".  At this point, you will be asked to enter your personal checklist code.  You may then proceed with your application.

NOTE:    If you are planning to work with children or in the health services field, you must complete and pass a medical examination before submitting your application. Processing can take a while, so you should book your medical examination well in advance.  For a complete list of these occupations and a list of Designated Medical Practitioners who can perform the exam, visit the CIC website.  When you submit your work permit application, attach proof that you underwent a medical exam (i.e. a copy of your medical receipt). Failure to do so may result in processing delays or the rejection of your application.

 

Additional Information for Post-Graduation Work Permit Holders:

  • Members of your immediate family (spouse/ common-law partner/ dependent children) who wish to remain with you for the duration of your work permit, must apply for permission to do so. You may apply for an extension of their stay in Canada at the same time as you apply for your post-graduation work permit, using the same form. Make sure you include all appropriate documentation and the required fee for each person in the application.

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Work Permit for a Spouse or Common-Law Partner
(including same-sex spouse or partner)

The spouse or partner of a person who holds a study permit is eligible to apply for a work permit while in Canada. The applicant must include proof that he/ she is the spouse/ common-law partner of the student. A job offer is not required. For guidance on making this application, please refer to the relevant section of the CIC website.

An applicant who has already taken the immigration medical examination will receive an open work permit; if no medical exam has been taken, the work permit will be somewhat restricted. For a list of occupations requiring a medical examination, please see the CIC website.

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Getting a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

In order to work in Canada, you must have both authorization to work (i.e., a work permit) and a Social Insurance Number. 

 

Click here to see detailed information on getting a Social Insurance Number.


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Income Tax

Income Tax and International Students

In Canada, the deadline for filing income tax returns is April 30th every year.

 

Most Canadians start compiling all their documents necessary to file by early March. This is the time period when most people receive all your necessary receipts or tax forms (e.g. T4 forms, T2202A, etc.).

 

As an international student, you must complete a return if you received any income through employment in Canada, whether that be on or off-campus work. Even if you did not receive income from a Canadian source, you may benefit by submitting a tax return as you may qualify for certain refundable tax rebates.


You will need to determine your residency status for tax purposes, prior to filing out your tax return. Most international students are considered “residents” for income tax purposes as you live, study, work and use many public services in Canada. Please be aware that your residency status for tax purposes is not the same as your residency status for immigration.

Many international students who study or conduct research in Canada establish significant residential ties with Canada. You are considered a resident of Canada for tax purposes if you establish residential ties with Canada. You are considered a non-resident of Canada for tax purposes if you do not establish residential ties with Canada and you are here for less than 183 days during the year.

Residential ties can include:

  • a home in Canada,
  • a spouse or common-law partner and dependents in Canada,
  • personal property in Canada (such as a car or furniture),
  • social ties in Canada,
  • a Canadian driver's licence or
  • a Canadian bank account or credit cards.

You must know your status in order to determine which tax form to use and which deductions and benefits you are eligible for.

 

Students who already have a file with Canada Revenue Agency (those who have already filed in the past and are filing again) can make use of UFile (code FAY 1493).

CIE's Tax Clinics

The CIE hosts tax clinics in the month of March and April on site to help international students (undergrad and graduate) with filing taxes. Details on what documents you need, hours of operation and more are available online. 

 

The CIE's Tax Clinics for March and April 2014 are now closed! We are pleased to say we helped over 500 students with the tax filing process.

 

For addtional assistance with your income tax filing process you may wish to visit other community resources such as the UTSU's Tax Clinics (http://utsu.ca/tax/) or the GSU's Tax information (http://www.utgsu.ca/services/taxes/). 


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Useful Canada Revenue Agency Links


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