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. 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. In order to make your online application, you must first register for an epass and then set up your "MyCIC" profile. This can be done through the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. Please visit CIC Secure Online Services for information about eligibility and the application process.

Once you have set up your profile, you must make a "Request for Initial Eligibility Verification". This can be done from the online services link. You must then wait for your Designated Institutional Representative, or DIR (i.e., someone from your registrar's office), to inform you through MyCIC that your eligibility has been verified. This usually takes 2-5 business days. Once your eligibility has been verified, you will receive an Electronic Verification Number (EVN). Your verification will be valid for sixty days. You will then be able to proceed with the rest of the application and pay your fees online.

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.

For the guide, document checklist and application form, go to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website and download the following forms:

  • Guide (IMM 5580)
  • Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada (IMM 5710)
  • Document Checklist [IMM 5583]

Mailing Address:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada — Work Permit
Case Processing Centre - Unit 555
6212-55th Avenue
Vegreville, AB
T9C 1X6

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

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. To be eligible, you must:

  • be within the ninety day period since your notification from the University that you have completed your course requirements,
  • 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).

You may make your application online or by mail. For the guide, document checklist and application form, go to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website and download the following forms:

  • Guide (IMM 5580)
  • Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada (IMM 5710)
  • Document Checklist [IMM 5583]

You may pay the processing fee of $150 online or with a fee receipt form (available at CIE) at any bank.

Mailing Address:
Citizenship and Immigration - Work Permit
Case Processing Centre - Unit 555
6212-55th Avenue
Vegreville, AB
T9C 1X6   

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 or 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 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 make sure you have 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 people can start this exercise as of about March 1st, since by that date you should have received all your necessary receipts and T-forms. As an international student, you must complete a return if you received any income through employment in Canada. 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.
 

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The Annual CIE General Income Tax Information and Help Sessions

In March every year, CIE organizes workshops for students to explain the policy and process of filing a tax return. These workshops are led by representatives of the Canada Revenue Agency’s International Tax Services Office (ITSO) and the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). Daily income tax clinics are also conducted every April at CIE, to assist new international students who are completing their first Canadian tax return. Please see the Canada Revenue Agency website for contact and general information.

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Useful Canada Revenue Agency Links


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