Study/Work Permit & Work as an International Student
Check your immigration documents (study permit, work permit and/or temporary resident visa) to make sure they are accurate and up to date. Know when they expire and plan to renew them at least 2-3 months before. A valid permit allows you to remain in Canada while you study. If you apply through an agent, they will help you through this process.
Learn more about applying to study in Canada from the Government of Canada...
On campus? Visit us in P102 Nelson Tenth Street Campus or 0-130 at the Castlegar Campus.
Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Apply for Service Canada information here
Service Canada: SIN Number Information for Newcomers
COVID-19: International Students (IRCC Website)
Travel exceptions and restrictions for international students
Important Notices from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
COVID-19: Changes to biometrics requirement for in-Canada temporary residence applicants (announced in October 2020)
As a temporary measure, if you’re in Canada and applying to work, study or stay temporarily in Canada, you do not need to give your biometrics. Learn more about the exemption...
Important Reminders from IRCC on Key Issues for International Students
For study permit holders...
Updating information about their designated learning institution (DLI)
- International students must update IRCC each time they change post-secondary schools. Changing the post-secondary school in their IRCC account is free and can be done online.
- When a student does not tell IRCC that they have changed their DLI, they are reported to IRCC by their previous school as not attending class.
- This can lead to an investigation into failing to comply with their study permit conditions. It could ultimately result in the student being required to leave Canada.
Updating contact information
International students must keep their contact information up to date with IRCC. Students can change their residential address by using our web form.
Reminders on working in Canada while studying
Before their program begins
- An international student whose study permit allows them to work on-campus, offcampus, or both can begin working in Canada when they start their study program.
- They cannot work before their studies begin.
Working while they study
- During regular school semesters, students who are allowed to work off-campus may work a maximum of 20 hours per week.
- During scheduled breaks in the school year, such as during winter and summer holidays, they may work full-time.
- There is no maximum number of hours eligible students may work on-campus.
Learn more about the conditions under which international students can work by visiting our website.
Completing their program and working
- International students must stop working as soon as they receive confirmation from their DLI that they have met all the requirements for graduation.
- However, a student who has completed their program, and who was eligible to work off-campus during their studies, can begin working full-time again if they submit their application for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) while their study permit is still valid.
- If their PGWP application is refused, they must stop working immediately.
- Students should not apply for a PGWP to the Canada Border Services Agency at a port of entry.
- As students who apply for a PGWP before their study permit expires are authorized to work while their PGWP application is in process, there should be no reason to apply for a PGWP at port of entry.
It is important that international students comply with the conditions of their study permit. Failing to comply with these conditions, including the rules around working on- and off-campus, can lead to enforcement action and affect the student’s future applications for immigration programs.
Post-secondary students changing schools
"If you change post-secondary schools, the school you plan to change to must also be a DLI. Please check the DLI list and confirm your new school is a DLI before you commit to changing schools.
You must tell us each time you change post-secondary schools. Changing the post-secondary school on your account is a free service.
You need to contact us if you:
- are a post-secondary student changing schools
- have a co-op work permit and you’ve changed post-secondary schools to another co-op program or
- need to change conditions on your study permi
If you change schools and don't tell IRCC. Your old school will report you as not being registered to study. If this happens:
- you’re breaking the conditions of your study permit
- you may be asked to leave the country
this may prevent you from coming to Canada in the future
- For example, you may not be approved for another study or work permit in the future.
Changing your DLI if you’re outside Canada
If you change your DLI before coming to Canada and you don’t let us know, you won’t be allowed to board your flight.
If your application is still in progress
You can tell us you changed your DLI by submitting a new letter of acceptance using the IRCC web form.
If your application has been approved
If your application for a study permit has been approved and you change your DLI, you must submit a new study permit application with a new letter of acceptance.
You must also pay all the fees for the new application.
How to Amend or Correct a Study Permit
- Enrolment Letter from email@example.com (Please include your student number)
- Official transcript on your student record: Click here
- There is no application fee for this service.
How Your PGWPP Eligibility is Affected by COVID-19 (updated on Feb. 12, 2021)
Information from: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coron...
If you’re inside Canada
You’re still eligible for the PGWP if
- your in-person classes in Canada have been moved to an online-only format and you are taking your classes online because of COVID-19, or
- you had to put your studies on hold, or study part-time, during the winter, spring or summer 2020 semesters because of COVID-19
As of the fall 2020 semester, you must be studying full-time to be eligible.
If you’re outside of Canada
If you can’t travel to Canada at this time and you’re taking your classes online, you’re still eligible for a PGWP.
To be eligible, you must
- meet all the other PGWP requirements
- have been enrolled in a program that was in progress in March 2020, or
have started or will start a program between spring 2020 and fall 2021, and
- you have a study permit, or
- you’ve been approved for a study permit, or
you applied for a study permit before starting your study program
- your study permit must eventually be approved
How much of your studies count toward a PGWP
You can complete 100% of your studies online from outside Canada.
All your time studying online outside Canada between spring 2020 and December 31, 2021, counts toward the length of a PGWP. This applies even if you’re completing 2 study programs.
If you’re completing 2 study programs, you can finish 100% of your studies online if the programs were ongoing or started between March 2020 and fall 2021, and
- both study programs are from an eligible DLI and are completed within 2 years
- each program meets all PGWP eligibility requirements and is at least 8 months long
Time spent studying outside Canada after December 31, 2021, won’t count towards the length of a PGWP.
Post-Graduation Permanent Resident Application
If you are interested in becoming a permanent resident of Canada after graduation, please click the links below to check out these opportunities:
Federal government regulations regarding online courses/programs and part-time vs full-time course load
Full-time Versus Part-time Studies
The definition of full-time or part-time varies depending on the educational institution. A study permit may be issued whether or not the student’s studies are on a full-time or part-time basis (i.e., the condition that study permit holders must actively pursue studies does not require them to be enrolled on a full-time basis), as long as they are enrolled at a designated learning institution. However, the student must have a full-time status in order to work on or off campus.
Read about 'Study permits: Other considerations.' Based on this federal regulation, Selkirk’s definition of a full time student is 60% of a full time course load. Please see: Selkirk College - College Course Load (smartcatalogiq.ca)
• 100% standard course load: 15 credits per semester.
• Full-time status: 9 credits, which is 60% of a 100% course load.
• Part-time status: less than 9 credits per semester.
- Upgrading/SOAR students are considered full-time if they are enrolled in 2 courses, which is 60% of a standard course load.
• Disability status: 6 credits, which is 40% of a 100% course load. (Note: To be eligible for disability status, students must be registered and approved by Accessibility Services.)
A student who is interested in participating in a credit course but who does not wish to complete assignments, write examinations, or receive credit may enrol as an audit student provided space is available. Not all courses may be audited. Written permission to audit must be given by the instructor and School Chair.
Students who complete a program of study by distance learning (from outside or inside Canada) are not eligible for PGWPP. Officers may use the following guidelines in their assessment of an applicant's PGWPP eligibility when the applicant has taken distance or online learning in Canada at a DLI:
- when less than the majority of all the credits earned by the student toward the completionof a program of study were earned by completing online courses, a post-graduation work permit may be issued based on the length of the program as confirmed by the DLI, including credits earned from both in-class and online courses;
- when the majority of the credits earned by the student toward the completion of a program of study were earned by completing online courses, the applicant is ineligible for the PGWPP, as the program may reasonably be considered a distance-learning program.
Learn about 'Study permits: Post-Graduation Work Permit Progam.' Based on this federal regulation, an international student may only take a maximum of 2 online courses in a semester if the full course load is 5 courses. If the course load is 4 courses, an international student may take only 1 online course. Total online course credits must be less than 50%.
Full-time Students with a Part-time Course Load in Their Final Academic Session
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, may work off campus up to 20 hours per week during their final academic session.
Learn about 'Study permits: Off-campus work.'