Find Out If You Can Work Off Campus Without A Work Permit

You can work off campus without a work permit if you meet all of these requirements:

  1. You have a valid study permit
  2. Your study permit states the proper employment condition (e.g. “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”)
  3. You are a full-time student at Bow Valley College (NOT including ELL program)
  4. Your study program is at least 6 months long and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate
  5. You have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
If You’re A Part-Time Student

You can work off campus only if:

  1. You meet all of the requirements above
  2. You’re only studying part-time, instead of full-time, because:
    • You’re in the last semester of your study program and you don’t need a full course load to complete your program, and
    • You were a full-time student in your program in Canada, up until your last semester

Note: If your study permit doesn’t have work conditions on it, you can ask to have these conditions added if you’re eligible to work off campus. 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.


Frequently Asked Questions

During Regular School Terms/Semesters

You can work up to 20 hours/week.

During Scheduled Breaks In The School Year

You can work full-time if you’re on a scheduled break, such as winter and summer holidays, or a fall or spring reading week. You’re free to work overtime or work 2 part-time jobs that add up to a higher than usual number of hours.

What’s regularly scheduled break?

To be considered a regularly scheduled break, the break must be part of the Bow Valley College calendar (e.g. winter and summer holidays, Reading Week). Each regularly scheduled break should not be longer than 150 days. The maximum cumulative duration of scheduled breaks is 180 days per calendar year. Regularly scheduled break at Bow Valley College varies depending on the programs and intakes. Please consult with International Learner Advisor to confirm if your program has a scheduled break.

You must be a full-time student both before and after the break to work full-time.

You can’t work during a break that comes before you start your very first school semester.

If your program doesn’t have scheduled breaks, you can work up to 20 hours per week.

How Many Hours Count As 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.

Note: Working more than 20 hours per week is a violation of your study permit conditions. You can lose your student status for doing this, and may not be approved for a study or work permit in the future. You may also have to leave the country.

If you have completed a program and will be starting a new program within 150 days, you may work off campus on a full-time basis until the start of their new program if the following applies:

  • You meet the eligibility criteria to work off campus
  • You have received written confirmation of completion from your first program (e.g. a transcript or a completion letter)
  • You have been issued a letter of acceptance to a subsequent program of full-time study at a DLI

If the new program of study starts more than 150 calendar days after the first date they receive written confirmation of program completion from their current institution, you're eligible to work off campus only during the first 150 consecutive days after the first date they receive written confirmation of program completion. You should then either apply to change your status (for instance, change it into visitor status) or leave Canada until your new program commences.

If you've applied to extend your stay in Canada as a student, you're required to cease working if your study permit application is refused.

You need to meet certain criteria to be eligible to stay in Canada while you wait to begin another program (i.e. second certificate or diploma).

You can’t work off campus without a work permit if any of these situations apply to you:

  • Your study permit says you aren’t authorized to work off campus while you study
  • You’re only enrolled in an English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program
  • You’re only taking general interest courses
  • You’re only taking courses required to be accepted into a full-time program
  • Your situation changes and you no longer meet all of the requirements to work off campus

If you’re on an authorized leave from your studies, or you’re switching schools and you’re not studying, you can’t work off campus. You can only return to work once you’re back to studying.

If any of these situations apply to you, and you want to work while studying in Canada, you need to apply for a work permit.

Three students walking down the street


Check out the International Students Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to your questions.

Or get in touch by sending us a message to


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