Studying in Canada in 2023? How to find part-time work as an international student

Edana Robitaille
Published: May 3, 2023

Canada is a top-ranking destination for international students. It has some of the world’s most sought-after universities and offers a unique student life experience.

Studying in Canada is also a prominent pathway for international students thinking in the long term about settling in Canada.

Personal finances are a top priority for international students in Canada

On top of tuition, international students must consider other essentials such as textbooks, housing, groceries, and transportation.

Discover your options to study in Canada

Fortunately, international students in Canada have the option of working if they are enrolled in a program of study at a post-secondary designated learning institution (DLI). There is no separate work permit required. The program of study must exceed six months in length and lead to a professional certification.

International students may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session and full-time during scheduled academic breaks like reading weeks or over the summer holidays, provided they will return to full-time studies.

International students are allowed to have more than one job while they are studying in Canada.

Once an international student has completed their program of study, they may be eligible to work full-time in Canada by getting a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

The PGWP exists to help international students gain additional work experience, which may assist those seeking to transition to permanent residents. Many permanent residence pathways in Canada cater to those with Canadian work experience and a PGWP allows international graduates to gain that experience while establishing more roots in their communities and contributing to Canada’s economy.

PGWPs are valid for up to three years depending on the length of the program of study.

If a student does not get a work permit before their study permit expires, they will not be eligible to live and work in Canada after their program of study is completed.

How to start job hunting

If an international student’s program of study meets the necessary length and certification requirements, there are still some steps to take before being able to work as an international student in Canada.

First, those who wish to work require a Social Insurance Number (SIN), a unique nine-digit number assigned by Service Canada. It allows the government to track employment history in Canada and ensure that people are paying the correct level of income tax, as well as track hours worked. Everyone who works in Canada must have one, whether they are a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident, or a temporary resident.

International students must also wait until their program of study has started before being eligible to work. If they arrive in the summer before their program starts, they cannot work until their first class in September.

While waiting, they can use the time to find accommodation, go over their resumes (CVs) and think about how much time to spend working while balancing a course load and their health.

Creating a resume

When updating a resume, the University of Toronto career centre advises international students, especially those with limited work experience, to highlight all their strengths, skills, and experiences – including paid and unpaid work, extracurricular activities, and volunteering experience. This can include unpaid work done for a family business.

It is not necessary to include personal information such as age, marital status, nationality, visa status, social insurance number, or a photo.

Where can international students find part-time jobs in Canada?

Most international students choose to live on or near their campus so it makes the most sense to look for jobs nearby to reduce commuting time and cost.

On-campus jobs are advertised in several ways. Most frequently, they are found on job boards, the school’s career centre or student union building, or at career fairs.

Off campus, most job hunting is done online. Canada’s JobBank typically lists part-time, positions that are suited for international students.

LinkedIn and Indeed are both popular websites for job seekers in Canada. There are several job websites in Canada to help start your search. Some of the most popular include:

How much are international students paid?

All Canadian provinces have a minimum wage and international students should expect to make this as a minimum, per-hour rate. Anything above it is up to their employer.

British Columbia$15.65As of 06/01/2022
Alberta$15.00As of 06/26/2019
Saskatchewan$13.00As of 10/01/2022. Set to increase to $14.00 on 10/01/2023, then to $15.00 on 10/01/2024.
Manitoba$13.50As of 10/01/2022. Set to increase to $14.15 on 04/01/2023, then to $15.30 on 10/01/2023.
Ontario$15.50As of 10/01/2022
Quebec$14.25As of 05/01/2022
Newfoundland and Labrador$13.70As of 10/01/2022. Set to increase to $14.50 on 04/01/2023, then to $15.00 on 10/01/2023.
New Brunswick$13.75As of 10/01/2022. Set to increase to $14.75 on 04/01/2023.
Prince Edward Island$14.50As of 01/01/2023. Set to increase to $15.00 on 10/01/2023.
Nova Scotia$13.60As of 10/01/2022. Set to increase to $14.50 on 04/01/2023, then to $15.00 on 10/01/2023.
Northwest Territories$15.20As of 09/01/2021
Nunavut$16.00As of 04/01/2020
Yukon$15.70As of 04/01/2022. Set to increase to $16.77 on 04/01/2023.

The wage for servers and bartenders in Canada is typically lower than minimum wage and varies by province. However, in Canada it is customary for bar and restaurant patrons to tip their servers and bartenders anywhere from 10% to 20% of the purchase price of their food or drink. In many instances, those who work in the restaurant industry can make more money than those who make the full minimum wage.

Discover your options to study in Canada

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
How can I improve the chances that the processing of my application is not delayed?
Happy female traveler waiting for the flight in the airport
Banking for International Students: A Helpful Guide to Picking the Right Bank Account and Credit Card in Canada
There are two main types of personal deposit accounts that international students can open in Canada: chequing and savings.
Has IRCC’s LOA verification system successfully protected Canadian international students?
Girl using laptop to have a video call with her friend
Know You Are Prepared: 10 Essential Strategies for Success on CELPIP – the Only Canadian Test Designated by IRCC
If you’re applying to become a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, taking the CELPIP Test is an essential step toward your goal because it is one of the approved language tests and the only Canadian functional language assessment designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Top Stories
Canada’s immigration minister proposes new legislation for Canadian citizenship by descent
IRCC now accepting community applications for two new pilot programs
How to be considered for jobs in Canada while still in the Express Entry pool
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Express Entry
How to be considered for jobs in Canada while still in the Express Entry pool
A person having an online interview with a recruiter
Can I count student work experience towards the Express Entry work requirement?
Two people sitting at a table looking at a tablet working on a project.
The state of the Express Entry pool: April 2024
A collage of a group of people preforming various actions in a single photo
Will my job offer get me Comprehensive Ranking System points as an Express Entry candidate?
Multiracial group of colleagues working on business reports during the meeting
Link copied to clipboard