How International Students Can Earn Money in Canada


Most students planning to continue their studies in Canada and other progressive countries often look forward to getting employment opportunities. Taking this step will help them to maintain financial stability while they concentrate on their studies.

Another thing is that the work experience can go a long way to boost their CV and it doesn’t matter if it’s an unpaid internship. International students have several options when it comes to jobs. However, certain jobs are reserved for citizens and permanent residents.


You also need to confirm your eligibility before applying for any job in Canada.

International students who are running degree programs can work either on or off-campus based on the following criteria:

  • Those working full-time during the holidays must not exceed 40 hours per week.
  • Part-time workers can work up to 20 hours per week during each semester.

Canada offers a wide range of support programs such as the Youth Employment Strategy for international students.

Here are the conditions for qualifying for an off-campus job in Canada:

  • You must have a valid social insurance number (SIN).
  • You must have a study permit.
  • You must have registered at a designated learning institution (DLI). Quebec based students must be running a vocational program.
  • Students that want to work within the four walls of their campus don’t need a SIN or work permit.

Top jobs for international students in Canada

Let’s briefly check out some of the promising part-time and summer jobs that are open for international students.

  • Aquarium interpreter
  • Human resources assistant
  • Office assistant
  • Baker
  • Educational interpreter
  • Lifeguard
  • Reading program leader
  • Painter
  • Cook
  • Festival coordinator
  • Bookkeeper
  • Program facilitator
  • Customer service assistant
  • Sales assistant
  • Recreation facilitator.

4 Tips for a successful job search in Canada

1.        Do your due diligence

Inform those around you about your plans to secure a job as an international student. Chances are that they will offer useful suggestions or even refer you to someone in their network. Visit job sites and read descriptions to understand what each position entails.

Consider checking your school’s career center where you can get first-hand information on exclusive job listings.

2.        Tailor your resume and cover letter

Many students tend to skip this step. Set aside time to design a resume/CV that fits the position you want to apply for. Make sure that your resume is short. According to experts, one page works best.

Recruiters of this era place much importance on impressive cover letters. There is nothing wrong about disclosing your visa status in your cover letter. Showcase your leadership roles, volunteer work, language skills, and the likes if you have little or no work experience.

3.        Network effectively

Smart international students understand that developing sound networking skills is one of the ingredients for a successful career.  Be proactive and network with others by attending events and engaging in different activities.

Never get discouraged during your job search if you’re unable to get a job immediately. Avoid turning down unpaid internships because the references from your employers can assist you during job search later on. Volunteering is another way to improve your CV.

4.        Try co-op programs

Certain Canadian study programs come with co-op offers. This paid internship is a viable way to gain work experience in your chosen field and make some money. It can also double your chances of getting lucrative jobs after completing your program.

The best cities where students can find employment opportunities in Canada include Vancouver, Ottawa, Burnaby, Toronto, Quebec, and Montreal. Your summer job can influence the type of job you can do the following year. Students that are polite and exhibit stellar work ethics stand a better chance of being employed by the company permanently. 

You can get a post-graduation work permit once you graduate. This will allow you to work in Canada for a maximum of three years. However, you can only take this step if your study permit is still valid.

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