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Information for employers of international students

Hiring International Students

If you've taken the time to find this page, you likely understand the value that an international student can add to your organization. Students from abroad often bring with them a mastery of several languages, a global perspective and the cultural sensitivity that is a must in a multicultural country. 

RECRUITMENT:  To take advantage of great recruitment opportunities at McGill, please visit the Career Planning Service (CaPS) Office's Information for Employers.

What you may not know is that hiring an international student is a surprisingly simple process. Below are some of the most common questions asked by employers. If you'd like further information, contact McGill's International Student Services office.

Frequently asked questions

Is a Work Permit required for on-campus employment?

No. As long as the student is registered full-time during the academic year (Sept-Apr.), they are permitted to work on campus without needing a work permit. The employer must provide them with an Employment Contract, printed on the employer's letterhead. Without this contract, international students are not eligible for a SIN.

If a student's Study Permit has expired, but they applied to extend it, can they still work?

If a student's study permit expires after they have submitted their application for an extension, but before they receive the new permit, they can continue to work under what’s called implied status.

Is a Work Permit required for off-campus employment?

Starting June 1st, 2014, students working off-campus (but not in a co-op/internship) will NO LONGER REQUIRE an off-campus work permit for general off-campus work, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements (full-time student status + valid Study Permit).  They may work up to 20 hours a week during the academic term, and up to 40 hours a week during scheduled breaks (e.g. summer term, winter holidays, Reading Week).  Please see detailed information under "Working Off Campus" on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. 

If the work consists of a mandatory internship, practicum or co-op term that is a requirement for their academic program, the student will need to apply for a co-op/internship work permit, and may not begin working until he/she has this document in hand.  See "Work as part of a co-op/internship program" on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Do international students need a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

Yes. Students must apply for their SIN within the first 3 days of work.  They will receive their SIN immediately, as a paper document.  As of March 2014, Service Canada no longer issues plastic SIN cards.

How many hours per week can international students work?

International students may work no more than 20 hours per week during the regular academic year, and 40 hours per week during scheduled breaks in their program (e.g. the summer/winter holidays and Reading Week).

The only exception to this are students who have obtained a co-op/internship work permit to complete a mandatory co-op/internship as part of their academic program.  Students on co-op/internship may work full-time during the academic year, but only for the duration of their co-op/internship. 

Can international students participate in co-op internships?

Yes. Students who must do internships as part of their program of study can obtain a co-op/internship work permit for the duration of their internship.

Can a Work Permit be extended after graduation?

Yes. If you would like to continue to employ an international student after graduation, the student must obtain a post-graduation work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Students do not require a letter of employment from their employer to apply.

Post-graduation employment cannot begin until a work permit has been obtained, unless the student is in possession of an Off-Campus Work Permit, which allows them to work up to 90 days after receiving confirmation of their eligibility to graduate.

How can I verify whether a student has in fact graduated from McGill?

Employers, employment agencies, academic institutions and others requiring confirmation of issuance of a student's McGill University credential and graduation date must submit their request through AuraData.  Details are available here.