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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 card.

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?

Yes. They can obtain this permit without a letter of employment from their employer. The processing time for Off-Campus Work Permits is regularly updated here.

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

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

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

Yes. Once they apply, a SIN card will be assigned to them immediately, and they can therefore begin working right away. The SIN card may take up to ten days to arrive in the mail.

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 the summer/winter holidays and reading week.

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 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 his/her work permit has expired, 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.