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Off Campus Work

Important Notice:
IRCC announced that it will temporarily lift the 20-hour-per-week cap on the number of hours that eligible post-secondary students are allowed to work off-campus while class is in session. This temporary measure will run from November 15, 2022 and will be in force until December 31, 2023 and will apply to international students who are in Canada and who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit. Under this measure students who meet the off-campus work eligibility requirements will not be restricted by the 20-hour-per-week rule.
**Note: as a study permit holder, you are still expected to maintain a full-time student status. If you stop studying or reduce your course load to only study part-time, then you are not eligible to work off-campus.**
For the full details, please see IRCC’s News Release.


Planning to work off-campus during your studies?

Here's what you need to know.

What does this mean?

Documents needed

How many hours can I work?

  • up to 20 hours per week during regular full-time academic sessions
  • full-time during [university- scheduled] breaks**
  • See temporary measures above

Who is eligible?

  • Full-time** McGill degree, certificate, diploma students and visiting/exchange students

Who is NOT eligible?

Where can you work off-campus?

  • Visit CaPS for more information

Important Update on Off-campus Work: On March 12, 2018, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published new guidelines concerning off-campus work.


Two important updates that we would like to highlight are the following:

  1. The new guidelines confirm that students who have regularly scheduled breaks during the summer as per their program of study and who decide to study part-time or full-time during the summer are eligible to work off-campus on a full-time basis during the summer as long as they meet the eligibility criteria for off-campus work.
  2. The new guidelines confirm that students who complete one program of studies and then commence a new program within 150 days from the completion of their program are eligible to work off-campus full-time until the start of their program.

For full details on all the changes to the off-campus work program for students, please see IRCC’s website


* If your Study Permit was issued June 1, 2014, or later, it will likely include conditions and/or remarks that clearly state you are eligible to work on or off-campus if you meet the eligibility requirements.  To be able to apply for a Social Insurance Number, these conditions must appear on your Study Permit.

If your Study Permit does not include a reference to your eligibility to work on or off-campus, you can submit a request for an amendment to your study permit to be able to apply for a Social Insurance Number. The Request to Amend can only be submitted by mail and there is no fee for this request. You can check the current processing time required for the Request to Amend.

** Please note that in order to work full-time during a scheduled break, you must be full-time*** before and after the scheduled break, with the exception of your last semester.

*** Definition of "Full-time" studies: 

  • If you are an undergraduate student: Minimum 12 credits per term (exceptions: scheduled breaks - like Reading Week & Summer - and the final term before graduation, when you are permitted to be registered part-time and still maintain your working privileges)
  • If you are a Non-Thesis Masters student:  Minimum 12 credits per term (exceptions: Department scheduled breaks (ask Dept. if unsure) and the final term before graduation, when you are permitted to be registered part-time and still maintain your working privileges)
  • If you are in a Graduate Thesis program (Masters, Phd): you are registered full-time in every academic term, including the summer, regardless of the number of credits per term. Note: thesis programs do not have any scheduled breaks.

In addition to the information above, please also review ISS' FAQs page.

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