The Off-Campus Work Permit (OCWP) Program allows students to work off campus while completing their degree. With an OCWP, students may work up to 20 hours per week while studying, and up to 40 hours per week during breaks (e.g. Christmas break, Spring break, etc.)
- Hold a valid Study Permit
- Be enrolled as a full-time student (at least three university-level courses (9 credits) for a period of 6 out of the previous 12 calendar months, and have a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) in the same period of at least 1.67 (C- average).
- Be admitted to an degree program (Associate of Arts, Associate of Science)
How to Apply
The first step to apply for an Off-Campus Work Permit is to open an online account with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. To create an account, students will need to get a secure electronic pass called a key. A key is a unique electronic credential that allows secure access CIC’s online services.
- Register for an access key if you are a new user. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/e-services/mycic.asp
- Login to access your key if you are a returning user. Once you are logged in with your key, you will be automatically directed to CIC’s online services called MyCIC. You will then be prompted to register for an account if you are a first time user. Returning users will be directed straight to their existing account.
- Within the MyCIC portal, you will need to apply for an Electronic Verification Number (EVN) from your institution. This process will submit an electronic request to the College administration, who will review your record and determine whether or not you are eligible for an Off-Campus Work Permit.
- When your EVN is approved by your institution, you can submit the rest of your application.
- Login to you MyCIC account,
- Look under “My Messages” for confirmation of you EVN, open the message. Within the body of the confirmation message, there will be a link to continue with the rest of the application process.
Social Insurance Number
International students wanting to work in Canada must obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada. By law, employers are required to see the SIN within three days of the start date of employment. Service Canada recommends that students apply in person to obtain the SIN and allow ten (10) working days to receive the SIN card in the mail. The SIN card expires on the same day as the permit.
Students who are issued an Off-Campus Work Permit are expected to maintain eligibility for as long as it is valid or as long as they intend to work. Institutions are required to submit regular reports on the status of students issued an Off-Campus Work Permit.
Eligibility can be maintained in the following ways:
- Continue to be registered as a full-time student at a participating institution.
- Maintain good academic standing (cumulative GPA of at least 1.67)
- Demonstrate compliance with other terms and conditions of the OCWP, such as maximum number of working hours per week.
If a student fails to maintain a full-time course load or the minimum required GPA, it is their responsibility to inform their employer that they are no longer authorized to work. The student must also immediately surrender their work permit, either in person or by mail, to the nearest Citizenship and Immigration Office. If a student does not surrender their work permit, he or she will be found to be non-compliant. It is illegal to work in Canada with an invalid work permit. This could have a negative impact on a student’s current stay in Canada and any applications to come to Canada that might be made in the future. For more information on surrendering your work permit, visit: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work-offcampus-surrender.asp
Extending your Off-Campus Work Permit
The expiry date of a student’s Off-Campus Work Permit will be the same as the expiry date of their Study Permit. As such, students who are due to renew or extend their study permit must apply for an extension of both the Study Permit and the Off-Campus Work Permit.
Students with an Off-Campus Work Permit who wish to transfer from one participating institution to another must request a transfer of their Eligibility Verification. Transferring to another institution without transferring the Eligibility Verification of the OCWP will result in the student being reported as ineligible by the former institution, which can negatively affect your ability to get permits in the future.
To transfer the Eligibility Verification:
- Login to your MyCIC portal
- Under “What do you want to do today?” click “Transfer my verification.”
- Follow the steps to enter the information of the institutions you are transferring to and from.
Students who do not have an EVN yet, but who have completed their 6-months of full-time studies at more than one Canadian school should request eligibility verification (with transfer) at their new school.