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Navigating Off-Campus Employment: A Comprehensive Pre-PGWP Work Guide

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June 26, 2023

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Shreya Udani

PGWP guidelines

Off-Campus Work After Graduation: A Guide to Working Before Applying for PGWP 

In Canada, working while a student can be an excellent way to get important professional experience. However, it’s crucial to comprehend the prerequisites and regulations for working off-campus in Canada. Guidelines that specify the circumstances in which students may work off-campus while studying in Canada have been created by the Canadian government. The Blog will enlighten the reader about the various requirements for working off-campus, the restrictions on working while awaiting confirmation of program completion, the repercussions of non-compliance, and the significance of following rules and regulations. 

I. Eligibility  

The following prerequisites must be satisfied for a student in Canada to be permitted to work off-campus: 

  •  To work off-campus, a student must fulfil the requirements - [R186(v)] which states that: 
  1. Student should be enrolled in a DLI on a full-time basis. 
  2. The duration of the program (post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program) should be more than 6 months and should lead to a degree, diploma or a certificate.  
  3. Students are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week during regular academic semesters. However, they can work full-time in their scheduled academic breaks.  
  •  The students should have successfully completed the academic criteria for their program of study which should be supported by a completion letter along with the official transcripts which demonstrate the same. 
  • Enrolling in multiple programs should be strictly prohibited. Also, a student must strictly avoid applying for a Work Permit or a Study Permit Extension. 

It is important to note that students are allowed to work off-campus part time (20 hours) until they receive their confirmation of course completion. However, students have to stop working if their study permit expires before receiving their confirmation of course completion. 

It’s also crucial to remember that students who have finished one course and will begin another within 150 days of receiving confirmation from their present institution that their course has been completed may work off campus full-time up until the beginning of their new course.  


II. Program’s completion  

A student is no longer permitted to work in Canada once they get a formal acknowledgment from their institution that their program has been successfully completed. To avoid having their study permit cancelled, they should apply to change their status (for example, to visitor status or on work permit). 


III Consequences

There may be legal consequences if the regulations related to student employment off-campus in Canada are broken. Understanding the consequences of non-compliance is important because it may affect a student’s future eligibility to study or work in Canada. Legal consequences may include: 

  • Termination of your study permit. 
  • May prevent you from getting approved for a study or work permit in the future.  
  • You may be required to leave the country.


IV. Importance 

To avoid legal consequences while working off-campus as a student in Canada, it’s very important to follow the rules and regulations. Before starting any work, students should ensure that they are eligible and understand the rules regarding working off-campus. It’s also important to remember that any changes to a student’s study plan or Designated Learning Institution (DLI) must be communicated to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

In addition, a student may need to apply for a post-graduation work permit if they intend to work in Canada after they finish their studies. With the help of this permit, international students who have graduated from a Canadian university or college are able to continue working there for up to three years. It’s crucial to remember that there are requirements for this permit’s eligibility and that students must apply for it before their present study permit expires. 


In Canada, working off-campus while a student can be an excellent chance to obtain useful professional experience. To prevent legal consequences, it’s important to understand the requirements and regulations related to employment off campus. To ensure that students have a successful and fulfilling experience studying and working in Canada, it is essential that they abide by the policies and guidelines established by the Canadian government.  Students should seek assistance from our team of specialists at SPS Canada Immigration Inc., that specializes in Canadian immigration and can help students with their immigration questions, if they have questions or concerns about working off-campus as a student in Canada.



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