International students studying in Canada have an unprecedented opportunity to not only receive an education but also gain work experience. Although most forms of employment require a work permit, certain forms may not.
This article will describe jobs you can perform without needing a work permit in Canada to enhance both your skillset and income while studying.
Jobs That Can Be Completed Without a Work Permit
There are certain jobs in Canada that don’t require work permits, namely those that require low skills or are temporary in nature. Examples of work that don’t need permits in Canada could include:
1. Seasonal agricultural worker
Seasonal agricultural workers from countries that have reciprocal agreements with Canada may work here without needing a work permit.
According to the 2022 Seasonal Agricultural Worker Wages report by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resources Council (CAHRC), seasonal agricultural workers in Canada typically earn an hourly average hourly wage of $15.60; with British Columbia offering the highest hourly average hourly pay at $17.80 and Quebec one of the lowest average hourly pays – just over $14.00 per hour.
2. Off-campus work up to 20 Hours per Week
An approved study permit entitles you to work off-campus up to 20 hours each week during the academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks, providing access to various part-time job opportunities in retail, hospitality and beyond.
CBIE recently published their 2022 Off-Campus Work Wages report and found that hourly wages for off-campus work of 20 hours or less per week average $14.50 across Canada; Ontario led in this regard with average hourly wages at around $16.70 while New Brunswick lagged far behind with 11.50 hours worked per week average hourly wages.
3. Co-op and Internship Programs
If your study program includes a co-op or internship component, off-campus employment should be permitted without needing a work permit as long as it’s required by your program.
Average wages for co-op and internship programs in Canada depend upon factors like province/territory, type of work performed by an intern, experience level and location of internship program.
As per a 2022 survey by the Canadian Association of Co-operative Education, co-op students across Canada average an hourly wage of $18.40; Ontario led with $21.00 while New Brunswick stood in as having one of the lowest hourly wages at just $15.00 per hour.
4. Volunteer Work
Volunteer work can be an excellent way to gain experience while giving back to the community. No work permit is needed as long as your position does not directly compete with paid roles.
Volunteers in Canada typically do not receive wages; however, some organizations may provide reimbursement for expenses such as transportation or childcare costs that arise while volunteering.
Volunteerism in Canada serves various purposes. Some volunteers volunteer in order to give back to their communities; others seek experience or develop new skills; yet still others volunteer solely for social reasons or to make an impactful difference in society.
International students can engage in self-employment without needing a work permit as long as their business does not represent a significant source of income or include hiring other workers.
As an international student, taking on jobs that do not require work permits can open doors to invaluable work experience and income opportunities.