Can students work 40 hours in Canada?

Can students work 40 hours in Canada? The answer is Yes! However, there’s always a general no to the answer. This is because the two conditions are subjective. We’ll explain them in detail. 

Due to the restrictions on working hours, international students have complained of exploitation. Being made to work more than 20 hours without protection has led the Canadian government to change its policy on job restrictions for international students. 

Students who are studying in Canada can now work for more than 20 hours per week. Although this is a new policy, It’ll be implemented by 15 November 2023. 

The new policy has no restrictions on the number of hours at all. That being said, you can work for as much as you want while studying in Canada. 

Nevertheless, you’re still under the regulations of Canadian labor and employment. They’re certain jobs you’re not eligible to apply for, even though they’re almost no restrictions on jobs for international students. 

Currently, they’re about 500,000 international students studying in Canada. Among the few reasons for the lift is to help address the critical labor shortage in the country. 

Recently, Canada has evolved to depend on permanent residents for most of its labor work. The shortage of workforce is crippling and biting the economy. This is also an avenue to apply and seek greener pastures in Canada. 

To make things more understandable, let’s discuss more international students in Canada, and their job security, requirements, and features. 

Who can work off-campus in Canada?

They’re two types of people that can work off-campus in Canada. The first ones are the students who are eligible to work off-campus. This particular eligibility is made possible during the application, hence such a person does not need a Canadian work permit, but will need a student visa. 

Another type is a holder of a Canadian work permit. If you’re holding the work permit, by default you’re at liberty to work outside the school. 

You’ve to understand that you must have a work permit or be eligible to work in Canada before you start working. Risking to work illegally may lead to deportation from the country. 

Moreover, you must be attending academic activities before you start working as a student. Because you’re already in Canada to study, you’re not yet allowed to work. All students must be working in line with the labor and employment policies, and this allows them only when school activities have begun. 

Eligibility and requirements

To be able to work off campus as a part-time student in Canada, you need to have the following requirements; 

  • You must be enrolled as a full-time student of any institution of learning in Canada
  • You’re expected to be enrolled in post-secondary studies (either academic, professional, or vocational training). You can be eligible if you’re enrolled in secondary-level vocational training (for Quebec province only). 
  • If your studies are up to 6 months, you’ll be granted a degree, diploma, or a certificate
  • If you’re already studying
  • If you’re a holder of a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

How many hours can you work off campus in Canada?

It depends on your eligibility and requirements. You can work for as many as 20 hours, and you can work even more than that. 

We’re going to discuss who can work both 20 hours and more than that while studying in Canada. However, before then, you’ve to understand that there’s no job restriction for you in the Canadian labor market. 

As long as you’re eligible to work off campus, then you’re good to work anywhere that’s under regulations. Additionally, the 20 hours of working time isn’t limited to one job alone. You can work in more than two places as long as you’re keeping and implementing this rule.

Who can work more than 20 hours per week off-campus in Canada

As discussed earlier, the Canadian government has temporarily removed restrictions on hourly work for international students in Canada. The effects start from November 15 to December 31, 2023. The following are the requirements;

  • If you’re holding a Canadian study permit, and you’re studying in any accredited higher institution in the country. Such students must be studying full-time unless they’re in their final year (that’s when part-time students are eligible)
  • If you’ve been approved for a work permit but have not arrived in Canada yet, you can work. But you must have an off-campus work authorization on your study visa. You must also arrive in Canada or be in Canada by December 31, 2023. 
  • During scheduled breaks in the school year
  • If you’re a full-time student in Canada, and the session is on a scheduled break, you can work for more than 20 hours. A single job may not fulfill your desire to work for many hours, you can add another. 

Meanwhile, you must be a full-time student before you’ll be eligible to partake in this program. More so, you’ll not be allowed to work unless you’ve started your studies before the break comes in.

How to calculate your hours 

Depending on where you’re working, your work will most probably indicate the number of hours you work in a day. If not, you’re responsible for keeping records of all the hours.

  • The number of hours you work simply means the number of time you spent working for wages or commission. This includes even if you’re on call all through. 
  • You must show proof that you’re complying with the policy. This isn’t hard to show; You need to show that you’re pursuing your academic programs, not working more than 20 hours a week, and engaging in other programs stated on your student visa. 

Note: Self-employed students who are working off-campus in Canada must also comply with these rules. You must show proof that you’re following the policy, and you must keep track of the hours worked.

Who can’t work off-campus in Canada

  • You’re not at liberty to work and earn in Canada if you belong to any of the following categories;
  • If it stated on your study permit that you’re not authorized to work and earn in Canada while studying
  • If you’re enrolled only in french or English language as a second language
  • If you’re taking a course that will require you to be granted full-time student status
  • If you’re taking general interest courses alone
  • If because for one reason or another the other, there’s a change in situations and you’re no longer eligible to work. 

NB: The above situations are solvable. You can decide to apply for a work permit to rectify them. 


Students under certain conditions are allowed to work for up to 40 hours in Canada. On the other hand, they’re not allowed, but only 22 hours per week. The above analysis is a perfect illustration of how Canadian jobs are for international students. 

I hope we’ve done justice to your question “Can students work 40 hours in Canada?” Good luck!