As international student, you may be eligible to work in Canada while studying and after you graduate. As a study permit holder, you may qualify to work on-campus or off-campus without an additional work permit if you meet specific criteria. You may also apply for a post-graduation work permit after you graduate from an eligible institution.


Study permit holders in Canada may gain work experience by working off campus while completing their studies.

As of June 1, 2014, you may qualify to work off campus without a work permit. If you qualify, your study permit will allow you to:

  • work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and
  • work full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.

To qualify, you must:

  • have a valid study permit,
  • be a full-time student,
  • be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level
  • be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration.

You must stop working on the day you no longer meet the above eligibility requirements (e.g., if you are no longer a full-time student during an academic session.)


Full-time international students with a valid study permit can work on-campus at Glendon. You are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while registered as a full-time student, and work full time during academic scheduled break.

  • A work permit is not required for on campus employment.
  • A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required for all people who work in Canada.


A Social Insurance Number is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. It allows an employer to process payroll while informing the Canadian Revenue Agency of the amount of money a person earns.

How to obtain a SIN?

International students can obtain SIN onsite by presenting original passport, study permit as well as a full time enrolment letter from York University – Glendon Campus at any Service Canada location. Please click here to find out more about SIN.


Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)

In Ontario, most goods and services that you purchase will be subject to the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). This is a tax of 13% and is implemented jointly by the federal and provincial government.

Food purchased through an on-campus meal plan is exempt from this tax, as are most medical or dental procedures.

Income Tax

In Canada, completing an income tax form and sending it to the government is referred to as ‘filing a tax return’. You must file a tax return if you:

  • Earned income from employment.
  • Received a scholarship, bursary or fellowship while in Canada.

By filing your tax return, you are often eligible for a refund if you have had any of the following income or expenses during the tax year:

  • Income from an assistantships, such as a Teaching Assistant (TA) or Research Assistant (RA).
  • Rent expenses for off-campus housing.
  • Salary or hourly pay.
  • Scholarships.
  • Tuition (2014 T2202A and T4A tax forms from York are available to download at: ).
  • Public transit pass (TTC, GO Transit or VIVA, for example).

A video series explaining Canadian Income Taxes for international students has been  produced by the Canada Revenue Agency (français). For undergraduate students, YFS offers you a free software package (see free tax filing) to calculate and submit your taxes. If you have questions you may also call the International Tax office at: 1-800-959-8281.