Off-campus work

What is considered off-campus work?

Work that takes place outside the boundaries of the campus at which a student is registered. University-related work at facilities owned, operated or affiliated with UBC is not considered off-campus work.

Internships & volunteer positions

Some volunteer positions and internships (paid or unpaid) may be considered work by IRCC. If your volunteer position or internship is considered work, you must have the appropriate work authorization before you start. For example, if you volunteer for a job that is normally performed by paid employees (photocopying, customer service, etc.), it is considered work regardless of whether you are paid or not.

IRCC’s definition of work

Make sure you're eligible to work off-campus

You may work off-campus starting the first day of the term you begin studies at UBC if:

  • you have a valid study permit
  • you are a full-time international student in a degree, diploma or certificate program at UBC.

Note: Exchange students and visiting international students are not eligible to work off campus but you may be eligible for on-campus work.

Full-time has many definitions at UBC. Visit UBC's definitions for immigration purposes.

How many hours can you work off campus per week?

Undergraduate programs

If you are studying in an undergraduate degree, certificate and diploma program and meet UBC's definition of "full-time" for immigration purposes, you may work off campus up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during the regular academic year (September to April).

You may work full-time during academic scheduled breaks (summer session, Reading Week, and breaks between terms) if you are eligible to work during a scheduled break. Please refer to UBC's definition for immigration purposes.

Graduate programs & DAP

If you are studying in a graduate degree or the Diploma in Accounting Program (DAP) and meet UBC's definition of full-time for immigration purposes, you are considered to have an ongoing, full-time relationship with the university and therefore may work off campus up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during academic terms, including summer.

You may work full-time during Reading Week and academic scheduled breaks between terms if you are eligible to work during a scheduled break. Please refer to UBC's definition for immigration purposes.

If you are in your final term

If you are in your final term, regardless of when the final term occurs, you may work off-campus up to 20 hours/week until their letter of completion becomes available.

Once your letter of completion becomes available, you must stop working immediately. If you meet the requirements outlined in the “if you are completing your UBC academic program” section, you may work full-time.

If you plan to work on campus

If you plan to work off-campus during your Co-op / Internship

You must have a co-op work permit if your work (e.g. co-op placement or internship) is integral to your program of study. Your co-op work permit can only be used for this kind of work and you may simultaneously hold a co-op work permit and work off-campus if you meet the criteria for each.

If you are completing your UBC academic program

You may work full-time after your letter of completion becomes available if you meet the following:

  1. You have applied for a Post-Graduation Work Permit and at the time you submit your application you:
  • Have a valid study permit and apply within the first 90 days of when your letter of completion first became available, AND
  • Have completed your program of study, AND
  • Were eligible to work off campus without a permit as an international student, AND
  • Did not work off campus for more than 20 hours per week during academic sessions.
  1. You have an official letter of acceptance into a new eligible academic program and you have a valid study permit or applied to extend your study permit before your    old study permit became invalid. You may work full-time for 150 consecutive days from the date the letter of completion becomes available until the new program begins or the end of the 150 days, whichever comes first.

Important: An eligible academic program refers to a program offered by a post-secondary Designated Learning Institution as per IRCC’s website.

Important: Your study permit will automatically become invalid within 90 days of completing your first program, regardless of the expiry date on your current study permit. If you plan to pursue further studies, you must extend your study permit before it becomes invalid from within Canada; review our tutorial on how to do so. Learn more about study permit extensions.

Contact us

International Student Advising

Talk to an advisor

International Student Advisors are Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) who can help.

When emailing us, include the following information in the email:

  1. Your student number in the subject line
  2. Your name
  3. Your citizenship(s)
  4. All permit and visa expiration dates (if applicable)
  5. Currently in Canada (YES or NO)
  6. If you request specific assistance, please provide detailed information including applicable documents, such as a rejection letter
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