Off-campus work

What is considered off-campus work?

Off-campus work is work that takes place on any location outside the boundaries of the campus at which a student is registered.

Some volunteer positions and internships (paid or unpaid)  may be considered work by IRCC – 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. Review the meaning of work according to the IRCC definition to decide. If your volunteer position or internship is considered work, you must have the appropriate work authorization before you start.

Make sure you're eligible to work off campus

In most cases, you may work off campus starting the first day of the term you begin at UBC if you have a valid study permit and 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 this page to review UBC's definitions for immigration purposes.

How many hours can you work off campus per week?

Students in graduate degree programs who meet UBC's definition of full-time for immigration purposes are normally considered to have an ongoing, full-time relationship with the university and therefore may work off campus a maximum of 20 hours per week throughout the year, including summer. They may work full-time during Reading Week and breaks between terms. 

Students in undergraduate degree, certificate and diploma programs who meet UBC's definition of "full-time" for immigration purposes may work off campus a maximum of 20 hours per week during the regular academic year (September to April). They may work full-time during academic scheduled breaks (summer, Reading Week, and breaks between terms) if they are eligible for a scheduled break, hold full-time status during the academic term prior to, and subsequent to, the academic break.

Students in their final term, regardless of when the final term occurs, may work off-campus up to 20 hours/week until their letter of completion becomes available. Once a letter of completion becomes available, you may work full-time if you meet the requirements outlined in the “if you are completing your UBC academic program” section or else, you must stop working.

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 once your letter of completion becomes available if you meet the following:

  1. You have a valid study permit and have applied for a work permit (such as a post-graduation work permit) within 90 days of completing your program at UBC.
  2. 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 expired. 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.

Transferring to UBC?

If you are transferring between educational institutions within Canada, either in or out of UBC, you need to login to MyCIC to tell Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that you have transferred. See IRCC's website for more information.

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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