On-campus work

Make sure you're eligible to work on campus

What is considered "on-campus" work?

On-campus work is employment within the boundaries of the campus or in some cases, facilities owned, operated, or affiliated with UBC located off-campus. This includes UBC’s Robson Square campus. This does not include the UBC Learning Exchange.

Your employer can be:

  • The University of British Columbia
  • A UBC student organization
  • A UBC faculty member
  • A private business or a private contractor that provides on-campus service which operate within the boundaries of the campus, such as a business in the University Village or Wesbrook Village
  • Yourself, if you are self-employed and have a business on campus

On-campus work can also include university-related work at facilities which may be located off-campus but have a formal association or affiliation with UBC, such as teaching hospitals, clinics, and research institutes. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), you must be working as a teaching or research assistant and your work must be related to a research grant.

You can only work at the campus where you are studying full-time or at the campus within the same municipality. For example, if you are enrolled full-time at the UBC Vancouver campus, you can work at the UBC Robson square campus. However, working at the UBC Okanagan campus is considered on-campus work only for students studying full-time at that campus.

Make sure you're eligible to work on campus

You can work on campus starting on the first day of the term you begin studies at UBC if you meet all of the following requirements:

You may also want to consider the following:

  • If you plan to work in jobs that require a medical exam, such as working with children or in health care settings, you must have taken a medical exam and have the right conditions on your study permit before starting your position.
  • If work is required for your program, you must have applied for a co-op work permit and receive it before starting your position, be eligible to work while you are waiting under the temporary co-op policy, or be eligible for the temporary exemption from the co-op work permit. Review the FAQ for details.
  • If you are doing volunteer or unpaid work, this might still be considered work in Canada and you must be eligible to work on-campus.
  • If you are enrolled in a UBC graduate program or the Diploma in Accounting, you must be enrolled full-time in the summer session to be eligible to work on or off campus.
  • You aren’t allowed to work in jobs at risk of exploitation.

Learn how your enrollment impacts immigration, including work eligibility.

Non-degree seeking students, such as Visiting International Research Students (VIRS), visiting students, and unclassified students are eligible to work on campus if meeting the above requirements, but cannot work off-campus. Furthermore, you are not eligible to work during scheduled breaks.

Taking courses during a scheduled break, such as undergraduate students taking summer session courses, does not impact your ability to work if you are a full time student in the term before the summer and will be enrolled full time in the term after the summer.

How many hours can I work on campus per week?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not limit the number of hours you can work on campus. Some UBC employers may restrict the hours students can work.

You can work unlimited hours on campus during regular academic terms.

You can work unlimited hours on campus during your program’s scheduled breaks if you’re enrolled full-time in the academic terms immediately before and after your scheduled break. For example, if you are enrolled full-time in Winter Term 1 and will enroll full-time in the following Winter Term 2, you can work unlimited hours on campus during the winter break. If you are not full-time in the terms before or after your scheduled break, you cannot work during the scheduled break.

See definitions for immigration purposes for details. The summary of requirements is below.

Undergraduate, certificate, and diploma students

Your regular academic terms are:

  • Winter Term 1 (September to December)
  • Winter Term 2 (January to April)

You have scheduled breaks during the summer session (May to August), breaks between terms, and during Reading Week. Taking courses during the summer scheduled break does not impact your ability to work.

If you are not enrolled full-time in the terms before or after the summer scheduled break, you cannot work at all during the summer. Exceptions are if you enroll full-time in the summer session, or the summer session is your final academic term, in which case you can work on campus.

Graduate and Diploma in Accounting Program students

Your regular academic terms are:

  • Winter Term 1 (September to December)
  • Winter Term 2 (January to April)
  • Summer session (May to August)

You are considered to have an ongoing, full-time relationship with the university throughout the year. The summer session is not a scheduled break and you cannot work on campus if you are not enrolled full-time.

You have scheduled breaks during breaks between terms and during Reading Week.

Exchange students

You cannot work during scheduled breaks, and can only work during academic terms if you are enrolled full-time.

When can I start working?

You cannot start working until you’ve begun full-time studies at UBC—starting from the first day of the term in which you are enrolled, according to the Academic Calendar—and meet the above requirements.

When must I stop working?

You must stop working immediately if you no longer meet the above requirements. For example, do not continue working if your study permit expires and you did not apply to extend it.

If you are no longer enrolled full-time and take time away from your studies, you are not allowed to work and cannot work during the scheduled breaks before or after your break. Learn about taking time away from studies.

If you are an undergraduate or DAP student and withdraw from courses to a part-time course load, you must stop working right away, and cannot work during the scheduled breaks before or after you are enrolled part-time. Learn how your enrolment impacts immigration.

If you are in your final term

Degree-seeking students

If you are an undergraduate, certificate, diploma, or DAP student and have fewer than 9 credits in your final term to finish your program requirements, you are considered full-time and can work. 

If you are studying in a degree, certificate, or diploma program and are in your final term, regardless of when the final term occurs, you may continue to work on campus until your Letter of Completion becomes available.

After you have finished your last program requirement, be sure to check every day if your Letter of Completion has become available. Starting from the day after your Letter of Completion becomes available, you must stop working until you meet additional requirements to resume working, such as one of the following:

Contact International Student Advising to discuss your options if you have not received your letter of acceptance for your next program yet, or if you have more than 150 days between programs. 

Non degree-seeking students

If you are not a degree-seeking student, such as an exchange, VIRS, or unclassified student, you must stop working on the last day of the posted final exam period when your last enrolled term ends, according to the Academic Calendar.

Benefits of working on campus

By working on campus, you can: 

  • Expand your social and professional networks
  • Be more involved in the campus community
  • Enhance your learning through work experiences in an academic setting

A portion of international undergraduate tuition fees helps fund on-campus Work Learn opportunities for eligible international students.

If you plan to work off-campus

If you are also eligible to work off-campus, you can work off-campus at the same time as working on-campus.

If you plan to work on-campus during your co-op or internship

You must have a co-op work permit if work is required for your program, even if you are eligible to work on-campus. You might be eligible to work while you are waiting under the temporary co-op policy, or be eligible for the temporary exemption from the co-op work permit. Review the FAQ for details.

If you have a co-op work permit and you’re enrolled in a co-op, internship, or practicum course, you can also work on-campus at the same time, if eligible. Your co-op work permit can only be used for program-required work.

UBC job opportunities

  • Work Learn
    Build work experience through a part-time, on campus job.
  • CareersOnline
    Browse and apply for work or volunteer positions on UBC's online career resources platform.
  • UBC Co-op
    Work in your area of study outside of school while completing your degree.
  • Other on-campus jobs
    Many places on campus hire students each year, including the Bookstore, UBC REC, and restaurants on campus.

If you have questions

You can also connect with an International Student Advisor for questions related to immigration, health insurance, and life as an international student in Canada.

International Student Guide

Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at UBC's Vancouver campus.

View the guide