UCalgary campus

Working in Canada as a student

In order to work in Canada as an international student, you must be enrolled as a full-time student and have a valid study permit to be eligible to work. 

Who can work on the UCalgary campus?

If you're an UCalgary student registered full-time and have a valid study permit, you may work on-campus.1

Your study permit should state the following:

  • "May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies."
  • "May accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v)or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting those criteria."

If your study permit does NOT have one of the statements listed in the previous paragraph, you may have to apply to amend your study permit. This process is free, can't be done online, and can take up to 8-10 weeks to process. Click here for current processing times.2

There are no legal restrictions on the amount of hours you can work on-campus, as long as you remain a full-time student. You may also work more than one job. Please note that there may be union restrictions to the amount of hours you may work. Your on-campus employer can provide further details on union restrictions.

You may work for either the University of Calgary itself or for a vendor located on the physical campus. Campus includes:

  • UCalgary main campus
  • UCalgary downtown campus
  • Portions of Foothills Hospital (ask the prospective employer if they're within UCalgary facilities)
  • McMahon Stadium
  • Spyhill Campus


    1NOTE: It's your responsibility to ensure you're in compliance with these regulations. If you work over the number of hours allowed, this may result in an investigation by IRCC. The University of Calgary is required to report on the enrolment status of all international students. If you're classified as full-time and you're also working full-time off campus, this may result in serious negative repercussions for you.

    2NOTE: If you're an exchange student, you would be able to work off campus if you hold a study permit. Please visit the IRCC website for details.

    Can I work off-campus?

    You may be eligible to work off-campus if you're enrolled full-time, have a valid study permit, and are in a program that leads to a UCalgary degree that takes longer than six months to complete.

    The following student groups are not eligible to work off-campus:

    • Visiting students
    • Students registered in English Second Language (ESL) programs
    • Students registered in general interest programs that don't lead to a degree, diploma or certificate (example: Open Studies or Continuing Education students)
    • Visiting Student Researcher (VSR) 
    • 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions (fall and winter terms) off-campus
      (note: You may hold both an off-campus position and on-campus position at that same but please remain within the working hours for each position).
    • Full-time during scheduled breaks provided you remain a full-time student before and after your break. Please refer to academic dates in the academic calendar for scheduled breaks.
      • The break between terms starts at the end of term date and ends at the start date of the next term.

    Note: Most graduate students are enrolled full-time all year long. As such, graduate students may only work 20 hours/week off-campus all year (January through December); this includes some course-based Master's students. Please confirm with your program advisor if your program has a scheduled break.

    Learn if you meet the requirements: Work off campus as an international student - Canada.ca

    No. Your study permit is also your student work permit.

    Your study permit should state one of the following:

    1. "May work 20 hours per week off-campus or full-time during regular scheduled breaks if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR."
    2. "May accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria."

    Use this self-assessment tool to determine whether you can work off campus.

    What is a co-op work permit?

    Co-op work permits allow international students to work full-time while still being enrolled full-time. You may only use this work permit to work full-time during your co-op/practicum term(s) in a work placement authorized by your University of Calgary co-op/practicum office. You're not eligible for this work permit if your program does not have a formal co-op/internship/practicum program.

    Only certain undergraduate programs offer these opportunities. They include the Faculty of Arts, Haskayne School of Business, Schulich School of Engineering, the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Nursing, the Faculty of Social Work and Werklund School of Education.

    Most graduate programs do not have formal co-op/internship opportunities as part of their programs. As a result, most graduate students will be unable to obtain a co-op work permit. 
    Please contact your Graduate Program Advisor to confirm whether your program has a formal internship component. 

    You can apply online through your IRCC online immigration account.

    You'll need an official letter issued by your co-op/internship/practicum office at UCalgary stating that you're formally enrolled into the co-op/internship/practicum program. This letter will state the length of your co-op/internship/practicum work term, and when you're expected to return to UCalgary to begin your regular studies again.

    It's important that you have a valid study permit.

    There is no cost associated to the co-op work permit application.

    Your co-op/internship/practicum placement may require you to complete a medical exam.
    Please review IRCC Website to determine if you will be required to complete a medical exam, eg. jobs working in the health care field, positions in close contact with children or seniors, etc.

    You can't begin working in your co-op/internship/practicum placement without your valid work permit. Your work permit is required to begin your placement.

    Instructions: How to apply for a co-op work permit

    UCalgary downtown campus