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Part-time Jobs in Canada for Indians: Balancing Work & Study


Internships and part-time jobs in Canada, such as Teaching Assistant, Library Assistant, and Research Assistant, are a great way to make your resume look good when applying for full-time employment opportunities at the end of your studies. The jobs also help you build connections with people outside your university, giving you more opportunities to find referrals when ready to enter the workforce.

However, you should be aware of the conditions listed in your study permit. Most international students are allowed to work off-campus for up to 20 hours a week after starting any course that lasts at least 6 months and ends in a degree, diploma, or certificate.

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Internships and part-time jobs in Canada, such as Teaching Assistant, Library Assistant, and Research Assistant, are a great way to make your resume look good when applying for full-time employment opportunities at the end of your studies. The jobs also help you build connections with people outside your university, giving you more opportunities to find referrals when ready to enter the workforce.

However, you should be aware of the conditions listed in your study permit. Most international students are allowed to work off-campus for up to 20 hours a week after starting any course that lasts at least 6 months and ends in a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Working Part-time as an Indian International Student

One thing that most Indian international students will agree with you on across the board is that it is expensive to study abroad. You’ve probably heard of that cousin or friend who took out an education loan of several lakhs to study in Canada and how they’re waiting tables, flipping burgers, shovelling snow while studying.

Luckily, part-time jobs in Canada are easy and flexible enough for students to work around their college schedule. Taking up a part-time job allows you to pay for your living expenses, enjoy some guilt-free spending money, and if you’re careful with your spending, you could even repay that student loan.

A New World of Opportunity

Back home in India, most of our parents would take it personally if we had a part-time job. A part-time job to support their education has been a rite of passage for most people growing up in developed countries like the US, Canada, and Australia. Now it’s time for you to take up this foreign rite of passage and pick up part-time jobs in Canada to give yourself a better budget to enjoy your time as a student.

You’ll quickly learn firsthand that everything is expensive when converting it from dollars to Indian rupees. However, the conversion anxiety decreases dramatically once you make money in dollars. The Canada part-time job salary starts with the country’s minimum wage, around 15 CAD, but varies from province to province. This means that if you work a 20-hour week, you can stand to make around 300 CAD a week, which goes a long way towards a better student life. 

The experience is also nothing to sneeze at. When you’re out looking for jobs towards the end of your course, the fact that you’ve worked throughout your time in Canada is attractive to Canadian employers. Like most Indian international students, if you’ve come to Canada with the long-term vision of working and settling down, working part-time is an important step towards getting there.

Let’s dive into the world of part-time jobs and internships for Indian international students in Canada.

Part-time Jobs in Canada for Indians: Everything You Need to Know

Working part-time jobs and internships brings a lot of value to international students studying abroad. It will teach you to maintain a schedule and balance multiple aspects of student life while also helping you learn how to fend for yourself and manage money in Canada. It will give you a glimpse into what it is like to work in a new environment with multi-cultural factors.

In addition to the money you will be making from a Canada part-time job salary, the ecosystem is great for students as there are several opportunities available around the clock to fit into your schedule. Learning to juggle work and study will help you build discipline and skill sets to advance your professional life. Students with internships also benefit from core competence experience in professional fields that make it easier to pursue career paths and work in Canada.

Requirements to work part-time jobs in Canada for foreigners

  1. You have a valid study permit that allows you to work off-campus
  2. You have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  3. You must be an active full-time student at a registered Designated Learning Institute (DLI), studying a course that lasts no less than 6 months and ends with a degree, diploma or certificate.
  4. If you are a part-time student because you are in your last semester, with a less than full course load, you can still take up part-time work, provided that you were a full-time student in previous semesters.
  5. You cannot work part-time while you are on authorised leave.
  6. You can only start working once your study program begins, and you must stop working as soon as it ends.

You can apply for a change if your study permit does not allow you to engage in off-campus student jobs in Canada.

Working on-campus

Student jobs in Canada are usually provided by the college/university, a faculty member, a student organisation, an on-campus private business, a private contractor providing on-campus services to the college/university, and for yourself if you are running a business that is physically located on the campus. You can work as many hours as you like if you are working on campus. Students run many college services, and there are plenty of opportunities for on-campus work.

The on-campus job must be on the same campus as the one you most regularly attend classes in. If you are a teaching or research assistant or engaging in studies related to a research grant, you may work in other locations.

Working off-campus

You can work with any employer, but you are limited to working 20 hours per week in an off-campus job. You can work full-time or multiple part-time jobs when your study program is on a scheduled break (for example – summer/winter vacations).

Are cash-based jobs allowed?

Yes, you can earn money doing odd jobs as a snow plough operator, dog walker, babysitter, ride-share driver, and many other cash-based services. The restriction on cash payments is usually enforced on corporates and other businesses that need to follow regulations.

What about taxes?

Any income earned in Canada is taxable only in Canada. Usually, your employer will deduct taxes on your behalf before paying you. You can negotiate with the employer’s accounts team to let you have the full payment if you are willing to pay the taxes yourself and file taxes at the end of the financial year. You can choose to disclose cash receipts for odd jobs and pay taxes. However, be careful that your overall recorded work hours do not exceed 20 hours per week, as it can cause a problem with the IRCC.

Whether it is work experience, the skill of juggling two important aspects of your life or the professional connections you make, working part-time has a lot of upsides for international students in Canada. Make sure to take advantage of the opportunities at your disposal, getting one step closer towards a fulfilling life in Canada.

First Things First: Check Your Visa

Before you begin applying for jobs, look closer at your student visa and student permit. These are important documents that define the conditions of your stay in Canada, and violating these conditions can be a costly affair. The IRCC enforces rules very strictly, and several international students have been deported for working outside the scope of these conditions.

As a full-time student whose study program is not on a scheduled break, you are not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week. There is no limit on the amount of money you can earn, but there is a limit on the part-time working hours in Canada for foreigners.

Take the famous case of Jobandeep Sandhu, an Indian student in Canada who was deported in 2019 after law enforcement noticed he had worked more than 20 hours in a single week. While he pleaded with government agencies and several protests and organisations spoke up for him, he was still penalised by the IRCC. The risks of working more hours than allowed far outweigh the benefits and can suddenly end your dreams of settling down in Canada. The IRCC may deport you and restrict your immigration options in the future. A temporary policy initiated by the Government of Canada currently allows international students 20 part-time working hours in Canada every week, but the policy is due to end in 2023.

The best thing to do is stay within the limit of part-time working hours in Canada until your study program ends. Once you graduate with a master’s or PG diploma, you can apply for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP) for up to 3 years. This allows you to take up full-time employment and get the most out of your education in Canada. Use your time in Canada to build connections and skills that make you readily employable once you are done with your studies.

Apply for your study permit for Canada that lets you work part-time while studying with Niyo Global.

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An Insider Look on Working Part-Time Jobs in Canada

Let’s take a quick look at an interesting and insightful experience a student in Canada had. “When I was doing a PG diploma in culinary sciences, I worked a lot of different part-time jobs. I worked as a waiter and did some ‘burger-flipping’ at fast food jobs. I also ran a few food stalls at festivals and operated a snow plough in the winter. Canada part-time job salary is good even in minimum wage jobs, with at least 15 CAD coming in per hour. After around 6 months of working part-time jobs in Toronto for students, I found a part-time job with a local bakery where I could work 2 hours a day during the week and 5 hours a day on weekends. This arrangement was stable and perfect for me to juggle my work and study without much difficulty.

I learned so much through this job, and it also helped me maintain a comfortable standard of living during my studies. It wasn’t all roses since many situations were difficult to deal with. Co-workers calling in sick and emergencies at the bakery often pressured me to exceed the 20 part-time working hours in Canada. I was lucky that my employer was understanding and did not force me to work more than 20 hours. From prepping dough to putting icing and frosting on bakery items, I had a lot of practical responsibilities and understood how the business works. I even learned how to file my taxes in Canada, which I hadn’t ever done by myself back in India.

One day, I hope to have my own little bakery somewhere in Canada, but right now, I’m working full-time for a bakery through my post-graduate work permit. When I graduated, I got a job through the connections and work experience at the bakery. I have seen many students get away with the risk of more than 20 part-time working hours in Canada, but the fear of being caught and losing everything I have been working towards was too much for me.

Many students like me are able to get part-time work and internships related to their fields. There are also lots of minimum wage jobs that are available to us. Often, the difficulty isn’t in finding part-time work. It is in finding the kind of work you want and maintaining the 20-hour limit.” 

There are many part-time job options available to international students. While these are not the best part-time jobs in Canada, they are a great start to an international student’s journey to live and work in Canada.

  • Customer Service: It is easy to get a shift working at store cash counters, stock rooms, and other customer service positions. A quick trip to the mall or local supermarket might help you find a few work hours per week. This is a very common part-time job Canada students take up to keep a flexible schedule.
  • Foodservice and hospitality: You can reach out to restaurants, hotels, and cafes near your college/university and tell them to contact you if they need any part-timers. You’ll usually get a call when they need someone to fill in for an absent worker or if they’re experiencing a seasonal increase in work. 
  • Tutoring & Teaching assistant: If you’re really good at your studies, some teachers may take you up as a teaching assistant. If a faculty member hires you, it becomes an on-campus job, which means you can technically work unlimited hours. You can also directly offer tutoring services to other students. For example, you can actively tutor small groups of students for an entire semester, earning more than the hourly minimum wage paid by a part-time job Canada.
  • Office assistant: Lots of students like these part-time jobs Canada employers offer since it allows them to work in professional environments that can expand their connections and teach them valuable skills. Office jobs are usually internships or co-op programs, and you will be responsible for answering and redirecting phones, data entry, printing assignments, and other odd jobs at the office.
  • Research and lab assistant: For students in research-heavy fields, professors may take you on as a research or lab assistant. You get to put on a lab coat and perform very practical tasks that increase your understanding of subjects. It allows students to build stronger relationships and mentorships with faculty members that greatly improve a student’s potential career paths. It is one of the most common part-time jobs in Toronto for students.
  • Events: Working at large events and running food stalls can be very chaotic and challenging when catering to customers waiting in line. There are also promotional jobs at events where you can hand out flyers or talk to people about a brand to get them interested and collect contact information.

While we’ve covered most of the temporary job opportunities available in Canada, there are still a lot of opportunities for students to look into. Food delivery and ride-share jobs are very popular among students since you don’t need much more than a driving license to get started. The Canada part-time job salary is based on the minimum wage in Canada, which varies between provinces based on Canada’s consumer price index. Ontario, for example, has a 15 CAD minimum wage, while British Columbia has 16.75 CAD as its minimum wage.

There are plenty of jobs out there, but as a part-timer, you’ll have to do some searching and experimenting to find the best part-time jobs in Canada to suit your unique situation. In some cases, you may have more opportunities than you can take on, but you may also find yourself without any work to do sometimes, especially if you have been taking on more seasonal work.

Make sure you keep looking out for part-time jobs associated with the field you are looking to enter, as these have a much higher value in the eyes of potential employers when you are looking for a steady full-time job after graduation. Working in a relevant field gives you essential practical experience and helps you understand the process of generating income from a business point of view. There’s so much work you can pick up when you’re putting your technical knowledge to the test. The highest-paying part-time jobs in Canada for students are usually very technically driven and require some level of education in the field.

Setting Yourself Up for Success: Finding a Part-time Job

The most important thing you can do in Canada while looking for part-time jobs is to network and reach out to different businesses. There is a culture of first come, first serve since so many students are willing to work part-time. Try to get yourself on as many part-timer lists as possible to be contacted when work is available. You can do this by going door to door or calling businesses. Online portals like Upwork and PeoplePerHour also set you up for any remote part-time job Canada employers need done that you wouldn’t be able to find out about otherwise. The drawback of working these jobs is that they are largely dead-ended and do not give you enough useful experience that can be transferred to your resume.

Suppose you have come to Canada with professional work experience and educational qualifications. In that case, you can apply for jobs through online job portals to find work in offices and other professional spaces. This is the best way to find part-time jobs that are relevant to your career path while working other part-time jobs. If you succeed, you will be able to start networking and building the skill sets you need to become more employable after graduating. The main drawback of this approach is that it can be incredibly frustrating to keep applying and getting no response or being asked to work more than 20 hours per week to be eligible for the job. These jobs are not usually convenient for international students, so unless you are a perfect fit for an employer, you may not be able to find what you are looking for.

University and college career centres typically maintain a roster of part-time and remote job listings advertised by Canadian employers. However, these opportunities are quite competitive, often requiring multiple weeks of consistent application before finding the right fit. The career centre is also more focused on finding full-time engagements for graduating students and provides minimal support to students looking for part-time engagements.

Internships: The Best Part-time Jobs You Can Find

Every international student in Canada is always on the hunt for an internship opportunity, and it’s not always about the Canada part-time job salary. Having practical experience in a professional field makes your resume stand out and look so much stronger. A professional internship teaches you skills that are key to career success and gives you a chance to network with people from Canada’s professional ecosystem. The connections you’ll make through an internship and the impression you can leave behind at your workplace set you up perfectly to use your post-graduate work permit (PGWP).

The majority of sought-after internships are in finance and tech fields since that is where transferable experience can really make a mark. People who find internships in these fields usually have little trouble landing a job with a good starting salary package. Typically, an internship will get you 15 – 30 CAD an hour, depending on the employer and the field you’re working in. Some employers may pay minimum wage, which depends on which province you’re in.

Connect with passed-out alums through the Niyo Student Community platform and learn more.

1. IT and software

Software development, web development, mobile app development, quality assurance (QA), IT support, data analytics, and UI/UX design are a few of the most prominent IT fields that require a steady stream of interns every year. The companies looking to hire interns range from startups to IT giants looking to groom future talent. The best places for IT internships would be Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Waterloo, which are well-known IT hubs in Canada, home to companies like Google, Amazon, Shopify, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts (EA), IBM, Intel, and Cisco. An internship in this field opens you up to roles like software developer, systems analyst, IT consultant, data analyst, etc. Some of the highest-paying part-time jobs in Canada for students are in the IT field.

2. Finance and Accounting

Canada has a very robust compliance system, which means companies constantly need finance and accounting services. One easy way to boost manpower, especially during tax season and end-of-year circumstances, is to create student jobs in Canada for foreigners. There is a regular requirement for accounting, financial analysis, investment banking, financial planning, and audit interns. Big players like Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PWC are well known for their internship and apprenticeship programs in Canada. With an internship in this field, you have one of the best part-time jobs in Canada and can look towards bagging roles like financial analyst, associate investment banker, accounts associate, risk analyst, and more.

3. Creative Industries

The hubs for these industries are in Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary where you’ll find large production houses, design agencies, PR firms, and multi-media content creators offering student jobs in Canada. You’ll find them offering internships for graphic design, animation, film production, marketing, advertising, public relations, and content creation. These internships are some of the highest paying part-time jobs in Canada for students and will set you up for roles like graphic design specialist, marketing coordinator, content specialist, public relations associate, and others.

4. Engineering and scientific research

Hubs for research-driven initiatives in engineering and science are located in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver. There are a number of impressive research projects and institutions in Canada that offer internships and apprenticeships to international students. You can become a research or lab assistant or work in an engineering division as an apprentice engineer in your specialisation. Some of the best part-time jobs in Toronto for students are in research and engineering.

5. Non-profit organisations and government agencies

Sustainable practices are well sponsored and rolled out very effectively in Canada. Non-profit and government agencies frequently tie up in order to research and create solutions to combat large-scale social issues. Whether it is an environmental or humanitarian endeavour, many non-profit organisations are working towards sustainability. Many of these organisations are headquartered in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Waterloo. Internships with these organisations can lead to roles such as project coordinator, marketing coordinator, marketing and communications executive, etc. However, even the best part-time jobs in Canada for foreigners are often unpaid in this field of non-profit organisations. So make sure you don’t need the income to survive if you are taking them up. The best way to find out if there are any open internship programs in these industries is to find industry leaders and follow them on LinkedIn. This will give you an insight into what work they do and how you would like to contribute. Once you’ve understood the ecosystem, you can search for similar openings on online job platforms with your targeted research. Recruiters widely use portals like Indeed and Monster to find internship candidates. You can also visit official websites to find out if there are any openings on their career pages. Send your resume and cover letters out early so that even if you miss an opening, you may be considered for the next one. You can also try to reach out through your university career centre to see if it lends any credibility to your application. LinkedIn Premium is a good way to get in touch with recruiters, CEOs, founders and other industry leaders who may be aware of openings before they become public.

Co-Op Programs: Work Hard, Study Hard, Play Hard!

The cooperative study program is an educational approach that combines classroom learning with practical work experience. It has become popular worldwide and has a very strong presence in Canada. Students in co-op programs alternate between periods of academic study and paid work in a field related to their major or area of study. This allows students to gain real-world, hands-on experience in their chosen field while pursuing their degree, enhancing their skills and often building valuable connections for future employment.

These programs focus on education and student jobs in Canada that will enable a more practical approach to learning. They also give students a chance to build networks and identify viable career paths throughout their education.

The culture of part-time jobs in Canada for foreigners makes it an excellent way to improve your chances of being hired after graduation. To be eligible for a co-op work permit, you need a valid student permit and a letter from your college/university stating that you are required to work in order to graduate from the program. Co-op program students are free to work part-time jobs in Canada for up to 50% of their total study program.

Depending on the course and the university, a co-op course in Canada costs anywhere between 10,000 CAD – 40,000 CAD. There may also be additional fees from the university to support the cost of keeping placements and other administrative facilities.

Several government initiatives support co-op programs, such as Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) and the Student Work Placement Program (SWPP), which incentivise employers through subsidies if they hire post-secondary students. Certain provinces also provide tax benefits to organisations that provide experiential education to post-secondary students. For research programs, Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) grants are given to employers who hire post-secondary students as assistant researchers.

Reach out to other Indian and international students in Canada who have gone through exactly what you’re going through. Get tips and tricks to balance work AND study. 

Keeping Yourself on the Path

While it is a good thing to focus on getting part-time jobs and internships, never forget that in the long run, your core focus as a student is to finish your study program with the best grades you can manage. You can get carried away with chasing the highest paying part-time jobs in Canada for students like many other foreign students and cause your grades to drop. There are also many cases of students breaking the 20-hour limitation, which gets them in trouble with the IRCC.

Your education is the priority, and if you pass with flying colours, even your lack of work experience can be easily overcome. Chasing the highest-paying part-time jobs in Canada for students is a distraction from studies for what is little more than pocket money in the grand scheme of things. Create a schedule in line with the demands of your coursework and look for part-time jobs around it. You can secure part-time employment with multiple employers as long as you keep your work hours within the stipulated limits.

If there is a conflict in your schedule, always prioritise your studies over part-time jobs in Canada. When co-workers call in sick, or there are other issues at the workplace, if you have to sacrifice your study time or risk going over your 20-hour limit, avoid doing so at all costs. Avoid committing to work on the days when your coursework is much heavier. Also, do not try to work longer shifts on the weekends to compensate, as this is an important time meant for you to study, rest, and enjoy your student life in Canada. It makes sense to make some sacrifices for an internship or part-time job that will improve your employability in your field, but not for the purpose of making a little money.

Communicate clearly with your employers and professors regarding how you can schedule your availability. Doing so will help you set a proper routine around part-time jobs in Canada that you can stick to without burning yourself out. When you make your schedule, make sure you set aside enough time for recreational activities where you can unwind. Carving out time for something you enjoy 2-3 times a week, like basketball or open mic night, goes a long way to managing your stress levels. There are also several resources and counselling options for university students to help with stress management and finding ways to cope with difficult situations.

Wraping-Up: How to Get the Most Out of Part-time Gigs in Canada

If you’ve come to study in Canada as a way to find work and eventually settle down in the country, then being an international student is the easiest way to get there. While you study, you can pick up a part-time job with any employer who is willing to hire you. The two reasons you should definitely do this are to earn money for living expenses and to find valuable work experience that will help you find a proper job once you graduate. If you manage to land an internship relevant to your field, there’s a good chance you’ll find full-time employers waiting to hire you even before you graduate. There are also several casual minimum wage jobs you can take up to juggle with your studies so you can maintain a better standard of living.

Being able to work as a student not only helps you afford a better lifestyle but also teaches you important skills like juggling different aspects of your life with discipline. Working also helps you connect with people and build your network in Canada. Even if you don’t end up finding the perfect part-time job or internship, as long as you keep trying, you’ll find yourself benefitting from a wider range of experiences.

Just make sure you don’t get carried away by the part-time jobs in Canada for foreigners which can make it difficult for you to complete your studies with good results. After all, the real reason you are in Canada is to study and get a high-paying job when you graduate so that you can settle down.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I find part-time job opportunities in Canada as an international student?

You can look through job portals or the university career centre for serious work and internships in offices and industries. For more casual part-time work in Canada, you can visit stores, malls, restaurants, cafes, and hotels to give them your contact information so they can reach out to you when they need help. You can also try food delivery and ride-sharing apps if you have a vehicle and a driver’s license. 

2. Are there restrictions or work permits required for international students to work in Canada?

Students only require a valid student permit that states they can work part-time in Canada. If your study permit does not have this condition, you can apply to add it to your study permit. There are no restrictions on the number of hours international students can work, but this is a temporary policy valid till the end of 2023.

3. How can I make my part-time job or internship application stand out?

A popular way to make your job applications stand out is to include a cover letter. Cover letters allow you to tell a prospective employer why you want to work with them and why they would want to work with you. It covers details that cannot fit onto a resume and need to be elaborated on. Another way to make the application stand out is by building connections on LinkedIn and including your LinkedIn profile on your resume. If you are connected to people the recruiter knows, they will closely examine your application.

4. Are there any resources or organisations that can assist international students in finding internships in Canada?

You can seek help from your university’s career centre. Many employers reach out to universities for internship and part-time candidates, so there will likely be a list of openings or a job board at the university which you can benefit from. Student unions are another good place to start. For example, the experienced students in Toronto would have already built connections and know alums who can provide referrals to internships and part-time jobs in Toronto for students. Other organisations would include online job portals like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster.

5. How much can I expect to earn on average every week/month?

Working 20 hours a week can get you anywhere between 280 CAD to 600 CAD per week, depending on the minimum wage in the province you are in and the skill level of the work you have been hired to do.

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