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Working in Canada as an international student

Are you interested in working in Canada during or after your studies? There are a number of options available to you. However, it is important for you to understand the eligibility criteria and applicable conditions in order to avoid violating any of the conditions for study permit holders or immigration laws.

Find out if you can work off campus

In addition to the applicable immigration legislation, you will need information concerning your Social Insurance Number (SIN), Canadian labour standards and your tax obligations, and above all, you must ensure that studying always remains your primary activity.

Balancing studies and work

Working while you study allows you to acquire work experience in Québec, and gives you additional income. It is definitely something to consider, but you must be able to handle the workload!

Combining full-time studies with work can represent a considerable challenge. Your studies at ÉTS must always be your main objective and primary activity. Otherwise, you may run into administrative problems (e.g.: failure or insufficient grade point average) or immigration problems (non-compliance with the law).

ÉTS offers workshops focusing on part-time work for international students. Keep an eye on the Interface newsletter (in French).

Combining off-campus work, on-campus work and a co-op work term

It is legally permissible to combine on-campus work, off-campus work and a co-op work term if you meet the conditions for each of these programs, as described below.

Working on campus

Working on campus

As an international student, you are permitted to work on campus at ÉTS without a work permit if you meet the following eligibility conditions:

  • You are a full-time student;
  • You hold a valid study permit;
  • Your study permit lists one of the following work conditions:
    • May work 20 hours per week off campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations;
      OR
    • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria, per paragraph R186(f), (v) or (w) and must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria;
  • You have a Social Insurance Number.

IMPORTANT: If you no longer meet these conditions, you must cease working immediately.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) stipulates that  "On-campus" means you can work at all the buildings on your school campus.

An on-campus employer can be ÉTS, as the educational institution, a faculty member, a student organization, yourself if you run a business that is physically located on-campus, a company (e.g.: Tim Hortons), etc.

You can also work at other locations under the following conditions:

International students who hold a study permit and are registered full time can work on campus with no limit to the number of hours.

Even if you are not limited to 20 hours per week, studying must always be your main activity in order to remain in compliance with the conditions of your study permit.

You maintain your authorization to work off campus with no limit on hours, even if you are studying part time during the final session of your study program, as long as you were registered for full-time studies throughout the rest of your program.

IRCC clarified the rules governing self-employment, reiterating that it is subject to the same conditions as on- or off-campus work, depending on the physical location where the self-employment is carried out. If your self-employment is carried out on campus (e.g.: you live in the ÉTS residences and carry out contracts as a webmaster), you are authorized to work an unlimited number of hours.

Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended that you document your hours and keep all relevant documentation.

Are you interested in a few hours of paid work on campus? During every session, the various services and departments at ÉTS offer part-time jobs or hire students for specific events. Consult the list of on-campus jobs.

Work-study program

Are you a full-time ÉTS student looking for an on-campus job? The Work-Study Program subsidizes part-time jobs to help students who are experiencing financial difficulties. Visit the work-study program page.

Working off-campus

Working off-campus

Limit on off-campus work hours to be lifted temporarily

From November 15, 2022, until December 31, 2023, international students who are in Canada and who have off-campus work authorization on their study permit will not be restricted by the 20-hour-per-week rule. Students who have already submitted a study permit application, as of October 7th, 2022, will also be able to benefit from this temporary change, provided their application is approved. Take note, if you stop studying or only study part-time, you will not be authorized to work off campus!

As an international student, you are permitted to work on campus at ÉTS without a work permit if you meet the following eligibility conditions:

  • You are a full-time student*;
  • You hold a valid study permit;
  • Your study permit lists one of the following work conditions:
    • May work 20 hours per week off campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations;
      OR
    • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria, per paragraph R186(f), (v) or (w) and must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria;
  • You have a Social Insurance Number.
  • Respect the maximum number of hours per week.

Summary table of authorized off-campus work hours (PDF)

IMPORTANT: If you no longer meet these conditions, you must cease working immediately.

In terms of authorization for working off-campus, it is crucial to respect the maximum number of hours per week. In short, IRCC stipulates that a student can work:
 

  • a maximum of 20 hours per week during regular sessions*;
  • full-time (unlimited hours) during regular breaks indicated in the academic calendar**

*Regular session: At ÉTS, the Fall and Winter sessions are considered to be regular sessions for all programs. The regulatory framework at ÉTS makes a distinction between programs with a research profile and course-based programs with respect to the Summer session. For more detailed information, consult the Glossary of university studies at ÉTS and the section below that discusses the specific characteristics of the Summer session.

**Break indicated in the academic calendar: The break must be part of the ÉTS academic calendar, such as the holiday period at the end of the year, the student break week, break periods between sessions, etc.

Attention! – These hours are not transferable from week to week. For example, you are not permitted to work 30 hours during a given week because you only worked 10 hours during the previous week.

For the Summer session, it is important familiarize yourself with the specific conditions that apply to your study program in order to avoid placing yourself in a non-legal situation.

For students who are registered in a research-type program (PhD, M.A.Sc.)

  • The Summer session is a regular term for Doctoral and Master with thesis programs. Therefore, full-time registration is mandatory, and off-campus work must be limited to 20 hours per week.
  • If you do not wish to register for the Summer session, you must apply for an authorized absence from ÉTS. In such a case, you are not authorized to work on campus or off campus, as stipulated on the IRCC website under the section entitled Authorized leave from studies.

For students who are registered in a course-type program (bachelor, certificate, Specialized Graduate Program (DESS), M.Eng.)

  • If it is not your first session in the program, registration for the Summer session is not mandatory although it is strongly recommended to accumulate course, internship or project credits. .
  • You may decide to register for part-time studies or full-time studies, or to not register, while still taking advantage of the right to work full time, subject to certain conditions:
    1. Have been registered full-time for the preceding Winter session;
    2. Register for full-time studies in the same study program for the subsequent Fall session, OR on an exceptional basis, register for part-time studies if the Fall session is the final session for your study program.

For more information, please consult the section entitled Full-time or part-time course load during a scheduled break on the IRCC website.

IMPORTANT! Not studying during the summer will almost inevitably lead to exceeding the time allowed for completing your program. In addition to impacting your academic path, this will put you in a position of having to renew your immigration documents.

You maintain your authorization to work off campus up to 20 hours / week, even if you are studying part time during the final session of your study program, as long as you were registered for full-time studies throughout the rest of your program.

There may be certain nuances related to your study regime at the end of your program, depending on the type of program:
 

  • Programs with a research profile: Even if you have accumulate all of your research credits and are registered for zero (0) credits (REDAC – writing), ÉTS considers you to be continuing to study full time, even in the case of an extension of your program, as long as you were studying full time for all of the previous sessions of your program (mandatory according to the Regulations).
     
  • Programs with a project profile: If you are in your final session with zero (0) credit activities (REDAC – writing) AND you were registered for full-time studies throughout the rest of your program (including Summer sessions), ÉTS considers you to be continuing to study full time. However, if you have exceeded the normal length of your program and have extended your program, ACTIVIT will be considered as part time.

If your final session is a Summer session, you must limit your working to 20 hours per week, regardless of your study program, because the authorization to work full time is conditional upon the fact of also being registered for the subsequent session.

For more information, consult the Full-time students with a part-time course load in their final academic session section of the IRCC website.

IRCC has clarified the rules governing self-employment, reiterating that it is subject to the same conditions as on- or off-campus work, depending on the physical location where the self-employment is carried out.

Considering that off-campus work is limited to 20 hours / week, it is important to document all of your hours, and it is your responsibility to do so. As indicated on the IRCC website, “hours are calculated as any time you spend doing any of the following:
 

  • Earning wages;
  • Being paid wages for performing a service or selling a product;
  • Collecting a commission for performing a service or selling a product.
Working with a Co-op Work Permit (CWP)

Working with a Co-op Work Permit (CWP)

Professional experience is an integral part of many programs at ÉTS. Whether you are participating in a co-op work term at the Bachelor level or an industrial internship and/or project carried out at a company as part of a Master with Project program, you must ensure that you have the legal authorizations required to work at a company, and that you meet the required conditions.

This section is intended to give you all the information you need concerning the Co-op Work Permit and how it can be used within the context of your ÉTS study program. You are responsible for informing yourself with respect to the conditions and rules that apply to your specific situation, and for ensuring that you remain in compliance with ÉTS and immigration requirements throughout your time as a student.

Eligibility criteria for a Co-op Work Permit:

  • Hold a valid study permit;
  • Be enrolled in a program for which work placement is a required component AND have an official document from the learning institution confirming this requirement;
  • The co-op work term or internship must not represent more than 50% of the total duration of your study program*.

In general, the period of validity of the CWP is that same as for the study permit (SP).

There are a number of advantages attached to this type of permit when it is issued under exemption code C32 (co-op for post-secondary international students):

  • You are exempt from processing fees (applying is free of charge);
  • There are no restrictions in terms of the number of hours you can work per week, regardless of the session;
  • It is an open work permit, which means that you do not require a valid offer of employment to apply.
    • The Co-op Work Permit will indicate ÉTS as the employer, which does not mean that you are restricted to working on the ÉTS campus, but rather, that you can only use it within the context of an educational activity associated with ÉTS.

*Students in a Master with Project program must limit the use of the CWP to two sessions during the course of their study program. Consult the M. Eng. section below for more detailed information.

All students at the Bachelor level must successfully complete three paid co-op work terms. The work term component is indicated on Page 1 of the letter of admission.

Students in a Master with Project (M.Eng.) program also have an opportunity to participate in an industrial internship during their study program (STA800, STA802 or MGA902)*. The co-op work term component is indicated on Page 2 of the letter of admission.

Consult the Co-operative Education Service website (in French) for detailed information concerning the various work-term and internship options at ÉTS.

Before taking part in a work-term or internship activity, all international students must obtain a Co-op Work Permit from IRCC that indicates ÉTS as the employer. This permit is mandatory, regardless of the session in which you are participating in the work term or internship, including the Summer session.

This permit is also required to access the work-term or internship offers portal, so it is important to obtain your work permit as quickly as possible once you begin your program, in order to avoid missing out on interesting opportunities. However, you can register for a preparatory course (PRE011 Développement professionnel et initiation à la santé et sécurité au travail or PRE811 Développement de carrière aux cycles supérieurs) even if you are still waiting to receive your CWP. Once you receive your CWP, send a digital copy, along with your Social Insurance Number, to stages@etsmtl.ca.

*For M.Eng. students, participating in an industrial internship does not exempt you from the obligation of writing a final project at the Master level. You must respect the structure of your program in order to fulfil the conditions for obtaining your ÉTS diploma.  

Graduate and post-graduate programs at ÉTS vary with respect to their structure and the conditions for obtaining a diploma. Not all programs require full-time work at a company during a final project, and therefore, not all programs provide automatic access to a Co-op Work Permit.

M.Eng.

All M.Eng. programs require a final project, but the nature of the synthesis activity differs depending on the selected path.

For example, within the same program, one individual may take more course credits and complete the program with a technical project worth 3 or 6 credits. Another individual may opt for at path with a project worth 9 or 15 credits (e.g.: MTR895 - Projet d’intervention en entreprise or MTR893 - Projet en entreprise), and therefore, take fewer course credits. The description of project-type educational activities can be found in the course directory, under course code MTR.

If you opt for a synthesis activity that is partially or completely carried out in a company or at the premises of a partner outside of ÉTS, you must fill out Part 3 of the Subject Identification File for the Synthesis Activity, Graduate Programs without Thesis - Report or Project (in French). Upon request, the Dean of Studies Office will then issue a confirmation to the external partner on your behalf, based on the information sent.

IMPORTANT: Unlike co-op work-term and internship activities at ÉTS, projects are not subject to contractual agreements. Therefore, conditions may vary with respect to the duration of the project (e.g.: the number of hours and the type of work required), and other conditions (compensation, insurance, other benefits). You must seek out the professors and companies yourself, following an approach that is more comparable to a conventional job search.

It is possible to obtain and use a Co-op Work Permit for a project carried out at a company as part of a Master with Project (M. Eng.) program, and to use it during any study session, insofar as you respect the following conditions: Be registered for project credits, carry out work that is directly related to your project and limit the use of the CWP to a maximum of two sessions (e.g.: one work-term session and one project session OR two work-term sessions OR two project sessions).

Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is only mandatory under the following circumstances:

  • If your work at the company exceeds the authorizations for off-campus work indicated as conditions in connection with your study permit (e.g.: more than 20 hrs/week during the Fall and Winter session);
  • If your work at the company exceeds 20 hours per week during the Summer session and it is not your final session.

In summary, the CWP is not automatically required for executing a project carried out at a company, but it may be worthwhile to obtain one in order to provide yourself with maximum flexibility. It is also possible to use the work authorizations indicated as conditions in connection with your study permit to execute all or part of the project, including full-time work during the Summer session if you meet the conditions listed in the Working off-campus tab.

IMPORTANT: In the case of a project that is executed outside of Canada, you must continue to hold valid study authorizations (CAQ and study permit) and health and hospitalization insurance (RAMQ or Desjardins) in order for the Registrar’s Office to maintain your registration. Double degree students at ÉTS are encouraged to consult the Educational path, work term and project section of the Double degree FAQ page.

Specialized Graduate Program (DESS)

You cannot obtain a Co-op Work Permit from IRCC within the context of a DESS, because work is not an essential component of this type of study program.

M.A.Sc. or Ph.D.

You cannot obtain a Co-op Work Permit from IRCC within the context of a research project as part of a Master with Thesis (M. Sc. A.) or Doctorate (Ph. D.) program. However, if your work is exclusively linked to a research grant, you can use your authorizations for on-campus work (unlimited hours per week), even if your project is executed outside of ÉTS (e.g.: affiliated research centre, private company). Both you and your employer should consult the IRCC website for the definition of on-campus work.

In all other cases, you can use the authorizations for off-campus work indicated as conditions in connection with your study permit, and you can work a maximum of 20 hours per week, including during the Summer session.

ÉTS strongly recommends that students in eligible programs (Bachelor, M.Eng.) apply for a Co-op Work Permit when submitting their initial application for or renewing their study permit, although there are other options. Consult our Memory Aid (in French) and the detailed procedure described below that corresponds to your specific situation.

1. When applying for a study permit

Initial application

This is the easiest and most efficient approach, because it is free and requires no additional forms or delays.

  • During the initial application: Respond "Yes" to the question "Is professional experience an integral part of your study program?";
  • Submit your letter of admission with the documents indicated on the checklist;
  • You will receive the letter of introduction for the Co-op Work Permit via your GCKey account, along with the letter of introduction for the study permit. The permit itself will be issued to you by the Canada Border Services Officer upon your arrival in Canada. If you are not issued a CWP right away, don’t hesitate to submit an explicit application with the Officer.

Application for renewal

If you must renew your study permit, don’t forget to renew your Co-op Work Permit (extension or initial application), because doing so is free and requires no additional forms or delays.

  • During the renewal process: Respond "Yes" to the question "Do you also want to request a work permit?";
  • Submit your letter of admission with the documents indicated on the checklist;
  • You will receive your Co-op Work Permit by mail at your address of residence in Québec, along with the study permit.

IMPORTANT: If your CWP expires before or during your co-op work term, the law stipulates that you benefit from maintained status if you have renewed it before the expiry date. However, the Co-operative Education Service requires that you submit proof of renewal (IMM5739) in advance in order to avoid any breach of a work-term contract for reasons related to immigration. In light of this, it is of utmost importance to plan to renew your various legal authorizations (CAQ, study permit and CWP) as soon as possible, following the procedures described on the page entitled Immigration – During your studies.

2. When applying separately from the application for a study permit

If you did not apply for your CWP when applying for your study permit, you can submit an application online, but only after you have arrived in Canada. it is still free, but you can expect processing times ranging from two to five months (see Temporary residence > Work permit from inside Canada (initial and extension), and you must fill out a series of forms. Considering this processing time, it is crucial to submit your application as soon as possible, at least two sessions before your expected co-op work term.

  • Step 1: Sign into your GCKey account;
  • Step 2: The system will guide you through the various questions. You must respond by indicating that you wish to work in Canada, that you are currently in Canada with the status of a student, that you have not received a diploma and that you have not received a written offer of employment.
  • You will receive your permit by mail at your address of residence in Québec.

3. When applying at a port of entry

The law allows for an application for a CWP to be submitted at a port of entry into Canada, on the condition that you are exempt from the requirement for a temporary resident visa (source R198.1). Your application will be processed by a Canada Border Services Officer, and the permit will be issued on site. There is no form to fill out, but you must ensure that you have all of your supporting documents on hand. Begin by filling out a simulated application online and consult the document checklist.

If you plan to apply at the Canada-US border (“flagpoling”), it is important to understand that this process requires you to leave Canadian territory and then cross the border again, at which time you will be subject to normal customs controls. Therefore, it is crucial that you hold valid temporary resident status and that your file is in order.

IMPORTANT: ÉTS does not recommend applying at a port of entry, and instead recommends applying online through IRCC. If you choose this option, for whatever reason, be aware that you must respect the service hours at border crossings during which these types of permits are issued AND demonstrate the urgency of your application (e.g.: valid offer of employment for a specific date).

Request to amend a CWP

If you have changed learning institutions or if there is inaccurate information on your work permit, or if the Employer, Location or Occupation sections contain erroneous restrictions or information, you can submit a Request to Amend Valid Temporary Resident Documents at no charge.

Procedure

  • Fill out and sign the IMM 1436 form:
    • In Part C, Box 2, explain that your co-op work permit is non-compliant, and indicate the information to be amended;
  • Collect all of the required documents, including the original of your work permit;
  • Send the entire package by registered mail to the address indicated on the form.

Consult the IRCC FAQ page for more detailed information.

IMPORTANT: IRCC processing times for a Request to Amend Valid Temporary Resident Documents are sometimes quite lengthy. Take these processing times into account and assess your other options, as applicable (e.g.: if you will eventually have to extend or renew your study permit, it may be faster to obtain a new CWP using that approach).

If you plan to remain in Canada on a permanent basis and submit your application for permanent residence within the context of the Programme de l’expérience Québécoise (PEQ – Québec Experience Program), up to three months of experience acquired during a work term or project during your study program at ÉTS may be recognized as work experience. In other words, you may be eligible to submit your application for a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ – Québec Selection Certificate) after nine months of qualified work experience (NOC level 0, occupation type A or B based on the National Occupational Classification, whether related to your study program or not) instead of a full year.

Co-op work terms and industrial internships

Co-op work terms and industrial internships at the Master level meet the MIFI’s eligibility criteria and are recognized as work experience within the context of the PEQ – Graduate application

Contact the Co-operative Education Service if you have not yet received an attestation of training from ÉTS, which you must submit as part of your application for a CSQ

Project carried out at a company

In contrast to co-op work term and industrial internship activities, considering the diverse nature of projects carried out at a company executed by students, ÉTS cannot guarantee ahead of time that work experience acquired during this type of project will be recognized as work experience, up to a maximum of three months, within the context of the PEQ – Graduate program. There are a number of other conditions that apply:

  • You must have obtained a Co-op Work Permit issued by IRCC for the execution of the project;
  • You must have acquired the equivalent of one full-time session of work experience;
  • You must have an attestation from the Dean of Studies Office certifying the nature of your project, along with its duration and the number of hours worked at the company:
    • This information is now required as part of your Subject Identification File for the Synthesis Activity. If you have filled out the old version of the File, contact the Dean of Studies Office to add this appendix and obtain an attestation

Consult the MIFI website to learn about the other applicable conditions and requirements.

Working after completing your studies

Working after completing your studies

In most cases, international students can apply for a work permit after completing their studies. Verify your eligibility on the IRCC website. You must ensure that you maintain your proper standing during the transition period between the end of your studies and obtaining your work permit.

The PGWP is an open work permit, which means that it is not associated with a specific employer and you do not require a valid offer of employment when you apply for it.

Eligibility criteria

  • You must have successfully completed a study program and have received the transcript and certificate of completed studies from the Registrar’s Office;
  • Submit your application within 180 days after ÉTS establishes your final marks;
  • You must have maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program (unless granted an authorized exception). If this situation does not apply, attach an explanatory letter and other supporting documents;
  • If you are in Canada, you must hold valid temporary resident status at the time when you submit your application;
  • You must not have received a PGWP following the successful completion of another study program;
  • See all of the eligibility criteria and the procedure to follow for applying for a PGWP on the IRCC website.

PGWP validity period

The validity period depends on the normal length of your study program:

  • Programs lasting 2 years or more (Bachelor, Master, Ph.D.): 3 years;
  • Programs lasting less than 2 years (DESS, certificate): Validity period equal to the normal length of your study program.


Processing times and fees

Processing times may vary depending on the time of year and where you submit your application. Verify the current processing times on the IRCC website.

According to the IRCC Fee list, the fee for obtaining a PGWP is $255, in addition to the biometrics fees that may apply, depending on your situation.

Biometrics

If you have not given your biometric data (fingerprints, photo) as part of a previous application (e.g.: study permit) within the last 10 years, you must do so as part of this application. The fees are $85 per person, or a maximum of $170 per family.

If you submit your application for a post-graduation work permit online, you will receive a letter advising you to make an appointment at a Service Canada Centre. Save time by paying the biometric fees when you apply for your work permit. Detailed information concerning biometrics.

If is preferable to submit you application for a PGWP online, regardless of whether you are in Canada or not.


Online from Canada

The application is submitted online via your GCKey account . To submit you application from inside Canada, you must hold valid legal status.


Online from outside of Canada

The application is submitted online via your GCKey account. Once the application has been accepted, the Visa Office will issue you a letter of introduction for a PGWP for the port of entry into Canada, along with a temporary resident visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA). Please note that, if you submit an application from outside of Canada, you are not required to respect the condition of holding valid legal status.


At a port of entry (not recommended by ÉTS)

It is possible to apply for a PGWP at a port of entry into Canada, on the condition that you are exempt from the requirement for a temporary resident visa. Your application will then be processed by a Canada Border Services Officer (not by Immigration Canada), and the permit will be issued on site. There is no form to fill out, but you must ensure that you have all of your supporting documents on hand. To get a better idea of the procedure, begin by filling out a simulated online application, or consult the document checklist.

IMPORTANT: If you plan to apply at the Canada-US border, it is important to understand that this process requires you to leave Canadian territory and then cross the border again. The person who requests to enter Canada again is then subject to normal customs controls. You must also respect the service hours at border crossings during which these types of permits are issued. Therefore, it is crucial that you hold valid temporary resident status (student or visitor). ÉTS strongly recommends that you submit your application online through IRCC.

Your right to begin working full-time immediately depends on your legal status at the time when you submit your application for a PGWP.

If your study permit allows you to work off campus and is valid at the time when you submit your application for a PGWP:

If you are in a situation of maintained status (in the process of renewing your previous study permit):

  • You are not eligible to work until you have obtained your work permit. As per paragraph R186(w), graduates need a valid study permit to be eligible to work full time without a work permit.

If your study permit will expire before you are able to submit an application for a PGWP:

  • You must extend your stay in Canada as a visitor, appending an explanatory letter, before your study permit expires.
  • You are not eligible to work until you have obtained your work permit.

If you do not have a legal status:

  • You have 90 days after the expiration of your study permit to apply for a PGWP and restore your status as a student, or else you must leave Canada and submit an application from abroad.
  • You are not eligible to work until you have obtained your work permit with the exception of your final session of registration for your program, and only if you have been registered as a full-time student up to that point.

Once you receive your post-graduation work permit, you must follow a number of other administrative procedures:

  • Insurance: You will then be eligible for the Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ – Québec Health Insurance Plan) throughout the validity period of your post-graduation work permit;
  • Social Insurance Number: Apply for or renew your SIN;
  • Temporary resident visa (TRV): If you require a visa to enter Canada, you can renew it;
  • Income tax obligations.
Social Insurance Number

Social Insurance Number

A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required in order to work in Canada. You will be asked to provide it when being hired or on your tax returns. The SIN is a nine-digit number that is assigned to you by the Government of Canada. Your SIN is valid until your study permit or work permit expires, and is renewable.

  1. Collect the required documents (e.g.: original of your study permit, work permit, passport, etc.);
  2. Go to the nearest Service Canada Centre (Complexe Guy-Favreau, 200 boul. René-Lévesque Ouest, Montréal) in person;
  3. If everything is in order, you will receive your SIN on site.

IMPORTANT: In order to obtain a SIN, you must have a valid work permit or a study permit that indicates that you are authorized to work. Consult the Immigration page if you wish to amend any of your documents.

Expiration and renewing your SIN

Most international students have a Social Insurance Number beginning with the number “9”. Your Social Insurance Number remains valid if you are in a situation of implied status or if you are waiting to receive your post-graduation work permit. It is important for you and your employer to consult the Employer information – SIN page, and specifically the section entitled "Before extending employment for your employee".

In both of these situations, you maintain your right to work and/or study in accordance with the conditions of your initial permit until a decision is rendered. You must then have your SIN renewed once you receive the new permit.

Your Social Insurance Number is confidential, so exercise caution. If it falls into the wrong hands, it can be used to obtain your personal information and invade your privacy. Visit Protecting your SIN to determine when you are legally required to provide your SIN and when you are not. If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501) and take all other necessary measures.

Tax obligations and labour standards

Income tax obligations and labour standards

All Canadian residents are required to declare their income for the previous year on or before April 30. Income is declared to both Revenu Québec and the Canada Revenue Agency.

Overview of income tax

The concept of resident for income tax purposes is different from that for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The requirement to declare your income is based on the status of residence, not on the status of student or citizenship.

  • Even if you are not working in Canada, it may be advantageous for you to declare your income here, as you may be entitled to certain tax credits.
  • If you plan to remain in Canada for a number of years to study or to work after completing your studies, start declaring your income right away. It’s easier and more beneficial.

For more detailed information

Office of Student Life does not offer advice or guidance with respect to filling out tax returns. However, the ÉTS Student Association (AÉÉTS) offers students an income tax declaration service every spring. This is an easy, fast and affordable way to fulfil this requirement. Keep an eye on the Interface newsletter (in French) to remain informed.

All workers in Canada, regardless of their legal status, are protected by Canadian laws. This includes labour standards pertaining to holidays and absences, labour conditions, minimum wage and prohibited practices, such as harassment at work.

For more information:

Note: These pages present a summary of the applicable procedures, laws and regulations in Québec and Canada, which are subject to change without notice. The websites of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francophonie et de l’Intégration (MIFI) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) take precedence, and it is your responsibility to validate all information at the source.