Study and Work in Canada for Nigerian Students

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Canada is one of the most popular study abroad destinations for students around the world. Canadian universities enrol more than 6,50,000 international students in all kinds of Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Diploma/ Certificates courses. The immigrant-friendly stance of Canada makes it one of the best countries to pursue not only your education but also your career. With relaxed post-study work permit norms, it allows you to find good working opportunities while studying or after graduation. Working while you are a student can help you sustain yourself, make new friends, and develop the contacts and experience that could help you stand out in the future job market. Here’s what you need to know to study and work in Canada as a Nigerian student before you start hunting for your ideal student job.

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Work While You Study in Canada

With part-time employment, you may augment your spending money while gaining essential work experience. There are a number of work visa options for Nigerian students and their spouses/common-law partners that make working in Canada possible, albeit you must first provide sufficient proof that you can pay for your tuition and living expenses before you arrive in Canada. Working in Canada can help you make valuable business connections for the future and possibly pave the path for your immigration after graduation. 

Pros and Cons of Working While Studying in Canada

If you do decide to study and work in Canada as a student, you must weigh the pros and cons of doing so. Here are some points to help you out.


  • Payback for your education: You can avoid worrying about course costs and living expenditures by working part-time while you are a student in Canada. In Canada, those who work a part-time job while attending school are paid hourly. Having part-time work will enable you to cover your expenses while studying in Canada.
  • Gain Experience: You can obtain first-hand experience that is helpful for a variety of reasons by working part-time while you are a student in Canada. The main justification is that it is now simple to apply for Canadian permanent residence if you want to stay in the country after finishing your education.

Another argument is that the experience you receive from working part-time will strengthen your credentials and give your resume more weight because you have more experience than your newly graduated classmates.

  • Adapts to the workplace and establishes connections in their network and with businesses: You will become more accustomed to the workplace if you work part-time while you are a student in Canada. The proper work ethics will be ingrained in you when you are exposed to the real workplace setting. Additionally, part-time employment lets you expand your network, which will be very helpful to your career in the long term. You’ll be better able to take advantage of job chances.


  • Time Constraint: Time is one of the most valuable resources for students. Higher education requires more time and working a part-time job while you study requires a lot of time. The likelihood of having less time to study has increased, which is undoubtedly bad for your academic performance. Lack of study time will cause your grades to suffer.

However, you should keep in mind that you are there to complete your education and should not lose focus of your studies.

  • Exhaustion: You’ll be busy balancing work and school while working part-time, which will make you exhausted and weary. Even skipping courses to get some rest and sleep after work is a possibility. 

Types of Work Available While Studying in Canada

Work on-campus

Eligibility Requirements: 

A student can start work only after his/her studies begin. Prior to starting their studies, students cannot work. If the condition allowing students to work on- or off-campus is listed in their study permit, they are permitted to do so as an international student in Canada. A student can work on the school campus, without a work permit, if he/she:

  • a full-time post-secondary student at a-

-public post-secondary schools, such as a college, university, trade or technical school, or CEGEP in Quebec

-private post-secondary school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec

-a private or public secondary or post-secondary institutions in Quebec offering qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer leading to a diploma of vocational studies (DVS) or an attestation of vocational specialization (AVS)

-Canadian private schools can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate), but only if the student is enrolled in a study program leading to a degree authorized by the province. This may not include all programs of study offered by the private institution.

  • have a valid study permit, and
  • have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

In their last semester, students taking part-time courses

A student can still work an unlimited number of hours on campus if he/she is a full-time student throughout the programme but is only enrolling part-time to complete the required coursework in his/her final semester.

Where a student can work: On Campus,

A student can work at any of the buildings on his/her school’s campus if he/she is “on-campus.” In most circumstances, if his/her school has more than one campus, he/she is only permitted to work at the site where he/she is enrolled.

A student is permitted to work elsewhere if, students are research or teaching assistants whose sole responsibility is to carry out the tasks specified in a research grant.

In this situation, students may work at a hospital, research facility, or library connected to their school—even if it’s off campus. If students haven’t already had one, they must undergo a medical exam if they work in a hospital or another setting where maintaining the public’s health is crucial.

For whom a student can work?

An “on-campus” employer can be

  • the school
  • a faculty member
  • a student organization
  • himself/herself, or if:

-the student runs a business that is physically located on-campus (for example a student owns a coffee shop that is located on campus)

  • a private business
  • a private contractor that provides on-campus services to the school

Get a Social Insurance Number to work in Canada

The Canadian government assigns a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to the students, which is a nine-digit number. A student can work in Canada with this number, and he/she can also access government services and benefits. Any one of the following requirements mentioned on your study permit must be met in order to apply for a SIN to work on campus: 

  • Those who meet the requirements may accept work on or off campus. Must stop working if no longer fulfilling these requirements.
  • The holder of this permit is not permitted to work off-campus in Canada. may only accept work on campus if they meet the requirements. Must stop working if no longer fulfilling these requirements.

If govt didn’t put any of these requirements on the study permit even if a student is qualified to work on campus, he/she can request that they be added. There is no cost to include these restrictions in these permits.

Work off-campus

Before you begin work while you study in Canada, you and your employer must confirm that you are able to do so without a work permit. You might have to leave Canada you start working off-campus but don’t match the standards.

You can start work only after your studies begin. Prior to starting your studies, you cannot work. The criteria on your study permit will specify whether you are allowed to work while you are enrolled in classes.

You do not require a work permit if you are qualified to work off-campus.

Eligibility Requirements: 

If a student satisfies all of these criteria, he/she is permitted to work off campus without a work permit:

  • you’re a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • you’re enrolled in:

-a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program or

-a secondary-level vocational training program (Quebec only)

  • your study program:

-is at least 6 months long and

-leads to a degree, diploma or certificate

  • you’ve started studying
  • you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

If You’re a Part-Time Student at a DLI

You can work off campus only if:

  • you meet all of the requirements above, except the requirement to be a full-time student,


  • you’re only studying part-time, instead of full-time, because:

-you are in your final semester of study, and you do not need to take a full course load to complete your programme and 

-you were a full-time student in your programme in Canada until your final semester.

If You Have a Valid Leave of Absence

You cannot work off campus if you are on a legitimate break from your studies or if you are changing schools while not enrolled in classes. Once you’ve started studying again, you can go back to work.

Get a Social Insurance Number to work in Canada

The Canadian government assigns a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to the students, which is a nine-digit number. A student can work in Canada with this number, and he/she can also access government services and benefits. Any one of the following requirements mentioned on your study permit must be met in order to apply for a SIN to work on campus: 

  • Those who meet the requirements may accept work on or off campus. Must stop working if no longer fulfilling these requirements.
  • The holder of this permit is not permitted to work off-campus in Canada. may only accept work on campus if they meet the requirements. Must stop working if no longer fulfilling these requirements.

Work as a Co-op Student or Intern

Eligibility Requirements: 

Work experience is a component of certain study programmes’ curricula. A student can apply for a co-op or intern work permit if: 

  • He/She possesses current study permission
  • He/She must put in the effort to finish his/her course of study in Canada
  • He/She has documentation from the institution stating that all programme participants must do work placements in order to get their degrees, and
  • His/Her study program’s percentage of your co-op placement or internship is 50% or less

Who’s not eligible- 

If you’re enrolling in one of the following courses, you are ineligible for a co-op work permit:

  • ESL/FSL stands for English or French as a Second Language.
  • General education classes, or
  • Courses to get ready for a different study plan.

If you want to work in Canada but are not qualified for a co-op work permit, you must apply for a work permit.

How Many Hours You Can Work While Studying in Canada?

There is a limit to the numbers of hours you can spend on work while you study in Canada.

  • Work on campus: As long as you keep fulfilling the criteria for working on campus, you are permitted to put in as many hours as you like.
  • Work off Campus: There is no predetermined amount of hours that constitute “full-time” employment per week. However, your employer(s) must abide by all provincial regulations regarding time between shifts and overtime compensation. You may work up to 20 hours a week if your programme doesn’t have set breaks. 
  • Self-employed students

If you work for yourself, you must also keep track of your off-campus working hours and provide documentation that you are abiding by the terms of your study permit.

Any time you spend on any of the following is counted as an hour:

  • 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 After Completing Your Study in Canada

Following the completion of your studies, you may be able to find full-time employment in one of two ways:

  • You started a new study programme or 
  • You filed for a work visa before your current study permit expired.

To be able to work full-time, you must fulfil each of the conditions stated below. You must stop working and depart Canada if govt reject your request for a work or study permit.

If you already applied for a work permit

If you satisfy all of the following qualifications, you may work full-time:

  • While pursuing your studies, you were already able to work off school.
  • Before your study permit expired, you applied for a work permit or a post-graduation work permit (PGWP).
  • You are anticipating the outcome of your work visa application.

If you’re beginning a new course of study

If you satisfy all of the following qualifications, you may work full-time:

  • When you were a student before, you were already able to work off campus.
  • You are in possession of a current study permit or you applied to have it extended before it expired.
  • You received written confirmation that you finished your programme from your present school.
  • You were granted admission to a brand-new full-time study programme at a DLI in a letter.
  • You will begin your new programme within 150 days of being informed that your prior programme has been successfully completed.

Post-Graduation Work Permit in Canada

Students studying in Canada is eligible to stay back in the country and apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit. Students have a window of 180 days to apply for the permit after receiving their final marks and work in the country for up to 3 years on the permit. Documents required are an official letter from your school and an official transcript or copy to confirm that you have studied at the university. To work in the country, the candidates must have completed at least one year of education from DIL registered university. 

How to Apply?

To begin with the admission process, one needs to follow a certain step-by-step procedure to ensure that you don’t miss anything while sending your application. The following pointers elaborate upon the major steps you should keep in mind while planning to study in Canada.

  • Find a Suitable Course and University
    Thoroughly research the available diploma and degree programs in your field of interest as well as the universities offering them. Canada is globally famous for its prospective courses in varied specialisations, be it Science, Technology, Humanities or Commerce.
  • Get the Paperwork Ready
    Applying to study in Canada can be a lengthy procedure and it’s important to start your application as early as possible. Some of the basic application essentials include transcripts and mark sheets for your academic records, language proficiency scores (IELTS Score for Canada), letters of motivation, letters of recommendation (LOR), and Statement of Profit (SOP), amongst others. We have also given a rundown of the different documents you need in the next section.
  • Familiarize yourself with Admission Requirements
    Once you have selected the right course, check its admission requirements given on the university’s official website. Some of the prominent things you need to ensure are academic-related specifications, criteria related to work experience, information about the intake, etc. 
  • Filling the Application Form & Submission
    Major universities in Canada conduct the application procedure through an online medium where the candidates need to fill in their personal and academic details, and submit the necessary documents as well as the required application fee. Make sure that you carefully add all your details and go through them once again before the final submission. 
  • Gear Up for Visa Application
    Once your candidature has been successfully accepted by the university, you can start preparing your visa application. It generally needs around 60 days as well as demands many documents, so it becomes important that you commence your visa application as early as you can.

How Much Can I Earn While Doing Part-Time Jobs in Canada?

So, if you do decide to study and work in Canada, what kind of earnings can you expect? The pay for part-time work can change depending on the work you receive. Students are paid by the hour for part-time work, which is approximately CAD 10/hour, whereas the average hourly wage for a part-time job is CAD 22. Additionally, part-time job pay can vary from city to city.

Part-Time Work Expected Salary (in CAD/ hour)
Customer service representative 14
Cook 13-15
Clerk 15
Sales associate 12
Teacher 20-22
Web designer 20
Merchandiser 13

How to Find the Part-time Jobs?

It might not seem easy at first to find work while you study in Canada. However, on-campus employment postings are posted on bulletin boards at all schools and universities. There will also be websites that provide details on comparable employment vacancies.

You can work as a lifeguard or swimming instructor at a college swimming pool or beach, as well as in bookstores, libraries, and other retail settings like clothing or sporting goods stores. You can work as a translator if you speak multiple languages. A translator’s services are frequently needed in Canada because of its heterogeneous society.

Top High Paying Jobs in Canada

Given below are some of the highest paying jobs in Canada:

Professions Average Annual Salary
Surgeon 340,000 CAD (NGN 105 Million)
Psychiatrist 293,000 CAD (NGN 89 Million)
Dentist 233,000 CAD (NGN 68 Million)
Utility Manager 233,000 CAD(NGN 68 Million)
Engineering Manager 203,000 CAD (NGN 63 Million)
Pilot 180,000 CAD (NGN 52 Million)
Lawyers 140,000 CAD (NGN 45  Million)
IT Manager 90,000 CAD (NGN 27 Million)


How much can an international student earn in Canada while studying?

Students in Canada are paid at the minimum wage rate, which ranges from C$10.25 to C$15 per hour, or C$400 to C$1000 per month.

Is it hard to find a job as an international student in Canada?

If an international student wants to find employment in Canada, there are numerous obstacles to overcome. According to Ridha, the biggest obstacles for international students seeking employment are their inability to find a local Canadian reference and their unfamiliarity with Canadian workplace practices.

What are the monthly expenses in Canada?

A single person’s average monthly cost of living in Canada is $1,245 (without rent). The monthly cost, excluding rent, is $880 for a single student. The monthly cost for a two-person family, excluding rent, is over $2,500.

How many hours can international students work in Canada?

20 hours a week are the maximum you can work. You are in violation of the terms of your study permit if you work more than 20 hours per week. If you do this, you risk losing your student status and risk having future requests for a study or work permit denied.

Canada being a welcoming and economical study destination for international students is certainly the current favourite work and study abroad option for many students around the globe. To ensure you get selected for one of the top universities to study in Canada, it’s highly imperative to have your application stand out. Call Leverage Edu today and take the first step towards successfully studying and working in Canada.

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