Canada: Hiring International Students – What Employers Need To Know

Introduction:

Hiring foreign nationals without legal authorization to work in Canada may result in non-compliance with immigration laws. In general, Canadian citizens and permanent residents are allowed to work in Canada without restrictions. However, international students need legal authorization to work in Canada. This typically requires that they hold a valid Study Permit or Work Permit. International students holding a valid Study Permit may be authorized to work in Canada without a Work Permit when the requirements under section 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations ("IRPR") are met. There are some exemptions to the above general rule, which are set out in this bulletin. Further, this bulletin will outline what employers need to know when hiring international students in Canada.

Are International Students Authorized to Work in Canada?

Prior to June 1, 2014, international students holding a valid Study Permit were only authorized to work on campus. As of June 1, 2014, the restriction on where international students can work has been lifted. Accordingly, international students can now work off campus without a Work Permit if they meet the below requirements:

  • hold a valid Study Permit;
  • enrolled at a designated learning institution as a full-time student;
  • enrolled in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program, or a vocational training program at the secondary level offered in Quebec; and
  • the program of study is at least six months in duration and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.

However, not all international students on Study Permits are authorized to work in Canada. Presently, international students enrolled in the following two programs are not eligible to work off campus: (i) general interest programs of study that do not form part of the academic, professional or vocational training program; and (ii) courses that are a prerequisite to their enrolment at a designated learning institution, such as English as a second language or French as a second language. International students enrolled in the above two ineligible programs would need a valid Work Permit in order to work in Canada.

The number of hours an international student can work depends on if they are in their regular academic session or not. Currently, if the international student meets the above requirements, they can work on or off campus without a Work Permit for up to 20 hours per week during the student's regular academic session. When the international students are on regularly scheduled breaks, such as winter and summer holidays and reading weeks, they can work full-time. Each designated learning institution has different regularly scheduled breaks. Given this, it is recommended that employers request that international students provide proof of their regularly scheduled breaks from their learning institutions.

What should an Employer consider when hiring International Students?

Employers should ensure the proper procedures to hire international students are followed in order to comply with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and IRPR. Employers who do not comply with immigration laws may be subject to monetary penalties. Accordingly, when employers hire international students, they need to verify the international students have legal authorization to work in Canada.

The starting point is to confirm with the applicants that they hold a valid Study Permit or Work Permit. Holding a Study Permit or a Work Permit alone does not automatically result in the international student being authorized to work in Canada. As such, employers need to complete new hire verifications on applicants who are international students. For the new hire verification procedure, the employer should consider taking the below steps:

  1. implement an internal policy for hiring international students and ensure the internal policy is communicated to the hiring managers and human resource departments;
  2. request a copy of the applicant's Study Permit and Work Permit (if applicable);
  3. review the Study Permit to ensure there is a notation that authorizes the applicant to work in Canada pursuant to section 186(v) of the IRPR;
  4. review the Work Permit (if applicable) to ensure that it is an open Work Permit and not a closed Work Permit tied to a previous employer;
  5. review the Study Permit and Work Permit (if applicable) to ensure there is no special notation or condition that prevents the applicant from accepting the job offer; and
  6. request an official letter from the applicant's designated learning institution confirming that the applicant is enrolled and is in good academic standing.

Further, there are specific circumstances when international students who meet the requirements under section 186(v) of the IRPR are not authorized to work in Canada. Some of the common examples include the following (this is not a complete list):

  1. if the international students are on leave from studies, including school closures, then they cannot work during this period;
  2. if the international students arrived in Canada before their programs begin, then they cannot work until after they have commenced their classes; and
  3. if the international students have completed their programs in Canada and received their final marks, then they must stop working in Canada until after they have submitted their Post Graduate Work Permit ("PGWP") applications. Depending on when the PGWP applications were submitted, the international student may need to wait for the student's Work Permit to be issued before the student can commence work in Canada.

Conclusion:

The new hire verification procedure is a tool to assist employers to mitigate risk in order to ensure the applicants are authorized to work in Canada. When completing the new hire verification, it is recommended that employers consult with an immigration lawyer because the policy for interpreting section 186(v) of the IRPA changes frequently.

This is a brief outline on what employers need to know when hiring international students in Canada. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact one of the lawyers in our Immigration Law Practice Group.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions