student work permit in quebec

While many students go to school in English-speaking countries, there are still a lot of students who have to study abroad and apply for a work permit while in Quebec. This article aims at answering some basic questions and concerns that most students have when it comes to the subject of student work permits.

Quebec is a beautiful province in Canada and a popular destination for students. To study in Quebec, you need visas and study permits. If you are a foreign student planning to study in Quebec, then there are certain steps you need to undergo before setting out on your journey to that province

In this article we will try to answer to many questions concerning the student work permit in Québec. The first question is: “Do I need a student work permit?”. Well, as a foreign student, you must be able to show proof of your financial means and also sign an undertaking (to confirm that you won’t be depending on Québec’s social services during your studies) before becoming eligible for a post-secondary program. If you have all that, then yes, you most likely need a student work permit

The student work permit in Quebec allows you to work part-time while you’re studying at a Quebec university. You’ll need to be enrolled in an accredited program, and you must have met the conditions of your previous permit. If you haven’t met those conditions yet, but will meet them by the end of the current school year, you can apply for a work permit extension.

You can apply for a student work permit online or at a Quebec immigration office. The application fee is $100 CAD.

While your application is being processed, you can start working as long as you don’t exceed 20 hours per week. Once your application is approved, you’ll receive an authorization letter from Immigration Quebec that allows you to work full-time while attending school.

The Quebec student work permit is designed to facilitate students in the province and allow them to gain practical experience while they study. This document will allow you to work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year, or full time during vacation periods.

International students studying at Canada’s Quebec will soon become ineligible for the nation’s post-graduation work permit as the federal government has announced new rules for immigrants at the province’s unsubsidised private institutions.

The Canadian government has said that from September 1, 2023, international students studying at Quebec’s unsubsidised private institutions will become ineligible for post-graduation work permit (PGWP).

The Quebec government has directed the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to only allow students who are graduated from public and subsidised private institutions to apply for the post-graduation work permit.

Canada’s immigration and refugees minister Sean Fraser said, “Making the change that Quebec requested to post-graduation work permit eligibility will improve the integrity of the programme, bring Quebec’s private institutions further in line with those of other provinces and protect our well-deserved reputation as a destination of choice for international students.”

Justin Trudeau-led nation’s unsubsidised private learning institutions attract a large number of international students, the count has especially been rising since 2018.

Between 2016-2018, nearly 4,900 international students got a study permit for these institutions. For the period of 2019–2021, the count rose to 11,500.

Canada’s PGWP programme allows students graduated from these designated learning institutions get an open work permit and they can work any employer in the nation. Canada is one of the most sought-after nations for international students due to this programme.

If a student gets a work permit, it is valid for anywhere between 8 months to 3 years, while the actual time period actually depends on the programme at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

According to IRCC, if the programme is less than eight months, the student will not be eligible for work permit. While if the program is between 8 months and 2 years, PGWP will be valid for the same amount of time as per the duration of the course.

Indians are the top benefactors of Canada’s PR permit and student visa. As of December 2021, there are more than 622,000 foreign students, including 217,410 Indians, in Canada.

Temporary immigration for studies is a competence (jurisdiction) shared between two levels of government: the Government of Canada (federal) and the Gouvernement du Québec (provincial).

 As such, the immigration application takes place at two successive levels:

  • First, in Quebec, with a favourable temporary selection decision issued by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) leading to the issuance of a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ);
  • Next, a study permit and a visa (if applicable) are obtained from the Government of Canada (with medical exams if necessary and the collection of biometric data).

If you want to pursue your studies in Québec or register in a program of over 6 months, you must follow several steps in order to obtain the necessary authorizations to study.

Note: If you plan to pursue short-term studies (program of study of 6 months or less) in Canada, you will not need to obtain a study permit and, consequently, you will not need to obtain a CAQ for your studies.

Step 1: Choose an educational institution

Consult the list of institutions in the Québec City region according to the level of studies:

Only after having been formally accepted by one of these Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) in a program of study will you be able to begin the immigration process.

Here is the complete list of DLIs on the official Canadian immigration site (IRCC).

Step 2: Obtain your Québec Acceptance Certificates (CAQ)

After receiving your letter of admission, you must submit a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) application for your studies to the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI).

In addition to the letter of admission to a Designated Learning Institution and a valid passport, the approval of your temporary selection application depends on certain criteria; in particular, you will need to prove your financial capacity to cover all your tuition fees (based on the estimate), transportation costs (round trip from your country of origin), and settlement and living expenses for your first year of studies.

For example, in 2020, the sum of these expenses comes to nearly 13,000 CAD for a single person aged 18 and over.

Find out more:

Step 3: Obtain your study permit

Following a favourable decision on your temporary selection (CAQ) application by the MIFI, you must submit a study permit application to the Government of Canada.

You can submit your application online or on paper. If you need help completing your application, you can use the services of your closest Visa Application Centre (VAC).

Please note that you are not required to go through an intermediary to complete your application.

If professional experience is an essential component of your program of studies, you can apply for a work permit for interns or co-op students.

Working during your studies

Studying must be your main activity. However, you can work during your studies under certain conditions.

Working on campus

You can hold a job in an office or room located on the campus of your educational institution. For example, this includes: 

  • A library; 
  • A research establishment associated with your educational institution; 
  • A cafeteria. 

For conditions, see the Government of Canada’s Work on campus  page.

Working off campus as an intern

You can work outside your educational institution as part of a paid or unpaid internship. This internship must be compulsory as part of your Québec study program. 

You usually need to obtain a cooperative work permit from the Government of Canada. 

For conditions, see the Government of Canada’s Work as a co-op student or intern  page.

Working off campus

Under certain conditions, you can work outside your campus for the duration of your studies without a work permit:   

  • Up to 20 hours during study sessions; 
  • Full-time during the holidays stipulated in the school calendar. 

For conditions, see the Government of Canada’s Work off campus as an international student  page. 


If you are planning to work in quebec and your stay is of less than 3 months you will have to get a student work permit. To get a student work permit,you must accompany an offer of paid employment commensurate with your studies and the duration of your stay. Once you have accepted the offer, contact the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion to inform them that you wish to obtain a student work permit. Remember to take all the documents listed on the website

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