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  • Changes on Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (effective February 14, 2019). Click HERE for more information.
  • We developed a tool for current Douglas College international students who would like to confirm the scheduled breaks in their programs and eligibility to work during scheduled breaks. Click HERE to try it.



Gaining work experience while you are studying can give you a head start on achieving your career goals after you graduate.

On this page:

Please note that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allows each institution to define full-time studies and scheduled breaks

How are scheduled breaks defined for international students at Douglas College for immigration purposes?

The regularly scheduled breaks at Douglas College are indicated in yellow boxes below:

(Jan – April)

Winter semester

study break (see theschool calendar)


(May – Aug)

Summer semester


(Sept – Dec)

Fall semester


* The break between semesters starts from the day after the exam period to the day before the first day of classes of the following semester. 

* Please note that all PDD students excluding PDD Hospitality Management, PDD Hospitality Marketing students and PDD Professional Communication DO NOT have summer semesters as the scheduled breaks.


What is defined as Part-time and Full-time studies for international students at Douglas College for immigration purposes?

  • In order to be considered as a full-time student, you need to be enrolled in minimum 9 credits throughout a semester.
  • Students who withdraw from courses will not be counted as full-time students from the moment when they are actively enrolled in less than 9 credits.
  • The courses in which a student gets a W, UN, UNW, FD, and AUD will not count towards the full-time course load.
  • All international students at Douglas College are also recommended to complete a minimum of 24 credits per calendar year.
  • Student are encouraged to complete the program within the time frame of the program length.
  • PDD programs (except for PDD in Hospitality Marketing and PDD in Hospitality Management) are intensive 1-year long program. If you choose to take 2 PDD programs, you may take a break semester between them.

You may use the below table to find out the number of credits you have to be registered to be considered as a full-time student throughout an academic year:


First Semester

Fall & Winter Semester

Summer Semester

Last Semester

  • ELLA Program
  • Certificates
  • Diplomas
  • Degrees
  • Post-Baccalaureate Diplomas
  • Post-Degree Diploma in Hospitality Marketing
  • Post-Degree Diploma in Hospitality Management
  • Post-Degree Diploma in Professional Communication

usually 12 credits

minimum 9 credits

no minimum credit required

no minimum credit required

  • Other Post-Degree Diplomas

usually 12 credits

minimum 9 credits

minimum 9 credits

no minimum credit required


What documents do I need in order to work?

Study permit

 You must have one of the following conditions or remarks printed on your study permit in order to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) at Service Canada:

  • May work 20 hrs per week off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR, or
  • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.

Social insurance number (SIN)

SIN is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada. To apply for your SIN, simply gather your study permit and passport and take them to the nearest Service Canada Office.


Frequently Asked Questions:                                                        

Question: What can I do if I do not have one of the above conditions or remarks printed on my study permit but I started with an academic program?

Answer: You may amend your study permit with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at no cost. For more information, visit the IRCC website

Question: What can I do if I do not have one of the above conditions or remarks printed on my study permit and I started with an ELLA program, but are currently in an academic program? 

Answer: You may apply for changing conditions on your study permit.  For more information, visit the IRCC website.


Am I eligible to work on and off campus?

On-campus Work


You may work without a work permit on your school campus where you are studying if you:

  • are a full-time student enrolled at Douglas College
  • have a valid study permit
  • have a valid SIN

Where can you work?

"On-campus" is defined as employment facilities within the boundaries of the campus. The students are only allowed to work on the campus of the educational institution at which they are registered in full-time studies. If an institution has campuses in different cities, the student is restricted to working on the institution's campus where they are registered as a full-time student.

For example, if you take courses on both New West and Coquitlam campuses, you cannot work on either of the campuses unless you are taking a full-time course load in one of the campuses.

Who can you work for?

The employer can be any of the following:

  • the institution;
  • a faculty;
  • a student organization;
  • the students themselves (self-employment taking place on campus);
  • a private business;
  • a private contractor providing services to the institution on the campus.

How many hours can you work on campus each week?

IRCC does not indicate work hour restrictions for on-campus work.


Off-campus Work


International students can work off campus without a permit, provided that all of the following statements are true:

  • You are a full-time student enrolled at Douglas College;
  • You are in an academic program that is at least 6 months in duration and that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate;
  • You have a valid study permit;
  • You have a valid SIN.

*ELLA and exchange students do not meet the requirement, so they cannot work off-campus.


How many hours can you work off campus each week?

You can

  • work up to 20 hours per week during academic sessions once you have commenced your program of study;
  • Work full time during regularly scheduled breaks between academic sessions regardless of your course loadbut you must hold full-time status during the academic session before and after your scheduled break.

You may use the following table to find out if you are allowed to work off campus and how many hours you can work off campus in your scheduled breaks:


Study Break

Break between semesters

Summer Semester

If the first/last semester is the Summer semester

  • ELLA





  • Certificates
  • Diplomas
  • Degrees
  • Post-Baccalaureate Diplomas
  • Post-Degree Diploma in Hospitality Marketing
  • Post-Degree Diploma in Hospitality Management
  • Post-Degree Diploma in Professional Communication





  • Other Post-Degree Diplomas






Frequently Asked Questions:                                                        

Question: Can I work off-campus after I complete my program of studies?

Answer: If you met the eligibility requirements to work off campus, you may be allowed to work part-time (20 hrs/week) from the end of your last final exam until the issue date of your graduation letter (May 13 2019, the date may change*), provided your study permit and SIN remain valid during this period. 

Once the completion letters are available for pick up on May 13, 2019 (TBD*), you must cease working until you submit your application for your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Please arrange with your employers accordingly.

Once you have submitted your application, you may work full-time until you receive a decision on your application from IRCC, if, at the time you submitted your application, you:

  • had a valid study permit, at the time of application
  • had completed your program of study,
  • were eligible to work off-campus without a permit, and
  • did not work off-campus more than 20 hours a week during academic sessions. 
    (Please visit the 
    link for the information.)
  • A SIN

*dates will change each term.


Please see the following table for your better understanding:

Frequently Asked Questions:                                                        

Question: If I have completed a program of study at Douglas and will be starting a new program, can I work after off-campus during the break of two programs?

Answer: You may work off campus on a full-time basis for 150 consecutive days from the issue date of the completion letter until the start of the new program, If you

  • met the eligibility requirements to work off campus as per Paragraph 186 (V)
  • have received the completion letter for the first program,
  • have submitted an application to extend your study permit before it expires, or have a valid study permit,
  • have been issued a letter of acceptance to a subsequent program of full-time study at a DLI

*If the new program starts more than 150 calendar days after the completion letter from the first program, you should then either leave Canada until the new program begins or apply to change your status to visitor status.

Question: I am in ELLA program, and my study permit shows the conditions or remarks that allow me to work, can I work?

Answer: Unfortunately, you are not allowed to work because ELLA students are not eligible for working off campus until you commence your academic program.

Question: If my second last term is the summer semester, and I will only have 2 courses left for the fall semester, can I work during the summer semester?

Answer: Unfortunately, you cannot work in the summer semester because in order to work full time in the summer semester, you must hold full-time status during the academic session before and after your scheduled break.


To find out more information about working on and off campus, please check the IRCC website, or make an appointment with a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) at the International Office.


How can Douglas College help you find a job?

  • You can always find some interesting on-campus job posts for student assistant positions on the Douglas College Career Site.
  • The Douglas College Career Centre is where students and grads build their careers, please check Career Centre website.



Changes on Post-Graduation Work Permit Program


The guidelines for Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) have been updated for all post-graduation work permit application submitted on or after February 14, 2019. If you are applying for a post-graduation work permit after February 14, 2019, please note the changes because they could affect your post-graduation work permit application. We recommend reading through the following link to understand the changes:


Based on the changes, we would remind you that:

  • You are recommended to include both graduation letter and a transcript (as one PDF document) when you apply for a PGWP;
  • If you completed more than one program, you are suggested to attach your Letter of Acceptance for the second program as an additional document when applying for a PGWP;
  • The length of a PGWP may be valid for up to 3 years if you complete the second one-year program within 2 years after you complete the first one-year program. If you have some overlapping coursework that can be used toward both programs, the Letter of Acceptance should indicate that the overlapping coursework will be counted toward both programs. Otherwise, the length of your PGWP may be deducted. For example, if you complete 2 one-year programs, 2 PDDs; 1 PDD + 1 certificate, you may be eligible for an up to three-year PGWP;
  • You are still recommended to extend your study permit if your study permit expires before applying for a PGWP, and apply within 90 days after your completion date, even though you can apply under another temporary status within 180 days (new policy). The reason we recommend this is because you may work full-time after you submit a PGWP application if you hold a valid SP when you apply for the PGWP;
  • You are suggested to spend the recommended amount of time finishing your program(s). Choosing to accelerate a program, or taking too long to complete a program may impact the validity of a PGWP.
  • If you want to take courses online, you are recommended to take no more than 1 or 2 online courseswithin Canada. Online courses must be less than 50% of the whole program.


If you have questions or need clarifications, please see International Student Advisors at the International Office. There are 3 ways that you may use to contact us:

  1. Send your questions to along with your full name, student ID, current program, and study permit expiry date. Please be advised that due to the high volume of emails we receive, you may expect to receive a reply within 3 business days.
  2. Come for our drop-in Immigration Advising sessions (15 minutes/session, first-come, first-served basis). Please note that we are only able to meet a limited number of students during drop-in sessions and suggest arriving roughly 10–15 minutes before 2pm to secure your spot.                                                       Drop-in services are available Monday – Friday, 2pm-4pm at NW S2800
  3. Book an appointment with one of our Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors at the International Office or through sending an email along with your full name, student ID, current program, and study permit expiry date.


(Date modified: 2019-04-02)