Douglas College > Study at Douglas > International students > New & returning students > Working
Gaining work experience while you are studying can give you a head start on achieving your career goals after you graduate. Each institution defines full-time studies and scheduled breaks in compliance with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Here are some resources to help you understand your enrollment status and working eligibility as a Douglas College student.
On this page:
Off-Campus Working Eligibility1
(May - Aug)
(Ø, FT, or PT okay)
(Sept - Dec)
Full-time enrollment means registering and completing a minimum of 9 credits per academic semester.
If a student withdraws or receives a W, UN, UNW, FD, or AUD the course will NOT count towards the full-time course load. International students are recommended to complete a minimum of 24 credits per calendar year. We also recommend students to complete their program within the program length. Ex: Students should complete a 2-year Diploma program in 2 years.
Students may enrol in part-time studies in their LAST semester or if they are not working off-campus and will not apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit.
Scheduled breaks are defined as Summer semesters, unless Summer is your first semester, and the time between semesters from the day AFTER the exam period until the first day of class of the next semester. Students are required to maintain full-time status in the preceding and following semesters of a scheduled break. This applies to MOST programs at Douglas with some exceptions. If you choose to take 2 PDD programs, you may take one semester off between them.
If you study permit does not specify working conditions, you may request to amend your study permit with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at no cost. If you are an ELLA student moving into an academic program, you may also apply for a Change of Conditions.
You may work on-campus without a work permit if you:
"On-campus" is defined as employment facilities within the boundaries of the campus. Students are only allowed to work on the campus at which they are registered as a FT student. Students cannot work at OTHER campuses affiliated with the College. For example, if you are enrolled full-time at the New West campus, you can only work at the New West campus.
The employer can be the institution, a faculty, a student organization, the students themselves (self-employment taking place on campus), a private business, or a private contractor providing services to the institution on the campus. IRCC does not regulate the amount of hours you can work on-campus.
International students can work off-campus if:
To maintain working eligibility off-campus (and eligibility for a Post-Graduate Work Permit), most students must be enrolled full-time (9 credits minimum) for the Winter and Fall semesters unless it is your last semester. Most PDD and certificate students must also be enrolled full-time during summer semester. See table above.
For all other programs including ELLA, there is NO minimum enrollment requirement for Summer semester. Students may enrol as PT, FT, or take the Summer semester off.
Eligible students can work up to 20 hours per week during academic sessions once you have commenced your program of study. During Scheduled Breaks eligible students can work full-time regardless of your course load.
After graduating from Douglas College, students may apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. Duration and eligibility depends on the length of your program and enrollment status throughout your program. To maintain eligibility to work after completing your studies, students must:
As you prepare to apply for your PGWP, your working eligibility will change as follows.
Graduation letters for Fall 2019 will be available at the International Office on January 13, 2019 (subject to change). Graduates must stop working from this date until you submit your PGWP application. Please arrange with your employers accordingly.
Guidelines for Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) has been updated for all applications submitted on or after February 14, 2019. We recommend reading through IRCC's website to ensure you understand these changes.
Question: Can I work after off-campus during the break of two programs?
Answer: You may work full-time off-campus for up to 150 days from the date of your completion letter until the start of the new program only if:
*If your new program starts more than 150 days after the completion of your first program, you should leave Canada until your new program begins or apply to change 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: ELLA students are NOT eligible for working off campus until you commence your academic program.
Question: I will be part-time in the fall semester, can I work full-time during the previous summer semester?
Answer: No, you cannot work full time in the summer semester unless you hold full-time status during the academic session before and after your scheduled break.
Immigration Advising is available at the International Office with one of our International Student Advisors. Visit Services for Success for contact info and drop-in hours.
(Date modified: 2019-07-09)