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.
On this page:
Please note that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allows each institution to define full-time studies and scheduled breaks.
The regularly scheduled breaks at Douglas College are indicated in yellow boxes below:
(Jan – April)
study break (see theschool calendar)
(May – Aug)
(Sept – Dec)
* 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.
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:
Fall & Winter Semester
usually 12 credits
minimum 9 credits
no minimum credit required
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:
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.
You may work without a work permit on your school campus where you are studying if you:
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:
How many hours can you work on campus each week?
IRCC does not indicate work hour restrictions for on-campus work.
International students can work off campus without a permit, provided that all of the following statements are true:
*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 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:
Break between semesters
If the first/last semester is the Summer semester
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:
*dates will change each term.
Please see the following table for your better understanding:
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
*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.
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:
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:
(Date modified: 2019-04-02)