Depending on the program you are enrolled in, you might be able to work on-campus only or both on-campus and off-campus. International students cannot work before their studies begin.
Working on campus
You can work on-campus if:
- you have a valid study permit which lists a condition that says you are allowed to work on campus, and
- you are currently enrolled in full-time studies or are on a scheduled break. Or,
- you are studying part-time in your final semester, but you have been a full-time student in all previous academic semesters before
“On-campus” is defined as employment facilities within the boundaries of the campus, including SAIT Main Campus, Mayland Heights Campus, Art Smith Aero Centre, Crane and Ironworker Facility and The Tastemarket by SAIT.
There’s no maximum number of hours you can work when it comes to on-campus work, but the hours must follow provincial labour standards.
If you are enrolled full-time in Academic Upgrading, ELF, or Open Studies, you are eligible to work on-campus but not off-campus.
Working off campus
You can work off-campus if:
- you have a valid study permit, which lists a condition that says you are allowed to work on or off-campus, and
- you are enrolled as a full-time student in a program, which is at least six months long and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate
- you have started your program - you can't work before your studies begin.
If you qualify, your study permit will allow you to work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or reading week.
If you weren’t previously eligible to work off-campus but now you have changed to a program that allows you to work off-campus (for example, you completed an English or Upgrading program, and are now starting a diploma, degree or certificate), you can apply to change the conditions of your study permit.
You can apply to change the conditions of your study permit online from within Canada. This is the same process as extending your study permit and costs $150.
Visit the IRCC website for further information about working off-campus.Off campus working update - Oct 22
As a full-time student, you may be allowed to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week during the semester, full-time during scheduled breaks). In Alberta, you are protected by law as a worker by the Alberta Employment Standards Code. This sets out specific rules about working conditions that employers must follow.
Before you begin working, it’s a good idea to ask for an employment contract. This should describe your specific duties and expectations, as well as your rate of pay and hours of work. Be sure to review the contract carefully before you sign it. Your employer must also sign the contract. You should keep a copy of this contract for your own records. Also keep in mind that employers are required by law to obtain your SIN (Social Insurance Number) before you begin working.
Some of the important working rights that you should be aware of include:
- Minimum wage – currently the minimum wage in Alberta is $15.00/hour (for most jobs)
- Employees may work a maximum of 12 hours per day
- Employees are entitled to at least 30 minutes of rest (break) in each shift longer than five consecutive hours
- Employees are entitled to at least one day of rest per week
- Employees are entitled to overtime pay if the total hours worked is greater than 8 hours per day or 44 hours per week. Overtime pay must be at least 1.5 times the employee’s regular wage
- Employers must pay employees at least once per month
- Employers must provide employees with a statement of earnings for each pay period, and must keep employment records for three years
- Employees (both full-time and part-time) are entitled to annual vacation time and vacation pay. Employees must work for one year before they are entitled to vacation time. During the first four years of employment, employees are entitled to two weeks’ vacation time with pay
- Both employees and employers must give each other notice of their intention to end
Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN)
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9-digit number that you need to be eligible to work in Canada or to access government programs and benefits.
You may apply for a SIN number after you have arrived in Canada and have retrieved your study permit. Your study permit must list your eligibility to work on or off campus if you meet certain eligibility, for example: “may work 20 hours per week off-campus or full time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186 (v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations”.
You can apply for a SIN online, by mail or in person at Service Canada. You will mainly need the following documents:
- Your study permit
- Your passport
- Proof of in-Canada address (e.g. bank statement, phone bill or your tenancy agreement)
Visit the Canadian Government website for detailed instructions.
Once you have received your SIN number, updated your financial information in mySAIT.
SIN number is a piece of sensitive personal information so you should protect it. Usually, except for your school or your employer, you should not share it with anybody else.
Canada's Income Tax System
As an international student in Canada, it's important to understand your rights, entitlements, and obligations under Canada's tax system. You are responsible for determining your income tax status and making sure that you pay your required amount of taxes for each year according to the law.
Canadian income tax is administered by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). Income tax returns need to be filed on or before April 30 for the year previous tax year.
The Canadian tax system is based on residency status, not citizenship. Your residency status will determine your income tax filing requirements.
Most international students “file a tax return” (submit an income tax form to the government) - even if you are not working - as you may be eligible to receive tax credits (payment from the government). International students may have to pay Canadian income tax on income earned from employment, investment(s) and/or business income.
This list represents general documents and personal information that international students may need to submit when filing their taxes to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
- Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Individual Tax Number (ITN)
- A Canadian mailing address
- T2202A: Tuition and Education Form - available to download from your mysait.ca account
- T4: Statement of earnings - usually received from your employer (if applicable)
- T4A: Statement of scholarships, bursaries, pension, annuity and other income (if applicable)
- RC-62: Universal childcare benefit statement (if applicable)
- Charitable donations receipts (if applicable)
- Medical and dental expenses that were not covered by your health insurance plan - receipt must have date and amount paid (if applicable)
There are many local organizations that will provide free tax assistance and clinics for eligible individuals through Canada Revenue Agency's Community Volunteer Tax Program (CVITP). There are also many free tax clinics and resources in Calgary that can assist you – contact the service provider to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements.
If you have not arrived in Canada since your study permit was approved, you do not need to worry about your tax filing as you are not considered a resident of Canada yet.
If you were studying in Canada before and currently studying outside Canada due to COVID-19 interruption, you can choose to file your tax retroactively in the future as long as you don’t owe income tax to the government of Canada. If you have other income sources from outside Canada or any other questions, please see the Canada Revenue Agency website to learn more about your tax obligation.