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Hiring International Students

Thank you to all employers who support Assiniboine students and consider our students/graduates for part-time or post-graduation positions!

As you may have questions about international student/graduate work eligibility, see FAQs below. Please click on any colored links for more information, as needed. Please email if you have a question not answered here.

Part-time Work:

Can I hire an international student on a part-time basis?
  • Most students will hold a “study permit” from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) which allows them to study in Canada under certain conditions. Eligible students can work:
  1. Starting on the first day of studies in Canada; and
  2. Maximum 20 hours/week during regular college terms (semesters); and
  3. Full-time (any number of hours) during college-scheduled breaks for that student’s program.
  • Students studying only English language classes, or only secondary (high school) classes, cannot work off-campus.
  • Students registered in a part-time college schedule generally cannot work off-campus. If in doubt, the student can email to ask about their full- or part-time status, copy you, and ask us to “reply all”.
What document proves an international student can work part-time?

Ask the student to show you their study permit.

  • To work, the permit should include a condition about work, written on the bottom of the study permit. Exact wording varies, but should somehow clearly state that student may work “off campus”.
  • If the student’s study permit is about to expire, this generally will still be OK. As long as they apply to IRCC for an extension before that expiry date, they can continue working while waiting for the decision. This is called “maintained” status (formerly called “implied” status).
  • Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility, not the employer’s to ensure they remain eligible to work off-campus.
What are my responsibilities if I employ an international student?
  • See IRCC’s website here. We encourage employers to check a student’s study permit and social insurance number (also see SIN FAQ). You may also request the student provide a “Confirmation of Enrollment” letter to confirm full-time studies; students order and pay for that letter here.
  • While employers can assist the student by checking these documents during the hiring process, and offering only 20 hours/week during college terms, ultimately the responsibility to adhere to conditions is the student’s, not the employer’s.
  • Provincial and federal labour standards legislation applies equally to employment of international students.
When can an international student work more than 20 hours/week?
  • An international student can work more than 20 hours only during college-scheduled breaks for that student’s program. The only college-scheduled break for all programs is approximately 2 weeks over Christmas/New Year’s. Some programs will also have a fall and/or spring reading week (1 week) or a break in the summer (2-4 months).
  • Students don’t schedule their own breaks. A scheduled break is based on the college’s academic calendar, which can differ by program and start date. If in doubt, the student can email to ask about their scheduled break, copy you, and ask us to “reply all”.
  • Please note: during the college terms, 20 hours is a limit each week. It is not an average (for example, it’s not OK to work 25 hours one week and 15 hours the next).
  • Also see ”Post-Graduation work” FAQs below regarding work hours after completion of studies.

Co-operative education/Practicum placement:

An Assiniboine student and/or staff member has contacted me about a “co-op” or “practicum” placement. What do I need to know?
  • International students must have a valid “co-op work permit” from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) before beginning any placement. It is the student’s responsibility, not the employer’s, to ensure the student has this permit. Any student without this permit should contact immediately for guidance on this matter.
  • The student’s program staff can answer your questions about placement generally, and offer support to students as well. Ask the student which office/staff person to contact about their practicum or co-op placement.
What document proves an international student can begin a co-op or practicum placement?

The permit should include these elements:

  1. The words “work permit” written near the top, in the centre.
  2. “Assiniboine Community College” as the “employer”. A work permit for any other school in Canada is not acceptable; it must be for Assiniboine.
  3. A condition written on the bottom of the study permit. Exact wording varies, but generally should specify work that is “an essential/integral part of the course…”.

If the student’s permit is about to expire, this generally will still be OK. As long as they apply to IRCC for an extension before that expiry date, they can continue their placement while waiting for the decision. This is called “maintained” status (formerly called “implied” status).

Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility, not the employer’s, to ensure they have a valid document.

What hours can a co-op/practicum student work?
  • If the student has a valid co-op work permit, the student can work full-time until the student reaches the required total number of hours for the co-op/practicum credit.
  • If you/the student/the college placement coordinator negotiate a part-time weekly schedule, that is also acceptable.
  • If you/the student wish to work more than the required total number of hours for credit, the student should contact for information about eligibility to work those additional hours, preferably with a minimum two weeks’ notice.
Are there different rules if the placement is unpaid?

No, the same rules apply. The student’s responsibility is to ensure they have a valid co-op work permit before working in a placement, whether paid or unpaid.

Post-Graduation work:

Can I hire an international graduate of an Assiniboine program?

Yes, please!

  • Completion of any Assiniboine college-level certificate, diploma or advanced diploma program of at least 8 months allows graduates to apply for a “post-graduation work permit” (PGWP). International graduates can start post-graduation work as soon as they apply for the PGWP.
  • If the PGWP application is successful, length will vary.
  • See more information here and see FAQ regarding SIN in an FAQ below.
When can an international graduate work full-time?
  • International graduates can begin working full-time as soon as they have submitted their post-graduation work permit (PGWP) application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In other words, they don’t need to wait until they receive the post-graduation work permit.
  • IRCC application processing time varies; it could be as long as 4-5 months, so don’t be surprised by this. Your employee should show you the PGWP as soon as they receive it.
  • Also see these FAQs (Working after Program Completion) for the recommendation to graduates about work hours.
What document proves an international graduate can work in Canada?

This will depend on how much time has elapsed since program completion:

If the graduate has completed the college program, applied for the post-graduation work permit (PGWP), but has not yet received a decision about the PGWP, the graduate can show you

  1. their study permit;
  2. their “letter of completion” from Assiniboine; and
  3. a letter from IRCC confirming receipt of their application.


If the graduate has received their PGWP, they can show you that permit.

  • It will be an IRCC document and will say “Work Permit” near the top.
  • The employer/employment location/occupation will generally be “open” or “unknown” or “any”. (In other words, it will not be limited to a specific employer or employment field.)
  • It may or may not use the words “post-graduation” on the document.
I would like to assist a graduate employee with immigration to Canada and employ that person on a long-term basis. What can I do?

See “Find your path to permanent residence” in this link. This gives information about possible immigration pathways for international graduates (and other foreign nationals). It is addressed to foreign nationals, but likely is interesting information for your discussions with employees.

  • One possible pathway includes the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. See their website here, particularly the “Skilled Workers in Manitoba” and “International Education Stream” sections.
  • Other provinces may also have a “provincial nominee program”; if your organization is in another province, see links here.
  • Employment in the Brandon, Manitoba area may provide an immigration pathway. Click here for information about Brandon’s Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program.

International graduates and their employers do not require representation for most or all parts of a permanent residence application. However, any party seeking information, advice or representation should consult only with one of these sources:

  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada webpage or personnel; and/or
  • a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in good standing on this registry; and/or
  • a lawyer registered with a provincial law society in Canada, preferably one with experience related to immigration.

General Questions:

Where can I find general information for me as an employer?

See basic information on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website here and more detailed resources on the “Employer’s Roadmap” here.

I would consider hiring Assiniboine’s international students/graduates. How can I connect with candidates?

You can use Assiniboine’s “Post a Job” online form here. Students and graduates can view these postings. If you have additional questions, please email with more information about your need.

How do I know whether the international student/graduate has a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)?
  • Students with a valid study permit including the condition allowing them to work can apply for an SIN. SIN applicants can begin work while waiting to receive the SIN.
  • As “temporary residents”, international students typically receive a “temporary” SIN beginning with the digit “9”, and with the same expiry date as their study permit.
  • As long as the student applies to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to extend their study permit before its expiry date, they have “implied” (or “maintained”) status, to continue working under the same conditions while waiting for IRCC’s decision. If IRCC extends their study permit, the student would submit that new document to Service Canada to update the SIN expiry date also.
Can an international student volunteer with our organization?
  • Yes! As long as it is “work” you would not typically pay or compensate any person for, volunteer experience is great for international students! Thank you!
  • However, if the “work” is part of a college Practicum or Co-op, to be used for college credit, the student must have a “co-op work permit” for Assiniboine, before undertaking any hours for credit. The fact of it being unpaid does not change this. See “Co-operative Education…” FAQ section above.
Will an international student or graduate have valid health insurance?
  • Active students (currently enrolled in a program at Assiniboine): will have both “primary care” (similar to Manitoba Health) and “extended” (dental/vision/prescriptions and other services) insurance. Students are required to enroll in and pay for both, to cover the duration of their college program at minimum. Both insurance packages will have coverage limits, of course.
  • Graduates: may or may not have valid insurance of either kind. Insurance will expire a few weeks to a few months after college program completion, depending on their program’s dates. Graduates are encouraged to buy private insurance coverage as soon as possible after graduation, to “bridge” them until they can receive Manitoba Health insurance. Graduates who receive a post-graduation work permit of at least 12 months can then use that permit to apply to Manitoba Health for coverage.

FAQs were prepared by Assiniboine’s Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor #S712187. Information is valid as of April 12, 2022, but could change without notice. Please check for updates on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website here.