VCC International

Work Off-Campus

International students will have the opportunity to gain invaluable Canadian work experience and practical job skills. International students are eligible to work part-time up to 20 hours per week during their studies and full-time during program vacations and break provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Have a valid study permit
  • Are enrolled in full-time study in a VCC certificate, diploma or degree program that is at least six months in duration
  • Maintain satisfactory academic standing in their program of study

Important: International students in ESL programs are not eligible.

To learn more, visit the Immigration, Refugee & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.


Practicum/Co-Op Work Permit

Students in a program that requires completion of a practicum are required to have a practicum work permit before practicum placements. In this case, a practicum is an essential component of the program requirement which allows students to gain work experience in the industry. 

Students must apply for the work permit together with the study permit application if their VCC acceptance letters indicate that a practicum is required.

If students already have a study permit when applying to VCC, they must apply for the work permit well in advance. In order to apply for the practicum work permit, students are required to have a letter from VCC that confirms work placement. The letter will be issued during the program. VCC students may email ieservices@vcc.ca if there is any question about the practicum work permit requirement.

For more information about the Practicum Work Permit, visit the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.


Programs Requiring Practicum Work Permit

Refer to the following list of programs at VCC that require students to have a Practicum/Co-Op Work Permit.


Post-Graduation Work Permit

International students who graduate from VCC will be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) provided they:

  • Have completed full-time studies in a program of 8 months or more
  • Have completed and passed the program of study and received a notification that they are eligible to obtain their degree, diploma or certificate
  • Maintained full-time status as a student in Canada, with exception of scheduled breaks

Please visit our VCC Program Guide for a list of VCC programs that are eligible for the PGWP (page 6).

Important Notes: 

  • This is a once-in-a-lifetime work permit. Students should be selective about when to apply for it. Students completing a second certificate or diploma or completing a degree may decide to wait until after completing the full period of study before applying for the PGWP. 
  • Applications for a PGWP does not guarantee approval as it is up to the immigration officer to determine applicants' eligibility.
  • If you are graduating from VCC and are part of a cohort program, you will receive a completion letter by email after the Records office conducts your graduation audit (approximately 4-6 week processing time).  The letter is one of the documents required for the PGWP application.  If you are an insert student or university-transfer student, you will need to submit a graduation application.

For information about the Post-Graduation Work Permit, visit the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada and British Columbia Learn Live websites.


Social Insurance Number

A social insurance number (SIN) is required for anyone who works in Canada. The SIN must be provided to any employer within three days of starting employment.

For more information on how to apply for a SIN card, visit Service Canada.


Employment Standards

Fact sheets are available in a variety of languages to explain many aspects of the British Columbia Employment Standards Act and Regulations.


Income Tax

The Canada Revenue Agency offers an informative video series ‘International Students and Income Tax’ as well as a website that provides tax-related information for international students studying in Canada.


Medical Exams

In some cases, there may be restrictions on the type of job students can hold unless they complete and pass an immigration medical exam prior to submitting an application for any work permit (e.g. Co-op, Post-Graduation).  Examples of occupations include workers in the health services fields or teachers of children.

For complete details about the medical exam, jobs that require it, costs involved and finding a designated panel physician, visit Immigration, Refugee & Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) website.