Students and Working in Canada during COVID-19

students and working in canada during covid19

Students with authorization to work

You can continue to work even if COVID-19 has forced you to become a part-time student or take a break in studies if you were:

  • a full-time student, and
  • authorized to work on or off campus while you studied

If you’re working off campus, you can work up to 20 hours per week during an academic session. You can work full time during scheduled breaks in the academic year.


International students working in an essential service or function

You’re temporarily allowed to work more than 20 hours per week if you’re

  • a study permit holder in an academic session
  • eligible to work off campus
  • providing an essential service or function

This change is in effect until August 31, 2020.


Canada’s National Strategy for Critical Infrastructure defines critical infrastructure as the processes, systems, facilities, technologies, networks, assets, and services essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians and the effective functioning of government. The Strategy classifies critical infrastructure in Canada according to ten sectors:

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Finance/Banking
  • Health
  • Food/Restaurant
  • Water
  • Transportation
  • Safety
  • Government
  • Manufacturing

Click here to find out if your work is considered an essential service or function.


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