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Study and work in Canada… what you need

By Vera Samuel Anyagafu

NIGERIAN students wishing to work while studying in Canada without a work permit are advised to ensure that they possess a valid study permit. It is also necessary that they do not get employed beyond the campus where they are registered as full-time students in a degree-granting course of study. It is permissible, however, to become either an employee of your educational institution or a private business employee, but mandatory that your work place must be located on the campus premise.

In pursuant of your work permit on campus, ensure that an officer at your port of entry to Canada indicates on your study permit thus: “May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which the holder is registered in full-time studies.” The above indication is imperative to enable the regulating authority recognize your intention as a migrant, and one who is eligible for ‘on campus employment.’ In other words, if you are not interested in work and study routine, you may not need such statement indicated on your study permit.

Graduate or teaching assistants: Only in accordance with the terms and conditions applicable for ‘working on campus’, would graduates who are interested in being employed as graduate assistants or Teaching assistants be allowed to take up an employment without a work permit.

Same classified applicants could also be permitted to work at an off campus facility without a work permit if they have a valid study permit for Canada, and if work nature is in relation to their grant. Applicants also have an edge if the off campus facility, whether a research institute, teaching hospital, or library has a formal association or affiliation with the university or college where they are studying, and the offered work is directed by a department head or a faculty member.

Foreign healthcare students: Foreign healthcare students that are not enrolled in a university or other educational establishment in Canada may do a clinical clerkship or medical elective at a Canadian medical teaching institution, and do not require a work permit or a study permit if their main purpose of the work is to acquire training.

But you require a work permit, which in the case herein, a must for foreign students in residency, extern or fellowship positions in Canadian clinical settings. As a rule, all healthcare students who intend to study or work temporarily in Canada must undergo a medical examination to ascertain that they have no health challenges.

Procedures for non-work permit: Those who do not need a work permit are promptly advised to follow the procedures below in order to obtain the medical examination form and instruction, and should not make use of the work permit application kit and document checklist as these are not designed for them and may delay processing.

Prior to your intended trip, you must have determined whether you need a temporary resident (visitor) visa and if your country is among countries or territories whose citizens require a temporary resident visa to enter Canada.

Having affirmed that you require a temporary resident visa, you may go ahead to find out how to apply at Visiting Canada section, and in addition to the requirements listed there, you can then send in an approval letter from the relevant professional regulatory body in Canada. The letter must come on headed notepaper from the Canadian medical institution you intend to visit, confirming its acceptance for the period the training will last, and there would be no acceptance of e-mails.

Those who do not require temporary resident visa are advised to submit application form with the title “Application for a Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside of Canada.” In this case, even if you do not require a temporary resident visa, it is mandatory for you to fill in the form so as to enable the embassy/medical institution issue you medical instructions to avoid unnecessary misconception.

In a situation where all the required information has been submitted, the medical examination form would be sent to you to enable you book your medical examination with a panel physician. Applicants should be aware that the processing times are the same as for work permit applications where medical examinations are required.

Co-op and internship students: For some Canadian academic programs, work experience is part of the curriculum, in other words, foreign students enrolled in a school in Canada who wish to participate in a co-op or internship program need both a study permit and a work permit.


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