About working in British Columbia

Gain a unique experience while you are in British Columbia by working in your community.

Important: You must not work without permission - if you do, you may be asked to leave Canada.

General information

As an international student coming to Canada you must have enough money to live and pay your bills while you are studying without needing to work.

However, in some situations, you may be able to work during and/or after your studies to gain experience in Canadian work settings; help you get to know your community; and earn extra money.

Social insurance number

Anyone working in Canada requires a social insurance number (SIN). Without a SIN, an employer cannot legally pay an employee.

You must apply for a SIN from Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD). Apply in person at a Service Canada office for the card and allow several weeks for processing. A SIN card, which will expire at the same time as your work permit, will be issued.

You must show the card, or proof that you have applied for the card, within three days of the start date of your employment, and you may work during the waiting period.

Income deductions

Once you start a job and are paid a salary, income tax will be deducted from your paycheque. There are also standard deductions taken for employment insurance (EI) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

For information on income taxes and employment insurance, visit the Canada Revenue Agency. For information on the Canada Pension Plan visit Human Resources and Social Development Canada.

Work permits

In most cases a work permit will be required if you wish to work during and/or after your studies.

For more information see:

Employment Safety, Rights and Responsibilities

The B.C. Employment Standards Branch administers the Employment Standards Act and Regulation, which set minimum standards for wages and working conditions in most workplaces. Learn more about who this applies to, answers to common questions and general information and forms.

Complaint Process: Steps to take when you have an Employment Standards problem.

Workplace Rights: Employees in Canada are protected by laws and regulations. Employers have obligations to their employees on topics such as pay, hours of work and safety.