What do I like best about OCAD? "The programs are so diverse and give you so much flexibility."
Can I give you piece of advice? "Don’t underestimate the work load. It’s a lot harder than you think, mentally and physically. Don’t be afraid to try new media and try all the different types of classes you can. Mix media!"
~ Aanchal M., Second-year Printmaking
If you are going to work in Canada, either on campus or off campus, you will need to apply to the government for a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Your employer cannot pay you until you have this number.
You can apply for a SIN card at a Service Canada office. The closest Service Canada office to OCAD is at City Hall at 100 Queen St. West. You will need to bring the following documents with you:
- Your passport
- If you are working on campus:
Your study permit and an employment contract or a letter of confirmation of employment from OCAD
- If you are working off campus:
Your off-campus work permit or post-graduation work permit
If you meet all of the requirements, you will receive your number on the same day and you will receive your SIN card in the mail within 10 business days. If you show your employer proof that you have applied for a SIN, you will be able to work while you are waiting for your card to arrive.
You can find more information on the Service Canada website.
Working on Campus
If you are registered as a full-time international student, you may work on campus at OCAD for as long as your study permit is valid. You do not need a work permit.
There are a limited number of on-campus jobs available for international students through the International Student Work Experience Program (ISWEP). ISWEP opportunities vary from year to year and are posted on the OCAD Job Board at the beginning of September.
Working off Campus
The Off-Campus Work Permit Program allows eligible international students to work off campus while studying at OCAD.You do not need to have a job offer before applying for the work permit.
The work permit gives you permission to work off campus but it does not guarantee that you will find a job. It is your responsibility to find a job.
Even if you work off-campus, your studies must remain your primary purpose for being in Canada.
If you receive an off-campus work permit, you may work off campus for up to 20 hours per week during the school year and up to 40 hours per week during scheduled school breaks and holidays.
To be eligible for an off-campus work permit, you must:
- have a valid study permit
- be in satisfactory academic standing (as determined by the Office of the Registrar at OCAD)
- have been a full-time student for at least 6 of the 12 months preceding your application for the work permit (verified by the Office of the Registrar at OCAD)
How to apply for an off-campus work permit:
- Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. Follow the Apply Online for My Off-Campus Work Permit link on the right-hand side of the screen. This will bring you to the Client Services page.
- On the Client Services page look for the section entitled: Use MyCIC to Apply Online for an Off-Campus Work Permit. Read this section and follow the link at the bottom. This link will take you to the CIC Secure Online Services page. Read the information on the page.
- If you have not already done so, you must apply for a Government of Canada e-pass. This can be done by following the Log in to MyCIC or register for a Government of Canada epass link on the right-hand side of the screen. This will bring you to the e-pass login and/or registration page.
- Registering for the e-pass requires you to create a unique user id. You must also provide recovery answers to help identify yourself if you forget your password. Finally, you must create a password and review the terms and conditions of the e-pass system. If you have accessed the e-pass system from the links above, you will be redirected back to MyCIC when you finish the process.
- You must provide an e-mail address and preferred language of service and click Save before you can continue. Note: Any changes to the e-mail address and preferred language section are only recorded if you click Update.
- Once this information is included, the What would you like to do today? section below the My Information section should provide a link to Request eligibility verification from my current educational institution (school).
- The questionnaire that follows helps determine if you are eligible to apply. Read the questions carefully and answer the questions accordingly. If you are eligible, and state that you do not have an Eligibility Verification Number, a request for initial eligibility verification form should open for you.
- Read the What to expect information before completing the request. Once the forms are completed electronically, the Office of the Registrar at OCAD will be notified. When they have verified your eligibility, a message will be found on your MyCIC account page. An e-mail should also be sent to the e-mail address you provided.
- Once your eligibility has been verified, you will find your Eligibility Verification Number in the message found on your MyCIC account page. You can click the Continue the Off-Campus Work Permit Process link to continue directly.
- You will be asked if you would like sections "pre-filled" based on information that Citizenship and Immigration Canada already has on record.
- Go through the remaining questions. If you decide to exit at any point, all responses submitted until that point will be saved. The next time you access your MyCIC account page and click on the Off-Campus Work Permit application you have in process, you will be brought to the last unanswered question.
- When all the required information has been completed, you will be asked to provide supporting documents. These can be scanned and attached to your application, or sent separately. You can also pay the $150 application fee online (if you have a valid credit card), or complete the payment separately.
- Submit the completed application form with the attached supporting documentation and proof of payment (or submit the supporting documents separately). It can take up to 4 weeks for your application to be processed.
Working after Graduation
The Post-Graduation Employment Program is designed to provide graduating international students with Canadian work experience. You may be eligible to work in Canada for up to 3 years after graduating.
The work permit that is issued is "open". This means that there are no restrictions on the type of employment and you do not need to have a job offer at the time you apply.
You must apply for the post-graduation work permit within 90 days of receiving official notification from OCAD that you have completed your degree requirements and have been approved to graduate. OCAD normally sends out official graduation notices in late May. Your study permit must still be valid at the time you apply for the work permit.
You can get further instructions and the application forms from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website or from the International Student Services Office at OCAD.
The current application fee is $150 and applications currently take approximately 20 business days to process.
How to Find Work
Career Services has resources specifically designed for artist and designers, focusing on activities students can engage in at each year level, including the first year, to align their academic, career, and life plans.
Information on specific employment options, Teacher Information Days, Graduate School Information Days, Graduate Fair Day, and resumé writing is also available.
To learn more, please visit Career Services or make an appointment with Tom Fairbairn, the Career Services Advisor.
Last Modified:1/24/2012 12:57:15 PM
Steve Kang welcomes new international students. Photo: Arslan Shahid.
For an insightful story on OCAD's International Student Services Office, please see OCAD GOES GLOBAL