Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Government of Alberta

Government of Alberta

September 12, 2007 16:40 ET

Canada's New Government Extends Off-Campus Work Program for International Students to Private Institutions

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2007) - Parliamentary Secretary Ed Komarnicki, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and the Honourable Doug Horner, Minister of Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, today announced the implementation of a pilot project that expands the Off-Campus Work Permit Program for international students to include private institutions in Alberta. As a result of this project, international students studying at select private institutions and enrolled in specific qualifying programs in Alberta are now eligible to apply for off-campus work permits.

These institutions are Ambrose University College, Canadian University College, Concordia University College of Alberta, St. Mary's University College, Taylor University College and Seminary, and The King's University College. Previously, only international students at public universities and colleges were able to apply to the Program.

"Canada's New Government is committed to helping all newcomers to Canada, including those who are here to study," said Parliamentary Secretary Ed Komarnicki. "This pilot will allow more international students studying in Canada to work off-campus, to contribute to our economy, and to gain Canadian work experience."

"The expansion of the Off-Campus Work Permit Program provides more international students with an opportunity to participate in one of the most robust labour markets in Canada," said Minister Horner. "I am confident that their experiences will convince many of them to establish careers in Alberta following graduation."

"The Off-Campus Work Permit Program is of tremendous importance to all international students currently enrolled at Concordia," said Dr. Gerald Krispin, President of Concordia University College of Alberta. "This program provides significant work and career opportunities that will benefit both the students themselves and the Canadian economy, to which they can now contribute."

The pilot project is being implemented on a province-by-province basis. Following extensive consultations, the Government of Canada and the Province of Alberta have agreed to implement the project for only those programs and institutions that offer degrees recognized or authorized by the Province of Alberta. The Government of Canada is currently discussing the implementation of pilots with other interested provinces.

For information about the Off-Campus Work Permit Program, please visit the CIC Web site at:



The Off-Campus Work Permit Program was launched nationally as a formalized program on April 27, 2006, for international students at public institutions following a pilot program introduced in 2003. In the last four years, over 8,300 international students have already benefited from the initiative. Prior to the introduction of this program, these students were only allowed to work on the campus of the educational institution at which they were studying.

Alberta public institutions already participating in the program include Alberta College of Art and Design, Bow Valley College, Grande Prairie Regional College, Grant MacEwan College, Keyano College, Lethbridge Community College, Medicine Hat College, Mount Royal College, NorQuest College, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Olds College, Portage College, Red Deer College, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and University of Lethbridge.

The new pilot project will extend the program to international students at select private institutions and enrolled in qualifying programs at Ambrose University College, Canadian University College, Concordia University College of Alberta, St. Mary's University College, Taylor University College and Seminary, and The King's University College. As a result, students who qualify for the program will be able to work up to 20 hours a week off-campus while classes are in session and full-time during summer and winter breaks and over their reading weeks.

To qualify for an off-campus work permit, international students must:

- hold a valid study permit;

- have studied full-time for at least 6 months out of the previous 12 months in an eligible institution and in a qualifying program that leads to a degree;

- have signed a consent form authorizing the exchange of their personal information between the participating institution, the province of Alberta, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada;

- have satisfactory academic standing in their qualifying program of study at the time of their application for a work permit and have maintained satisfactory academic standing during the 6 months of full-time study out of the previous 12 months and since their application for a work permit;

- continue to fulfil the terms and conditions of their study permit and work permit, as applicable; and

- continue to meet the above eligibility requirements while participating in the program.

Contact Information

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Minister's Office
    Tim Vail
    Press Secretary
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada
    Marina Wilson
    Spokesperson, Media Relations
    Communications Branch
    Alberta Advanced Education and Technology
    Earl McKenzie
    Public Affairs Officer