Work Permit for Destitute Students in Canada

Work Permit for Destitute Students in CanadaFrancesco, an Italian citizen, entered Canada as an international student in 2019. While completing his studies, the novel coronavirus hit his country hard. Consequently, Francesco’s parents were not able to cover his expenses in Canada. In fact, their business went bankrupt. Unfortunately, Francesco’s younger brother died from coronavirus. As a result, Francesco is desperate to work full-time in Canada to be able to manage his daily expenses. He is, indeed, a destitute student who needs support from the Canadian government. 

Canadian colleges and universities are popular among international students. Consequently, thousands of students choose Canada to pursue their studies. If you are completing your post-secondary education in Canada, you could be eligible to work part-time to cover some of your expenses. However, what if everything goes wrong?

Who is a destitute student?

Destitute refers to someone who cannot pay for the necessities of her or his life. Furthermore, Canadian immigration authorities consider a student to be destitute for the following reasons:

  • The international student cannot pay the tuition fee and cover the necessary expenses of their life in Canada; and
  • the destituteness is due to a significant unforeseen event.

Some examples of significant unforeseen events could be:

  • Crash of the banking system
  • War
  • A pandemic disease that brings the economy to its knees (e.g. COVID-19)
  • Death or severe illness of family members who supported the student financially
  • Internal armed conflicts or riots

Of course, you need to prove that these events have affected you directly and caused destituteness.

What a destitute student can do?

If you are a destitute student, you may apply for an open work permit. If you receive the work permit, you may work full-time for any Canadian employer. Of course,  sometimes officers may impose conditions on your work permit. Nonetheless, the officers issue the work permit under the authority of subsection 208(a) of the Immigration Regulations and LMIA exemption code H81. You may consider reading the following articles for more information:

Destitute student work permit application

The work permit application looks like a regular work permit application. However, the good news is that under subsection 299(1)(d) of the Regulations, you are exempt from a processing fee. Also, if you need to give biometrics, paragraph 315.1(2)(h) of the Regulations exempts you from paying the biometrics fee. Regardless, you need to fill out the forms and submit convincing documents to justify the request.

A typical work permit of such nature will expire before the expiry of your study permit. In other words, the purpose of this work permit is to assist you in getting back on your feet and continuing your studies.

Word of advice for destitute students

If you are an eligible destitute student, consider negotiating with your school first. They may agree to waive your tuition fee or offer you a discount. Of course, if their help is not good enough, then you may consider applying for a work permit.

Do you need help?

If you need help in this matter or other immigration/visa matters, book an appointment with me. If you are an international student who needs help, please fill out the following form.

    Do you hold a valid study permit?

    Do you hold a valid work permit?

    How old are you? (required)

    Have you taken an English or French test?

    How knowledgeable are you in English or French languages (pick the language that you are more fluent)

    What is the highest level of studies you have completed outside Canada?

    Which level of studies have you completed inside Canada?

    Do you have accompanying family members (spouse, common-law partner, or dependant children)?

    Are you facing inadmissibility problems or a removal order?

    What do you expect to achieve?

    Additional information (optional but helpful)

    Please share more information to help us better assess you:

    Are you currently inside Canada?

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.