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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Steps on How to Hire International Students and Interns

How to Hire International Students and Interns

International students and interns are enthusiastic about job and career opportunities with prospect employers. Luckily, in Canada, both international students and interns can work for an employer while they are here on a study permit. Therefore, for employers, this creates an opportunity to hire employees on a part-time basis while they are in school and full-time when they are on break. There are certain steps that you must take in order to ultimately hire an international student and/or an intern. In this article, I will explain and outline the steps needed from the employer to hire an international student and/or an intern as well as the steps that the student and/or intern needs to take.

Who is Eligible to Work as an International Student?

There are requirements that the students must abide by before they go seeking employment opportunities. It is very important that the employer is well-aware of these requirements as well. As long as the student holds a valid study permit in Canada, they may be eligible to work while they study. This begins as soon as they arrive and begin their designated study period. The students that apply to work must work for any applicable Canadian employer for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the regular study period. Additionally, they may also work for the employer on a full-time basis as long as it is during their scheduled break. This can be extremely beneficial for the student as this allows them to receive a higher income and it also benefits the employer as they can have access to a full-time employee temporarily.

As a student, you must meet some standard requirements before applying to work in Canada. The requirements are pretty straight forward; however, for those who are unaware of what is required, the list will be mentioned below.

In order to be eligible to work as a student in Canada, students must:

  • Obtain a valid study permit for full time study in Canada

  • Be enrolled at a post-secondary level designated learning institution

  • Study in an academic, vocational, or professional training program

  • Study in a program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate

  • Study in a program that is a minimum of 6 months long

If the student meets all of the aforementioned requirements, they must then apply for a Social Insurance Number. Without this piece of identification, they will not be able to work in Canada and would essentially work illegally if not obtained.

Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

Another option for international students is the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program is essentially an open work permit for students. The program is for international students who attended a Canadian school and completed a program of a minimum of eight months. The benefit of this specific work permit is that it allows international students to work for any eligible Canadian employer for a maximum of three years. The time period of employment is entirely dependent on the length of their study program.

Who is Eligible to Work as an Intern?

In contrast, in order to work in Canada as an intern, they must first go through the process of applying through the Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program. This program is extremely useful for employers and candidates alike. Specifically, it allows the employer to fill skilled labour shortages by hiring newcomers. Not all employers may be eligible to apply for this program either. The employers that are eligible to apply are employers in a federal government department, agency, organization or the private sector. They can only be located in or in proximity of Ottawa/Gatineau, St. John’s, Toronto, Victoria or Vancouver. The government is extremely explicit in who is allowed to apply within this program.

Additionally, they also look for interns within specific fields of work. The fields are administration, policy and research, project management, finance, and computer science, to name a few. If the intern does, in fact, qualify under one of these fields, then they must have necessary requirements to comply with. The correct candidate to be an intern must acquire the necessary language skills to work; had an assessment made by Immigrant-Serving Organizations (ISOs); if necessary, had taken a job-readiness training; and lastly, had an interview and evaluation made by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

At this point, if the intern has all of the previously mentioned requirements, then they are well on their way to beginning their designated placement. They will then be matched with appropriate mentors and offered training to help them acclimate to working conditions and environments in Canada. It is extremely beneficial for interns to attend professional development sessions to increase their work experience. Therefore, employers should encourage and support their interns to do so as much as possible.

Private Sector Employers

For private sector employers, they can also hire FIN interns. However, there is a distinction between private sector employers and federal partners. Specifically, for federal partners, they may only hire interns as casual employees.

In order to hire interns under the private sector, employers must abide by the set requirements. They must ensure that their workplace is endorses diversity, inclusion and employment equity. These factors must also be present during the hiring stage, as well. Private sector employers must also provide employment that correlates to the skills and experience of the qualified FIN intern. Lastly, the interns that they hire must directly work within the organization and not through any third party.

How to Hire Interns Through FIN Program

These will be the steps you need to take in order to hire an intern through the Federal Internship for Newcomers (FIN) Program. It is important to follow each step in order and review each step before proceeding to the next. You must first recognize and define positions that need to be filled with FIN interns within your organization. Once this is complete and you make a list, you can then apply and fill out the form completely, to the best of your ability. At this time, you will receive resumes from future interns; once you have reviewed them, compile a list of eligible interns. Moreover, you will then conduct interviews and select which candidates are suitable for your organization. Then you will check their references for assurance. After, when you have selected the interns you’d like to hire, you may write an offer. Specifically for federal partners, you will begin the security clearance process with your Human Resources department. Lastly, the selected interns that are now hired with your organization, will ultimately receive their paid salary.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you would like to employ an international student or an intern, it is essential for you to follow the steps listed above. This process can seem overwhelming and confusing for those who have never been through the process. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before proceeding with hiring. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients obtain employees that are international students and/or interns. If you need assistance, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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