CANADIAN VISA | How to study and work through a Community College

Hey there, honeybees!

A lot of you sent me emails about this and you all know that here at Jess in Montréal your wish is my comand! <3

As we all know, getting a work permit in this cold weather country might be also a cold hearted path: the Co-Op program VISA, the one used by many language schools to allow students to work while they study french or english, was banned on June 1st. You can see all the changes right here, but the saddest and most important of them all is this one:

Yes, my friends. The golden times where you would work in Canada by easily enrrolling yourself in any language school are over.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Jess in Montréal is a believer. So let’s take a look on a less easy yet door oppening way of  bringing our cute little butts all the way to the Great White North :) Because, Mister Canada, we just won’t take no for an answer.

Note that i’m gonna give you guys some INITIAL information to get you going. It’s a lot of details, and it would become a book instead of a post if I put everything here. Haha i will slowly cover everything you need to know though. since i’m doing the research for myself too. ;)

Are you ready?
So dry your sad eyes, take a deep breath, and lets bring hope back to your desperate little hearts.


So, according to Government of Canada, through the Off-Campus Work Permit Program you can work part-time during regular academic sessions (20 hours per week) and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as winter and summer holidays, and spring break. You can work in any occupation, and you can change employers whenever you like.

To qualify for the program, you must have a valid study permit and be a full-time student at a recognized postsecondary educational institution. Recognized institutions generally include a public, post-secondary college or university, a CEGEP in Quebec and degree-granting programs offered by private institutions.

Well, you can pick any institution above, but Community Colleges tend to be less expensive. Remember little darlings: non-canadians pay two or even three times more for education.

According to Canada, about the Work Permit:

New rules that take effect on June 1, 2014, make it easier for study permit holders to work off campus. Full-time students pursuing an academic, professional or vocational training program at a designated learning institution will be:

  • eligible to work off campus without a work permit;
  • allowed to work off campus for up to 20 hours per week during a regular academic session and full time during regularly scheduled breaks; and
  • able to work off campus immediately rather than waiting six months.

So, to build up our new roadmap to the Maple Syrup Land – even with all these obstacles – let’s take a look on this step by step list.


To get started, I went through these three colleges to get the main idea. You can take a look on the Montreal college list here if you want to go deeper on the matter.

list of courses fee international student  minimum score (language test) requirements for foreign students
COLLEGE   average year / semester list all fees IELTS TOEFL¹
Dawson #01 $5,381.00-$8,341.00 semester $$$ 6.0 61 / 175 / 500 \o/
Marianopolis #02 $4,975 (+ 6,112) year $$$ 6.5 90 / 233 / 577 \o/
Vanier #03 $5,381-$8,341 year² $$$ 6.5 80 / 213 / 550 \o/

¹Internet based / Computer based / Paper based
²According to a friend of mine, some colleges get help from the government and because of that they get less expensive. I sent an email to them to confirm, and will update as soon as possible, but it looks like it’s the yearly cost.

²The average is normally 6.0 or 6.5 for IELTS. Couldn’t find the TOEFL one for LaSalle!
³LaSalle is one of the most expensive ones according to a friend. It’s also really confusing to find the correct prices!

Shout out to all my advertising fellow professionals planning on a change of airs: these are a few courses that i thought it matched our field. I put two from LaSalle, which i didn’t put on the sheet above because it’s really confusing to understand the prices and etc. But it’s worth taking a look on if you’re in advertising and want to study in Canada!

Interactive Media Arts
(Take a look on the complete brochure here)

Media Communication and Publicity Course
(Take a look on the complete brochure here)

E-Commerce Retail Specialist
(Take a look on the complete brochure here)

Communications: Art, Media, Theatre


Whatever the course you like, pay attention to:
1. the deadline you have to send your admission. It’s a different date for foreign students, and it also changes depending on your status in Canada. At Dawnson, if you are a foreign student, you can only apply duo March 1st for their fall semester, for example. It changes from college to college, so make sure it matches your plans.

2. the IELTS/TOEFL score you need to get. Also, coordinate the dates between taking the test,  getting the results and aplying to the college. It would be smart to plan yourself in a way that you’ll get time to take the test a second time if you fail the first.

3. the address of your college/campus. Try to keep the neighborhood in mind, you’ll want to live close to it. If you don’t care now, i’m sure you’ll care under -30 degrees.

4. the extra fees you have by being non-canadian. Theres a lot of them, depending on the college. They go from $30 to $200.

6. that damn CAQ.  if you’re coming to Canada, you’ll need a CAQ (Certification of Acceptance of Quebec). That document takes extra time, and you might consider adding extra 2 or 3 months on your schedule. You’ll need this document BEFORE applying to your visa.


Wow, that was a lot more work than I expected.
Hopefully I could get some of you on track to find your way to our Beloved Montreal. :)

So get your hipster nerdy glasses on, start your homework and let’s get this red-plastic-cup house party started!

Ah, the student life.
I can already taste the morning hangover.

See you there, College Student Bitches!


6 comentários sobre “CANADIAN VISA | How to study and work through a Community College

  1. Olá, Jess. Tudo bem? Você estudou em algum desses colleges? Estou procurando cursos na área de marketing, mas assim como a Nanda falou, desconfio um pouco das agências por conta da comissão. Queria saber como eles são vistos no mercado de trabalho e se são bem aceitos.

    Muito obrigada desde já!

    *Obrigada por ter contribuído (e muito) para as minhas noites de sexta e sábado com a sua lista de bares enquanto eu estava na cidade. :p

  2. Oi Jess tudo bem?
    Sou carioca e estou muitooo em dúvida se vou pra Vanier ou La Salle estudar Insurance and Fincancial Advisory ou se devo fazer um MBA em McGill.

    Não encontrei brasileiros que tem ido pra nenhuma dessas 3 e vi no seu blog vc mencionando uma amiga/amigo…

    Aqui no Brasil, pra piorar, nenhuma agência indica ir pra McGill pq eles não ganham comissão das universidades, só das colleges que eles tem parceria.

    Vc sabe com que eu poderia pedir uma opinião rápida please?

    Só queria saber se algum brasileiro conseguiu imigrar depois de cursar essas 3 e como é o job market :) thanks!

  3. Nossa, seu post era tudo o que eu precisava ler! Uma dúvida que ainda ronda minha cabeça é, em relação ao Frances, isso influência em alguma coisa?

    Obrigada :D

    • Andressa querida!
      Esses colleges que eu coloquei ali acho que são todos anglófonos, então não tem problema não. :) Montreal é uma cidade que não vai te judiar muito se você não falar francês. Eu mesma demorei meses pra começar a usar (e por opção) e tenho um amigo canadense por sinal NASCIDO E CRIADO em Montréal que tem o francês pior que o meu, acredite se quiser. Hahaha é só prestar atenção à orientação da escola!

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