Hire an International Student

International students and graduates make up a large portion of the University of Saskatchewan’s student body and bring unique characteristics and benefits to the hiring pool.

Hiring international students and graduates has become much easier in recent years. Hiring an international student is not too complicated or time-consuming to be worthwhile. It is important that employers do not overlook the benefits and potential that international students have to offer!

Why Hire an International Student?

The Government of Canada estimates that by 2015 45% of the working population will be between the ages of 45 and 64. There are also fewer young people entering the workforce to fill the gaps left by these retiring workers. Therefore, there will be a demand for skilled workers that cannot be filled by Canadians.

-Stephanie Hayne,
Experiential Learning Team Leader at Western University’s Student Success Centre

Hiring an international student or graduate can provide your organization with many benefits, including:

  • Diverse knowledge and skills that are not available in the local labour pool
  • International experience with a global perspective
  • A culturally diverse organization and a representative workforce
  • Ability to communicate in multiple languages
  • Ability to adapt to new environments and cultures
  • Additional knowledge and skills that Canadian students and graduates may not have, due to the international education and work experience that international students often possess
  • Ability to fill the demand for skilled workers that cannot be filled by Canadian graduates alone
  • "Domestic students want to work for forward thinking, diverse companies. Therefore, hiring international students and graduates can also have a positive impact on the domestic hiring process." - Hayne, Western University

The University of Saskatchewan Advantage

According to the University of Saskatchewan’s 2011 Enrolment Report, almost 30% of graduate students are international students, and 6.59% of undergraduate students in direct entry and open study programs are international. Many international students at the U of S are working toward degrees in:

“Diversity brings a wealth of knowledge”

- Manas Mambetsadykov,
International Graduate (2011) & International Undergraduate Admissions Officer, University of Saskatchewan
  • Engineering
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Business Economics
  • Computer Science
  • Graduate Programs, including Masters of Public Policy & Public Health

The U of S is also home to the Synchrotron, Veterinary Medicine program, and the Engineering Space Team, providing international students and graduates with unique opportunities and skills specific to our university.  The high percentage of international students in graduate programs also means that these individuals will possess specialized knowledge and areas of expertise at a Masters or PhD level.

How to Get Started

The SECC is your link to U of S students and graduates! We offer job posting services, interview space, information sessions (to create interest in a position or organization), briefing sessions (typically held for interview candidates), career fairs, and recruitment advice that can help you recruit both local and international students.

Most international students have very strong English skills. They have met the language proficiency requirements to study at the U of S. Most international students have strong reading and writing abilities, and have a strong knowledge of the English language.

If you are interested in hiring an international student or graduate, there are many ways to start the process and connect with qualified international candidates, including:

Host an Internship

Participating in an internship or co-operative education program is an excellent way to preview talent before hiring permanently.  The University of Saskatchewan offers several internship and co-op programs

Hold an Information Session

Target your company’s on-campus information session toward international students in order to meet with interested candidates.  See the SECC’s website for more information on information and briefing sessions.

Interview on Campus

Book interview space on campus through the SECC.

Hiring an International Student

A Labour Market Opinion (LMO) is not needed to hire a student or graduate. In contrast to hiring other categories of international workers, there is no need to go through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, obtain an LMO, or even to do any paperwork in order to hire a student or graduate.

International students are responsible for applying for their own work permit and Social Insurance number (temporary workers will have a SIN beginning with 9).

Current Student

 On CampusOff CampusCo-op/ Internship
Work Permit
(Employee to Obtain)
No work permit required; must be a full-time registered student and  have a valid study permit* Off-Campus Work Permit (employee must be  a full-time registered student to qualify) Coop/Internship Work Permit
(Employee must be a full-time student to qualify)
Restrictions None. Employee is permitted to work in any field; the job does not have to be related to their area of study Students can work part time (up to 20 hours per week) while attending school, and full time during summer and scheduled school breaks Work experience cannot be more than 50% of program of study.
Student must provide proof that work experience is a required component of the program of study
Employer Involvement Will be asked to provide a written offer of employment for SIN purposes**
sample employment contract
Must adhere to any restrictions listed on work permit (e.g. hours of work)/
Must ensure work permit is valid for duration of work term**
-Must ensure that work permit is valid for duration of work term
Timeline Student can start work immediately, as long as he/she has a valid study permit and is a registered full-time student Approximately 30 days to obtain work permit, if the student does not already have a permit
Permit is valid as long as the employee is a registered full-time student and maintains good academic standing
Student can work for the term specified by his/her program and co-op/internship work permit


Work Permit
(Employee to Obtain)
Post-Graduation Work Permit
Restrictions None. Employee is permitted to work in any field; the job does not have to be related to their area of study. This is an asset for Saskatchewan employers, because it results in an influx of graduates from other provinces and universities, allowing employers to attract international graduates from across Canada.
Employer Involvement In some cases the employer may be asked to provide a written offer of employment - sample employment contract.
The employer must ensure that work permit is valid for duration of work term.
Timeline Student must apply for a post-grad work permit within 90 days of program completion. Permit is valid for up to three years (permit length is dependent on length of post-secondary program). After six months of full-time work using a post-graduation work permit, the employee can apply for permanent residency through the student stream of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program SINP.

Note: Criteria are subject to change. Please visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada for the most up-to-date information (www.cic.gc.ca)

*On campus is defined as the employment facilities within the boundaries of the campus
a) Only allowed to work on the campus of the institution at which the student is registered
b) Students can work at different locations of a campus provided it is within the same municipality
c) If campuses are in different cities, the student is restricted to the campus where they are registered
**Implied Status:  “If a temporary resident applies for renewal of their work or study permit and their permit expires before a decision is made, R186(u) and R189 (the right to continue working or studying under the same conditions pending a determination of their application for renewal) apply only as long as the person remains in Canada"

Helpful Links


Student Testimonials

“I think hiring international students benefits the organization greatly, especially if the organization has international links… I also feel that it is very important for any organization to have a diverse staff, as diversity brings wealth of knowledge and a lot of fun to the office.”
Manas Mambetsadykov, Master of Public Policy (2011)
International Undergraduate Admissions Officer
University of Saskatchewan

“International employees help organizations to serve clients with similar backgrounds better and draw a much broader customer base. From my experience, I have introduced good clients who have the same background as me to my accounting firm. Both the partner and the clients have been really happy.”
Guobin Chen, Bachelor of Commerce (2007)
Senior Accountant, Breen & Associates Chartered Accountants

“Hiring a mix of students from almost all the continents brought in diversity and greater learning experience for the students and our employers. Irrespective of background or personal achievements, we learned to show mutual respect.”
Buchi Nwodo, Master of Public Health (2012)
Undergraduate Student Representative, University Advancement
University of Saskatchewan

“In my line of work, we have to deal with conflict within a variety of dynamics not the least of which is differences in culture. With the growing diversity in our province, this is an increasing nuance that needs to be understood and managed in almost every field. One of the advantages that an international student brings is an understanding of how to manage and be adaptable to such nuances.”
Itemobong Umoh, Business Economics (2007) & Law (2010)
Contract Mediator, Dispute Resolution Office
Ministry of Justice and Attorney General

“After going through at least four years of school and excelling, international students/workers have been well equipped to adapt to almost any job culture – and they are motivated to make it work and filled with teachable attitudes and a strong work ethic.”
Itemobong Umoh, Business Economics (2007) & Law (2010)
Contract Mediator, Dispute Resolution Office
Ministry of Justice and Attorney General

Employer Testimonials

International students “tend to be eager to work and learn as many of them will be staying as professionals in Canada and others wish to better understand the Canadian culture in order to help them when they return to their home country.  Personally, I find it a wonderful way to learn about other cultures, religions and peoples without actually travelling. It is also good for our Canadian students to be exposed to other cultures to open their minds even more to the diversity in the world, and increasingly, the diversity in our own country.”
Colleen Rempel, Annual Giving Coordinator
University Advancement, University of Saskatchewan

“As the City of Saskatoon moves into a new integrated approach of managing our growth and prosperity, we are utilizing the unique skills and perspectives of International students, who have become employees, to enhance our effectiveness, seize the opportunities and address the challenges that this growth brings our way.”
Jodi Fick-Dryka, Diversity Coordinator
City of Saskatoon

“We know companies seek talented people with knowledge and technical skills that can be applied to the function of the job. What makes a difference among these talented people is the set of attributes that are often overlooked such as self-motivation, perseverance, diverse perspective, commitment to learning, flexibility, adaptability to new environments and cultures. Upon graduation, international students have already demonstrated that they bring all these talents to the workplace – talents never stated on a job description.  We are a Global Community of Scotiabankers that enthusiastically embraces international students' global perspectives and their unique talents.”
Estela Colombo, Employment Brand
Global Employment Strategies, Scotiabank

“The [international students] that I have hired have not only been dependable but have taken their positions to a new level, so much so that others in my organization have taken notice and are constantly asking where I managed to find such bright and hardworking individuals.”
Philip Thorne, Events Coordinator
Huskie Athletics