Financial Resources for International Students

New Students

  • Opening a Bank Account
  • Budgeting your Money

Current Students

  • On-Campus Work
  • Off-Campus Work
  • Co-Op Work Permit
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Individual Tax Number (ITN)
  • Taxes
  • International Student Financial Assistance
  • International Student Scholarships, Awards, Grants and Bursaries
  • Financial Related Resources for International Students in Crisis
  • Making a Fee Payment Outside of Canada
  • Late Fees on ACORN
  • Financial Advising

Transitioning Out

  • Credit Scores in Canada
  • Building a Credit Score
  • Why is credit important?

New Students

Opening a Bank Account

  • The following banks are located close to UTM: Bank of Montreal (BMO), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), TD Canada Trust and Scotia Bank.
  • Research the products and services offered by different banks. E.g. ask about accounts that offer lower service fees for students.
  • Bring two pieces of identification with you if you choose to open a bank account (e.g. passport, study permit, driver’s license, etc.).
  • When you open an account, the bank will issue you a debit card. Your debit card can be used in bank machines around the city, and is protected with a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Charges to debit cards are deducted from your account immediately, unlike a credit card.
  • For more information on banking for newcomers to Canada - http://www.cba.ca/newcomers-to-canada

Budgeting your Money

  • Build a budget for your year by understanding your school related costs and what your related expenses are.
  • Knowing as many of your actual costs will provide the foundation to build a more solid financial plan.
  • Consider how much it will cost to live in the GTA. For example, if you are staying on campus, you’ll need to cover residence fees and a meal plan. If you’re living off campus, you’ll want to think about rent, groceries and utilities.
  • Make sure you also allow for personal expenses such as cell phone bill and entertainment.
  • Three main costs you need to consider:
    • Tuition fees – vary by program of study, year of entry and registration status;
    • Incidental fees – compulsory non-academic fees;
    • Living and studying costs – rent, food, textbooks.
  • For more information on financial planning, try our Financial Planning Calculator - https://planningcalc.utoronto.ca/financialPlanner/

Current Students

On-Campus Work

  • What is considered on campus work? Any job that is located within the boundaries of the campus. The employer can be the university (library, bookstore, athletic centre) or a private business located on campus (Starbucks).
  • Per the current immigration regulations, an international student is eligible to work on campus without a work permit if:
    • Has a valid study permit;
    • Is enrolled full-time;
    • Has a valid SIN.
  • You must stop working on-campus on the day you no longer meet the above eligibility requirements.
  • How many hours can you work on campus per week? Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not limit the number of hours students are permitted to work on campus as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Benefits of working on campus: By working on campus, you can expand your social and professional networks, be more involved in the campus community and enhance your learning through workplace experiences in an academic setting.

Off-Campus Work

  • Off-campus work allows eligible international students to work off-campus while completing their UofT studies.
  • Per the current immigration regulations, an international students is eligible to work off campus without a work permit if:
    • Hold a valid study permit;
    • Are enrolled as a full-time student in a degree program (exception: when you are in the last term of your final year of study, you can work even if you are studying part-time);
    • Your program of study is at least 6 months or more in duration and one that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.
  • You must stop working off-campus on the day you no longer meet the above eligibility requirements.
  • You are NOT eligible to work off campus if:
    • You are a visiting or exchange student;
    • You are registered in a general interest program or a non-degree program;
    • You are registered in an English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program.
  • If you are eligible to work off campus, you may work up to 20 hours per week during the regular academic year and full time during scheduled breaks (e.g. winter/summer holidays, reading week) if you hold full-time status during the academic term prior to, and subsequent to, the academic break.

Co-Op Work Permit

  • You are eligible to apply for a co-op work permit if the work experience is for credit and a required component of your program of study.
  • This work permit allows you to work full time on or off campus during school terms while enrolled in a co-op work program.
  • You cannot use a co-op work permit to work outside of your co-op term even if the permit is still valid.
  • To be eligible for this work permit you must:
    • Have a valid study permit;
    • Get a letter from your faculty indicating that employment is an integral part of your degree program.

Post-Graduation Work Permit

  • A post-graduation work permit is a document that gives you permission to remain in Canada as a worker and work full time for up to three years after you graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution.
  • Most international students who graduate from the University of Toronto are eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit with a validity of up to 3 years (depending on the length of the student’s program of study).
  • If the official length of your program of study is:
    • Less than 8 months – not eligible for this work permit;
    • More than 8 months and up to 2 years – may get a work permit for a period no longer than the length of your program of study;
    • Two years or more – a work permit may be issued for up to 3 years.
  • To be eligible you must:
    • Have continuously studied full-time in Canada and you must provide proof of completion of your program;
    • Apply within the 90-day period since your notification from the University that you have completed your course requirements (90-day period starts from the date you receive your final grades, not the date of your convocation);
    • Have a valid study permit at the time of application;
    • Have not previously been issued a post-graduation work permit (may only apply for this work permit once).

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

  • A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9-digit number that you need to work and be paid in Canada and access government programs and benefits.
  • No fee for getting your SIN.
  • Will expire at the same time as your Study Permit or Work Permit.
  • To get a SIN using your study permit, it must include one of the following statements:
  • If your study permit has one of the above mentioned statements, you will need to take your passport and study permit to Service Canada to apply for your SIN (the closest Service Canada to campus is at Glen Erin and Dundas).
  • If your study permit does not have any of the above statements, you need to apply for an amendment to your study permit before you can apply for a SIN. Please bring your study permit and passport to the IEC (DV2071) and speak with our Immigration Advisor. 
  • See https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/sin/before-applying.html for more information on how to apply for a SIN

Individual Tax Number (ITN)

  • An Individual Tax Number (ITN) is a unique number that Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) uses to identify you for tax purposes if you aren’t eligible for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) (e.g. because you don’t have a study permit allowing you to work).
  • If you are an international student not eligible for a SIN, you need to get an ITN if:
    • You received a scholarship or award from UofT;
    • You want to file a Canadian tax return.
  • It usually takes CRA 4-6 weeks to process ITN so apply EARLY!
  • See http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t1261/README.html for the application form.

Taxes

International Student Financial Assistance

  • The University of Toronto is a publically-funded institution and because of that cannot offer financial aid to international students. If you are an international applicant, you should find out about your home country’s financial aid programs to see if you qualify for assistance. 

International Student Scholarships, Awards, Grants and Bursaries

Financial Related Resources for International Students in Crisis

  • Undergraduate Grants:
  • UTMSU International Students’ Bursary:
    • The International Students’ Bursary is designed to assist registered, undergraduate, international students who have proven they are in financial need, in meeting the high cost of financing their post-secondary education.
    • This bursary is based solely on financial need.
    • Students must complete the application form in its entirety and this information will be used to determine eligibility.
    • Visit http://utmsu.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/6.-International-Students-Bursary-Winter2017.pdf for the application form.
  • UTM Food Centre:
    • The Food Centre is a place that provides access to good food for all students who are food insecure.
    • The UTM Food Centre provides perishable/canned food as well as produce/fresh food to all members.
    • Membership process is simple and does not involve any qualification tests or financial checks.
    • Hours of operation:
      • Monday from 9:00am-12:00pm
      • Tuesday from 8:00am-10:00am
      • Wednesday from 1:00pm-4:00pm
      • Thursday from 1:00pm-4:00pm
      • Friday from 9:00am-2:00pm
      • Closed Saturday & Sunday
    • For more information - http://utmorientation.ca/utmfoodcentre.co/#about
  • Newcomer Centre of Peel:
    • Newcomer Centre of Peel assists individuals or families in achieving settlement and integration within the Region of Peel.
    • The Labor Market Access for Newcomers program (LMANC) provides newcomers with the required assistance to find employment that matches their skills and education.
    • For more information - http://www.ncpeel.ca/

Making a Fee Payment Outside of Canada

Late Fees on ACORN

Financial Advising

Transitioning Out

Credit Scores in Canada

Building a Credit Score

  • Pay your bills on time, in full-balance to avoid interest charges.
  • Keep balances low on credit cards.
  • Avoid credit-seeking behavior.
  • Don't have multiple credit cards.

Why is credit important?

  • Your credit rating is your financial reputation – having good credit is important!
  • Your credit history determines what loans you will qualify for and the interest rate you will pay.