Financial Resources for International Students

New Students

Current Students

Transitioning Out

Financial Roadmap for International Students

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, click here

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:

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 180-day period since your notification from the University that you have completed your course requirements (180-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 you have met the requirements to graduate;
    • If you apply in Canada you must 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).


  • If you are working in Canada, you will already have a SIN and will likely be required to submit an income tax return. In this case, report your SIN to the University as requested so the tax slips created by the University include your SIN.

    If you plan to file a tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), please update your SIN/ITN on ACORN under profile and settings. For 2020 T2202 and/or T4a, please update this by January 31, 2021. If you report your SIN/INT on ACORN after January, 31, 2021, wait until the University has updated your SIN or ITN on your T2202/T4A tax slips before filing a 2020 income tax return.

    If you are NOT planning to file a tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency, you do not need to update the SIN/ITN on ACORN at this time.

    If you are awaiting a SIN/ITN or will apply for one in the future, please update the SIN/ITN on ACORN profile and settings when you receive it. Once ACORN is updated with your SIN/ITN, your T2202 and/or T4a tax forms will be updated.

    The $100 penalty for failure to provide a SIN applies to individuals who reside or are employed in Canada and have received a request to provide the information.

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

  • A Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9-digit number that you need to work and be paid in Canada as well as access certain government programs and benefits.
  • There is no fee for getting your SIN.
  • Note that your SIN will expire at the same time as your Study Permit or Work Permit.
  • If you are an international student residing in Canada but are not eligible for a SIN, you can apply for an ITN if you are required to file an income tax return. See details below.
  • To apply for a SIN you must have the following:
  • If you have residency status in Canada and your study permit has one of the above mentioned statements, you can apply for a SIN online or at a Service Canada once in-country
    • The closest Service Canada to campus is at Glen Erin and Dundas. You will need to take your passport and study permit to Service Canada to apply for your SIN.
  • 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 contact us should you need support with this process.
  • Click here 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!
  • Click here for the application form.


Please be aware of CRA Scams. Click here to learn how to protect yourself against fraud.

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:
    • While all international students need to have adequate resources for their studies, this type of assistance is designed to address unforeseen financial difficulties.
    • May apply ONLY if there are documented extenuating circumstances.
  • 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 here 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.
  • 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.

Making a Fee Payment Outside of Canada

  • Western Union GlobalPay is available to students from outside of Canada who wish to make a Canadian dollar payment in the currency of choice at a local bank.
  • Payments must be accompanied by the student’s name and account number in order to avoid delays in payment processing.
  • Click here for more information.

Late Fees on ACORN

  • International students who do not pay fees on time are subject to the same outcomes as domestic students.
  • Fees that remain unpaid by the UofT published deadlines will incur a monthly service charge of 1.5% compounded.
  • Students with outstanding financial obligations to the University must pay their fees in full before registering in the next academic session.
  • Click here for more information on your financial account. 

Financial Advising

  • Financial Aid Advisors in the Office of the Registrar can answer questions about OSAP (appeals, probation, restriction), grants/bursaries, scholarships, financial planning.
  • Offer appointments on a walk-in basis Monday-Friday during regular business hours.

Transitioning Out

Credit Scores in Canada

  • According to the Government of Canada, Office of Consumer Affairs, “your credit score is a judgment about your financial health. It indicates the risk you represent for lenders.”
  • Click here for more information.

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.