Co-op Work Permit / Intern Work Permit



Many Canadian colleges and universities offer work experience as part of their curriculum. Foreign students who wish to participate in a co-op or internship program must apply for a work permit as well as a study permit.


To qualify for a Co-op Work Permit:

  • The student must have a valid study permit.
  • The intended employment must be essential to complete the program of study.
  • The program of study must be offered by a designated learning institution and be part of the academic, vocational, or professional training program offered.

Note: The student must apply prior to expiration of the study permit. Also, applicants are ineligible for this work permit if they are studying English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL), or they are studying general interest or preparatory courses. To be valid, internship or co-op employment cannot exceed 50% of the total program of study.



The student can work at a job that is related to their program of study and gain experience in a related field, while attending school while at the same time be compensated for their work experience. Additionally, this experience will also allow them to meet the curriculum requirements of their program of study. Once they have completed their studies, the student can apply for a Post-Grad Student Work Permit, to continue their work. This work experience can later be used to qualify for permanent residency such as Canadian Experience Class.


While everyone’s case and circumstances are different, there are some common traps, pitfalls, and misconceptions when it comes to applying under this program. Here are some general and common ones we have experienced and encountered throughout the years:

Not all programs have mandatory co-op, and it is only available through, with some common programs as part of an integral part of the learning process. This type of experience may be pivotal as a lot of times this can lead to some great experience or even a first Canadian job in your field if the placement goes well.

You can work off campus as a full-time student if you meet all the requirements. If you’re able to work during your studies, it’ll say so in the conditions on your study permit.

This does not always happen. When you apply and are issued your study permit, you should also ask for your work permit however sometimes the officer will not issue it. If so, you will need to apply for a co-op work permit afterwards.

There are no government fees to apply, and you pay $0.


We understand that information can be found on the Internet and there are lots of other consultants or lawyers out there, so things can certainly get confusing very quickly for you. However, our value is in our services and how can simplify a sometimes-complicated process while anticipating and proactively making this whole process easy for you, from the start to the end of your immigration journey. We will guide you and provide:

  • An affordable service with an individualized payment schedule to suit any budget
  • Comprehensive documents required for the process, including information and tips that can’t be found on the IRCC website
  • Personalized immigration advice and solutions that are tailored to your case
  • Collaboration with a licensed immigration consultant who will communicate and represent your case on your behalf
  • Support and Assistance through every stage of the process, from the application to the arrival in Canada.


A: It will depend on the officer as they are the ones who will issue the documents and the policies can vary. Normally this should be done in advance otherwise it can be very problematic to get this and keep yourself on track with your program, especially if there are slower processing times.

A: No, we can’t provide placements related to schools. You will need to ask your school for assistance with placements, however when we work with clients, we work to support them in many ways outside of their work permits

A: You will need to apply for an extension and explain that it is needed to complete your placement.

A: If there are any errors or incorrect information on the permit, you will need to apply for another permit asking for a correction.

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