Operational Bulletins 096 – February 3, 2009

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

National Roll-out of the Electronic Notification System (ENS) for the Off-Campus Work Permit Program (OCWPP)


The purpose of this bulletin is to provide guidance and information on the national roll-out of the Electronic Notification System (ENS) for the Off-Campus Work Permit Program (OCWPP). This national roll-out is the result of a successful pilot project that began in June 2008 with 16 post-secondary educational institutions. As of February 3, 2009, international students applying for an off-campus work permit will be required to use ENS in order to validate academic eligibility.


The OCWPP has been designed to allow full-time international students to work off campus after they have studied for at least six of the twelve months preceding their application for the off-campus work permit. To qualify, students must be in good academic standing at a participating publicly funded post-secondary educational institution or in an approved program at an eligible privately funded institution that has entered into an agreement with their province or territory and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The OCWPP allows for up to 20 hours of work per week during regular academic sessions and full-time work during scheduled breaks. Off-campus work permits are usually issued for the length of the student’s study permit and are processed by the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (CPC-V), Alberta.

A complete list of OCWPP participating post-secondary educational institutions can be found at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/institutions/

Electronic Notification System (ENS)

As of February 3, 2009, all students eligible under the OCWPP will be required to request an Eligibility Verification Number (EVN) confirming their eligibility for an off-campus work permit from their academic institution via ENS. ENS allows for a complete electronic academic verification of eligibility for the OCWPP and replaces two paper-based forms, the Off-Campus Work Permit Verification Form (IMM 5581) and the Student Acknowledgement and Consent Form (IMM 5582).

Under this new procedure, students must first submit their EVN request to their educational institution via ENS in order to validate their good academic standing and full-time status. The educational institution receives the EVN request through their ENS interface and processes the request. If approved, the student receives notification via email advising them to check their MyCIC account for messages. They can then apply through CPC-V for an off-campus work permit. The ENS interface for students can be found on CIC’s Client service web page: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/e-services/index.asp.

All participating institutions have received information on ENS, including contact information for trouble-shooting. Technical support will be provided by CIC’s Service Improvement Office.

CPC-V will continue to be the only processing centre for OCWPP applications; these applications will not be forwarded to local offices for a final determination. The process set in place under the ENS pilot project will continue to be used at CPC-V for OCWPP applications. Information from ENS will be downloaded into the CPC system for processing.

What has changed?

ENS eliminates IMM 5581 and IMM 5582 and requires clients to apply electronically for academic verification to confirm their eligibility under the OCWPP. Students who have had their verification form (IMM 5581) signed on or before February 2, 2009, will be able to use that form to apply for an off-campus work permit as it is valid for 60 calendar days. After April 4, 2009, CPC-V should no longer accept OCWPP applications with the IMM 5581 form. CPC-V should reject any OCWPP application submitted with this form after this date and return it to the client advising them to use ENS.

Clients will continue to have two options for submitting their OCWPP application: electronically via MyCIC, along with fees and attached supporting documents, which include their EVN; or by mailing their application to CPC-V with a printed proof of their EVN from their post-secondary institution along with any other supporting documentation and required fees.

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