Work as a co-op student or intern
Some study programs include work experience as part of their curriculum. You can apply for a co-op or intern work permit if:
- you have a valid study permit
- work is required to complete your study program in Canada
- you have a letter from your school that confirms all students in your program need to complete work placements to get their degree, and
- your co-op placement or internship totals 50% or less of your study program
You aren’t eligible for a co-op work permit if you’re taking one of the following:
- English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL),
- general interest courses, or
- courses to prepare for another study program.
If you’re not eligible for a co-op work permit, but you want to work in Canada, you need to apply for a work permit.
How to apply
How you apply for a co-op work permit depends on if you already applied for your study permit or not. Answer a few questions to get your instructions.
How applying online helps you
- No courier fees or mail delivery time – we get your application instantly.
- Your applications may be processed more quickly.
- It helps you make sure your application is complete before you submit it.
- You can quickly submit more documents online (if we ask you to).
- You get updates on the status of your application directly in your online account.
Apply online for your co-op work permit
In most cases, you must apply online for your co-op work permit.
Step 1: Make sure you have what you need
To apply online, you’ll need:
- a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, and
- a valid credit or debit card.
Step 2: Read the instruction guide
Even if you apply online, you should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.
Step 3: Prepare your answers for the online tool
Before you can upload your forms, you must answer some questions. We use your answers to create a personalized document checklist for you.
Step 4: Know the fees you have to pay
You don’t have to pay any fees to get a co-op work permit.
Step 5: Create your online account or sign in
You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to:
- pay your fees
- submit your application
- check your status
If you can’t apply online
You can submit a paper application if either:
- you can’t apply online because of a disability
- there’s a problem with the online application
Apply for your co-op work permit from outside Canada
If you already applied for your study permit, but haven’t yet travelled to Canada, you need to apply for an open work permit. An open work permit will let you complete the work placement you need to graduate.
If you apply for your open work permit from outside Canada, and you arrive in Canada before we process it, you may need to return to a port of entry to get it. It’s best to apply for your work permit with your study permit.
Apply with your study permit
If you haven’t already applied for your study permit, you can apply for your co-op work permit at the same time.
Your acceptance letter from your designated learning institution must confirm that a co-op or internship placement is part of your program’s curriculum. You can then apply for a study permit and we’ll process your co-op work permit with your study permit application.
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