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 meet all of the following conditions:
- You have a valid study permit.
- You are required to work in order 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.
- Your co-op placement or internship totals 50% or less of your study program.
Co-op work permits and off-campus work authorization
From November 15, 2022, to December 31, 2023, you may not need to apply for a co-op work permit. You don’t need a co-op work permit to complete your co-op placement if you meet all of the following conditions:
- You have a valid study permit and we received your application for this study permit on or before October 7, 2022.
- Your study permit shows that you’re authorized to work off campus.
- You’re eligible to benefit from the temporary policy change to work more than 20 hours per week while class is in session.
- Your co-op placement ends by December 31, 2023.
If your co-op placement ends after December 31, 2023, or if you aren’t eligible for the temporary policy change, you need to apply for a co-op work permit to cover the period after that date. You can begin your co-op placement during this period before you’re issued the permit. Any other employment you have won’t be affected.
Who's not eligible
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
Start your co-op placement from outside Canada
If you’re studying online from outside of Canada because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can still complete a co-op placement. You can start working even if your study permit and co-op work permit applications are still being processed.
If your school and employer agree, you can either
- accept a Canadian work placement and begin working remotely from your home country or
- work for a company in your home country
If you haven’t applied for a co-op work permit yet
You can’t submit a co-op work permit application separately from your study permit application if you’re applying from outside Canada.
If your study permit application is still being processed and you need a co-op work permit, you can use the web form to submit a new letter of acceptance that shows you’ve been accepted into a program with a mandatory work component.
If your study permit is already approved and you don’t have a co-op work permit to complete the mandatory work component of your program, you can still complete a co-op placement outside Canada. You cannot complete a co-op placement in Canada without a co-op work 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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