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Co-op work permit

A co-op work permit is a mandatory document for international students during your co-op/internship/placement/practicum period. The co-op work permit is only for work required by your academic program to complete your degree. 

If you are an international student in a program requiring experiential learning, such as a co-op, internship, practicum or placement, you will require a co-op work permit. A co-op work permit is not the same as a study permit and cannot be used in lieu of a study permit. You are responsible for keeping the original co-op work permit and ensuring it is valid. 

CO-OP and internship opportunities

Co-op work permit application

  • How do I apply for a co-op work permit?

    You can apply online through your IRCC secure account on the Immigrations, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. It is highly recommended to apply for your co-op work permit once you are accepted to a co-op program in your Offer of Admission or approved by your program/faculty to be part of the co-op program. Do not wait until you have a job offer. You must have your co-op work permit prior to starting your work term. 

    You can apply for your co-op work permit during one of the following times:

    • With your initial study permit application.
      • You can use your offer of admission letter as long as it’s valid and it states, internship/work practicum: yes or the specific hours. 
    • With your study permit extension application.
    • Separate co-op work permit application.
  • Do I need to complete a medical exam to get my work permit?
    You may need to complete a medical exam to get a work permit if you wish to work in a job where it is important to protect public health (such as health services, child care, or primary or secondary education), or if you will be working in an agricultural job and you have lived in a designated country or territory. A list of occupations that require a medical exam can be found on the IRCC website. You must see a physician on Canada’s list of Panel Physicians on the IRCC website to complete your medical exam.

Frequently asked questions

Temporary Changes

  • Can I work while submitting my co-op work permit application?

    Outside Canada

    If you are outside of Canada, you can work while your study permit and co-op work permit are being processed. If your faculty 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 

    Inside Canada

    If you are already in Canada and have applied for a co-op work permit, you may begin your co-op placement using your on-campus and off-campus work authorization, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements. 

    There is no limit on work hours for on-campus work. For off-campus work, you can work a total of 20 hours per week during an academic term or semester while you are waiting for your co-op work permit; however, the 20 hours must include both the hours worked at your co-op job ad those worked at your regular paid job (if you have one). You can work full-time during the regularly scheduled breaks

    However, if the co-op work permit application is refused, you must stop your co-op work immediately.

    More information can be found on the IRCC Website with the section named "Post-secondary co-op - exemption code C32 eligibility". 

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Please refer to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for the most up to date information.