Co-op Work Permits

Learn how international students can receive a co-op work permit so that they can participate in Canadian work term experiences.

What is a co-op work permit?

A Co-op work permit allows you to work full-time during academic terms, while you are enrolled in a co-op term. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Applying for a co-op work permit is free
  • You must have a valid study permit and valid passport to apply for a co-op work permit
    • If your study permit expires soon please contact the Global Engagement Office to discuss your case
  • International co-op students must obtain a valid co-op work permit to legally work in Canada
  • Processing times vary and we recommend students initiate their co-op work permit application at least four (4) months prior to the start of their first work term

Note: Your co-op or internship employment cannot form more than 50% (per cent) of the total program of study. For more details, see Immigration Canada.

How to apply for a co-op work permit

  1. Review the co-op work permit instructions and tutorial online
  2. Complete the Canvas application review course to go over the required documents, learn how to fill out the form, avoid common mistakes and be ready to submit your application
  3. Wait to receive your co-op letter from the Interdisciplinary Co-op Office (sent to all newly admitted co-op students in early November each year)
  4. Attend the Co-op Work Permit Information Session offered by the Global Engagement Office (typically held in late November)
  5. Apply online on
  6. After you receive or extend your co-op work permit, apply for or extend your Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Medical exams

If you will be working in jobs which require a medical exam, such as working with children or seniors, in healthcare settings, clinical laboratories or in agriculture, you must complete a medical exam and have the right conditions on your work permit before starting your position. Learn more about medical exams.

Study permit extensions

If your study permit will be expiring within the year of you applying for your Co-op Work Permit, you should connect in with the Advisors at Global Engagement Office (GEO) to ensure the applicable path for Study Extension and Work Permit application is identified.

If your study permit is set to expire before completion of your degree due to the additional Co-op terms, please review the steps for Study Permit extension. Typically, about 3 to 4 months before your study permit and co-op work permit expire, extend both permits with one study permit extension application.

“You gain so many practical skills and you get to know so many new people, plus you’re getting paid at the same time.”

Yiming Han, Bmgt
Work Term: INhouse Video Technologies

Read Yiming’s full story

Yiming Han