Co-op Work Permits

If you are required to work as an integral part of your studies or you are enrolled in a co-op program, you will need a co-op work permit.

What is it?

The co-op work permit allows international students to work when the work is for credit and is a required part of your Canadian academic program. A co-op work permit allows students to work in their placements full-time during regular school terms. 

To be eligible for a co-op work permit, you must meet the following conditions

  • You must have a valid study permit.
  • The intended employment must be an essential part of your program of studies in Canada.
  • The employment must be part of the academic program, certified by a letter from a responsible academic official of the institution.
  • The co-op or internship employment period cannot be for more than 50% of the total program of studies.

Why do I need it?

If you are enrolled in a co-op program, you are required to have a co-op work permit before you start your work term. Your co-op work permit will list the employer as NAIT and will allow you to work for any authorized co-op work term. This work permit only allows you to do the job approved by your co-op program within your co-op work term. It is illegal to work full-time off-campus as an international student during the academic year unless you are in a co-op program and have a co-op work permit.

When do I need it?

You may start your application for a co-op work permit as soon as you receive the letter from your coordinator confirming your acceptance into the program.

Co-op work permit processing times vary and may be up to six months. You will need your co-op work permit to start your co-op work placement and it is recommended you apply early.

Can I use my study permit's off-campus work authorization while I hold a co-op work permit?

Yes, you may still work off-campus for 20 hours per week while completing your co-op hours at your placement.

How do I apply for it?

  1. Ask your program area to complete the Co-op Work Permit form to authorize your WIL placement.
  2. The program area sends the completed form to the International Centre (Room W-101).
  3. Within 3 business days, the International Centre will issue an official co-op work permit letter and will contact you to pick it up at the International Centre.
  4. The student applies online on the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website and selects the option work permit - new or extend.

The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice.

Looking for more information?

We're happy to help answer your questions. Feel free to email if you have any specific questions. We also recommend you check out the Government of Canada's Immigration, Refugees and  Citizenship page for all up to date information.