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.

Do I need it?

Many NAIT programs require or provide an option to students to complete a co-op placement in order to graduate. A co-op is a work placement. Typically, this involves receiving credit on your NAIT transcript for a co-op placement (i.e. a course number and a grade or “Pass”).

If you will be completing a co-op as part of your certificate, diploma or degree program, you are required to have a co-op work permit and meet IRCC eligibility to apply. Once issued, your co-op work permit will list the employer as “NAIT” and will allow you to work during your co-op work term as approved by your program. You are not allowed to use the co-op work permit to work outside these approved terms, even if the permit is still valid.

According to IRCC, 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 if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • Your entire co-op placement takes place between November 15, 2022, and December 31, 2023.
  • You're eligible to benefit from the Temporary Working Measures to work more than 20 hours per week while class is in session. You can find out more about the Temporary Working Measures by watching Working in Canada – Temporary Working Measures (Nov. 15, 2022 – Dec. 31, 2023).
  • You have a valid study permit, IRCC received the application for this study permit (or study permit extension) on or before October 7, 2022, and the study permit will not expire before the end of the co-op placement.

Please note that if you are unsure if you need a co-op work permit, you can still submit a free IRCC co-op work permit application online.

When do I need it?

Students can apply for a Co-op Work Permit together with their initial Study Permit or well in-advance before starting their Co-op placement. Please visit “How do I apply for it?” section above to learn more.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, IRCC made several changes regarding Co-op Work Permits. For example, international students in Canada may now begin their co-op placement using their Study Permit working conditions while they wait for their Co-op Work Permit to be approved.

Unfortunately, if your Co-op Work Permit application is refused, you will need to stop working as soon as IRCC notifies you.

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?

To apply for a co-op work permit, students have access to the following resources:

If, after reading the guide and attending the workshop, you still have questions about applying for a co-op work permit, you can book an appointment with an Academic Advisor - International focus.

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 submit any Immigration questions through We also recommend you check out the Government of Canada's Immigration, Refugees and  Citizenship page for all up to date information.

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