Co-op Work Permit

Immigration Canada states that international students must have a valid co-op work permit in order to complete co-op work terms even if your study permit grants you access to work in Canada.  Without this document we cannot confirm with a potential employer that you are legally able to complete your required co-op work hours. There is no fee required to secure a Co-op Work Permit.

As part of the co-op work permit application process you will need a co-op verification letter as confirmation that you are registered in the co-op program. Shortly after accepting your offer of admission to a co-op program, this letter will be sent to you from Co-operative Education via e-mail (cica@uoguelph.ca).

Once you receive your co-op work permit, please provide a scan or photo of it via e-mail to cica@uoguelph.ca

NOTE: If you leave the co-op program at any point, the co-op verification letter and your co-op work permit become null and void.


Applying for your Co-op Work Permit

You can request this permit when applying for your study permit.  When going through the study permit application, you will be asked at some point during this process if you would also like to apply for a co-op verification work permit.  Please indicate yes, and when it asks you to upload a co-op document, the co-op verification letter will satisfy this requirement.  **When you reach the Port of Entry and receive your study permit, please also make sure you are provided a separate co-op work permit (2 separate documents).  We also recommend that you bring your co-op verification letter with you just in case the Officer asks to see this again.

If you have already applied for your study permit but your application is still in process, you can complete a webform and attach your co-op verification letter .They can adjust your application and award a co-op at the same time as your initial study permit: https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/contacts/web-form.asp

If your student permit application is no longer in process, your next option would be to have that co-op verification letter when you enter Canada.  At the Port of Entry when they issue you your study permit, you can also ask for your co-op work permit - it is free to apply.  It will be up to that Officer to approve.

If you could not secure your co-op work permit through the process mentioned above, you can apply for your co-op work permit once you arrive in Canada as a standalone application does not exist for students outside Canada. Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website and follow the required steps to complete your co-op work permit application: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/work/intern.html


Visit the IRCC website for further information about:

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding your co-op work permit application, please speak with your Immigration Advisors here on campus, Matthew Keefe - mkeefe@uoguelph.ca & Pugaleni Iynkaran - iynkaran@uoguelph.ca


Maintaining your Co-op Work Permit

If your co-op work permit expires before the end of your final work term, you will need to apply to renew 4-5 months prior to it expiring. In order to apply for the renewal, you will need an updated co-op verification letter. Please email Co-operative Education at cica@uoguelph.ca for the co-op verification letter.