Co-op/Internship Work Permit
- What is a co-op work permit?
- Co-op/internship work permit eligibility
- Apply with your study permit from outside Canada
- Apply from within Canada
- Frequently Asked Question
International students who are required to complete work (e.g. co-op, internship, practicum, placement) that is integral to their academic program must apply for a co-op/internship work permit (COWP). This applies whether the work is on or off campus, paid or unpaid, during the academic year or during the summer, and regardless of the number of hours required for work. Integral means that you gain academic credit for the work and cannot graduate from the program unless the work is completed.
Review the IRCC Website for the most up-to-date information regarding co-op work permit eligibility.
You are eligible to apply for a co-op work permit if:
- The intended employment is integral to your academic program
- You have a letter from your department indicating that the intended employment is integral to your academic program
- You have a valid study permit
- The co-op or internship employment constitutes less than 50% of your program
- You are not a medical intern or extern, nor a resident physician (except in veterinary medicine)
*International students enrolled in English as a Second Language, French as a Second Language or general interest courses and programs, are not eligible to obtain a work permit under the co-op work permit program.
If you are unsure if your work is integral to your academic program or if you are eligible to apply, please reach out to Trent International Advising at email@example.com.
If you haven’t already applied for your study permit, you can apply for your co-op work permit (COWP) at the same time. Your Letter of Acceptance from Trent University must confirm that a co-op or internship placement is integral to your program.
To apply, indicate "yes" to the question "Is work an essential component of your studies?" on your study permit application form from outside Canada. If eligible, you will be issued a COWP along with your Study Permit at the Port-of-Entry in Canada.
If you are eligible for a COWP and you are not issued one at the Canadian Port-of Entry, please ask the officer to review your Trent Letter of Acceptance once more before leaving Immigration.
If you are accepted into a co-op program after you arrive in Canada, or are approved for an internship in fourth year (i.g. in the Business Administration program), or are not issued a co-op work permit (COWP) at the Canadian Port-of-Entry, you can apply for a COWP from within Canada.
When to apply:
Students are advised to apply for their COWP at least 6 months prior to the start of their co-op term. If you must provide biometrics, apply for your co-op work permit earlier to allow for this extra step. Review processing times here.
How much does the application cost?
As of April 2022, the application is free.
Where can I work with a co-op work permit?
A co-op work permit allows you to work full-time for any employer in Canada as long as the work is integral to your program. It cannot be used for work that does not count towards academic credit at Trent University. A COWP will be issued with Trent University listed as the employer since the work is an integral part of your academic program at Trent. This does not mean that you cannot work for an employer other than Trent University.
Is a job offer necessary when applying to a COWP?
A job offer is not necessary when applying for a COWP.
Can I work as per my study permit working conditions while holding a co-op work permit?
You may simultaneously hold a co-op work permit and work off-campus with your study permit working conditions if you meet the eligibility criteria for each. Do note, the COWP only allows you to do the work approved by your co-op program within your co-op work term.
Have additional questions about the co-op work permit?
Book an Immigration Advising Appointment:
Please feel free to book an Immigration Advising appointment on the Student Experience Portal www.trentu.ca/sep > Appointment Bookings > Trent International > Immigration Advising.