Co‑op work permit

If you are required to work as an integral part of your studies or you are enrolled in a co-op program, you may be permitted to work off campus full time. You will need a co-op work permit. Once you receive your co-op work permit, you will also need to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN).


Step 1: Log into my IRCC through GCKey or Sign-in partner

If you are a new user, you will need to register for MyIRCC through GCKey or Sign-in Partner. Your Client ID from your Study Permit is required to complete the registration.

Step 2: Click on ‘Apply for a visitor visa, study and/or work permit'

You will be prompted to enter a personal checklist code.  If you do not already have a code, click on "Determine your eligibility and apply for a visitor visa, study and/or work permit".  Answer all the questions that follow.

Step 3: Fill in the online application form and gather supporting documentation

1. Complete the IMM 5710 Application form. Validate and save the form as an unsigned copy. You can find the guide to completing IMM5710 in the sidebar.

2. Gather the following supporting documents:

  • digital photo (420x540 pixels)
  • passport (only pages with stamps, visas, photos)
  • co-op letter from department

Each document must be 4MB or less. Once you have all the documents ready, you should save them electronically as a pdf, jpeg or word doc.

Step 4: Submit the application

Save or print your confirmation of successful transmission for your records.

Important Information

After you submit your application, Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada may contact you for additional documents.  If you are contacted, make an appointment with an International Student Advisor to ensure you respond accurately and punctually to the IRCC request.   


Maintain your permit

The expiry date on your co-op work permit will normally coincide with the expiry date of your study permit. You may renew your co-op work permit at the same time you apply to extend your study permit. Check estimated processing times online but note that these times are not guaranteed.


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 full-time during regular school terms. A co-op work permit is different from an off-campus work conditions, and you may hold both if you meet the criteria for each.

A co-op work permit is necessary for paid and unpaid work because co-op work is considered competitive work in Canada.

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 “Dalhousie” 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.  Remember, even if your co-op or internship is unpaid, you still need to apply for a co-op work permit because a co-op/internship is competitive work.

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 co-op coordinator confirming your acceptance into the co-op program at Dalhousie.


Meet with an International Student Advisor

  • Email Please include your student number (B00) in the subject line and in the body of the email, include your name, your citizenship(s), Permit/Visa expiration dates (if applicable) and if you are currently in Canada (YES or NO).
  • Book an appointment online.
  • Or drop by one of our locations across campus.