Co-op Work Permit

What is a co-op work permit and why do I need 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.

If you are enrolled in a co-op program, you are required to secure a specific Co-op Work Permit before you can begin working in Canada. Your co-op work permit will list the employer as “University of Guelph” and will allow you to work for any authorized co-op work term.  Your study permit does not cover co-op work. The Off Campus Work Permit is different from the Co-op Work Permit.

It is illegal to start working before receiving your work permit, therefore CECS will not allow co-op students access to co-op job postings unless a copy of the co-op work permit has been provided and we have confirmed its validity.


Because students must pass First Year Review before being eligible to continue in Co-operative Education, we do not encourage students to apply for a Co-op Work Permit until this process has been completed in May following the first year.  Please refer to the below chart.

Program Start Date COOP*1100 Taken Co-op Work Permit Required by 1st Day of Job Search Semester
F18 W19 F19 (September 1st, 2019)
F18 F19 W20 (January 1st, 2020)

*Work permits can take 2-4 months to process so students are encouraged to apply for their co-op work permit at their earliest convenience following the successful passing of First Year Review.

Maintain your co-op work 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. You will need an updated verification letter - contact the Co-op Office for the letter well in advance of the planned next co-op work term in order to ensure your renewal prior to being given access to co-op job postings. 

To apply:

  1. Carefully complete the application form as specified.

  2. Include a verification letter from Co-operative Education & Career Services. Click here for information on how to request a letter.

  3. There is no fee required for your Co-op Work Permit because it is part of a co-op program.


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