International – Student Work Permits

Work Permit for Mandatory Internship/Co-op Terms
If you are in a program of study with mandatory co-op or internship terms you must obtain an Internship Work Permit (along with your Study Permit). The application for the Co-op/Internship Work Permit must be made at the same time as the Study Permit if the co-op/internship starts in the first term of classes.

You are encouraged to apply for your co-op/internship work permit at least 3 months before your internship is due to start in case there are processing delays. This application is fee exempt (i.e. free).

You are eligible for this permit if: you have a valid Study Permit, the employment in question is a requirement of your program and/or the employment constitutes less than 50% of your program. For specific study permit processing times, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

When you apply for certain documents, such as your Study Permit, there is no guarantee that you will be approved. You should not purchase plane tickets or make other final travel arrangements until your documents are in order. Be sure to place your travel documents, prescription medication, eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other vital information in your carry-on bag.

On Campus Work
No work permit required. To be eligible to work on campus, you need to have a valid Study Permit and be registered full time (except during scheduled breaks & the last term before graduation).

Off-Campus Work
If you are approved for a Study Permit, you will be automatically authorized to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the academic session and full-time during scheduled breaks without the need to apply for a separate work permit.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)
International students who have completed a Northern College diploma can obtain an Open Work Permit (valid for 1 to 3 years depending on the length of your program of study) under the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program, with no restrictions on employment type and no job offer requirement. The application for the PGWP must be made within 90 days of the issuance of your final grades or the confirmation of your graduation, whichever is earlier, and while your Study Permit is valid. Students may hold more than one employment position within the PGWP period. You can continue to use your Off-Campus Work Permit for the 90 days after you have met the requirements to graduate, while waiting to receive your Post-Graduation Work Permit. It is important to note that during this time your Study Permit must still be valid. See the full explanation in CIC’s Operational Bulletin 193. If you need to extend your Study Permit to cover these 90 days (known as a “bridging extension”), please refer to the CIC website.

If you are applying for a PGWP, it is recommended that you apply online from within Canada, and remain in Canada until you receive your permit in the mail. Citizens of Temporary Resident Visa or Visa exempt countries can apply for the PGWP at the Canada/US border. For more information see the CIC Temporary resident permit website.

Open Work Permit for Spouses
Your spouse or common-law partner may apply for a Work Permit if you are a full-time Northern College student and you have a valid Study Permit. Your spouse/partner will not require a job offer to apply, and his/her permit will be valid for the same period as your study permit. More information on work-permit eligibility for spouses or common-law partners can be found on the Government of Canada website.