Study and Work Permits

Study and Work Permits

It is important that once you arrive in Canada you must keep copies of all important documents (i.e. Passport, Study Permit, Health Insurance Card, etc.) in a safe place, and take note of your documents’ expiry dates.

For tips on how to fill out the CIC online Work Permit application, please review our Work Permit Application Guide. For more details, visit the Co-op/Internship page of Citizenship and Immigration Canada website: Work as a co-op student or intern.

All travellers entering Canada require a passport from their home country. If you are already in Canada and need to renew your passport, consult Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s list of foreign diplomatic representatives in the country here. Make sure you have a passport that is valid for at least 1 year.

Study Permit
A Study Permit is your official permission to study in Canada. You can find out more by visiting the Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site. Obtaining your Study Permit can take 1 – 6 months, so start the application process as soon as possible.

You can apply for the Study Permit through the nearest Canadian Visa Office (or online if you are eligible for this option). A processing fee of $125 applies. (U.S. citizens can apply at the Port of Entry upon arrival in Canada – no advance application is required). You may need to undergo a medical examination. Please consult the Immigration Medical Exam section of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website for details. Students from certain countries may also require a Temporary Entry Visa (also known as an “Entry Visa”) to enter Canada.

Students in programs of study with mandatory work terms such as co-op terms/ /internship/precepting/field placements etc. must obtain a Co-op/Intern Work Permit (along with their Study Permit prior to arriving in Canada. Students can expect delays if they wait until they arrive in Canada). Please refer to the Student Work Permit section below.

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.

Please review your offer/LOA letter to see if your program requires a co-op/intern Work Permit or not. If a co-op/inter permit is required, please refer to the information via the IRCC website:

Please apply for your co-op/intern work permit along with your application for your study visa. You will not be allowed to start your work term, field placements or clinical practice if you do not obtain the co-op/intern permit. It usually takes 6 months or longer to obtain the work permit after your arriving in Canada. Please visit the link below for more information on how to apply.

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.

EVNs and SIN Cards

Electronic Verification Number (EVN)

An EVN is issued once Northern College can confirm that a student is eligible for an Off-Campus Work Permit. The EVN is required to complete the Off-Campus Work Permit application. Apply for an EVN through your MyCIC account (under “My Requests” on the profile page). A request will be sent to International Student Services (ISS) to verify your eligibility. Confirmation of eligibility will be received within 48 hours (if you are not eligible, you will receive an explanatory email). An EVN will be sent to you via a message in the My CIC message box.


Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Do I need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) card?
A SIN card is necessary to work in Canada as employers must ask to see the SIN card of all new employees upon hire. You may apply for a SIN card before you start working or up to three days after your start date. A SIN number is also required for taxation purposes. You can apply for your SIN card in person at any Service Canada location, and there is no charge for first-time applications. Your Social Insurance Number will be issued to you right away and your card should be received by mail within ten business days. If your SIN card is lost or stolen, you will be charged a $10 replacement fee.

What documents do I need to get a SIN card?
If you plan to work on-campus you will need to bring your passport, your Study Permit and a completed Employment Contract from Northern College printed on Northern College letterhead when you apply for your SIN card. If you plan to work off-campus you will need to provide your passport, your Work Permit, and a letter of employment from your employer.

Where do I get a SIN card?
International Students may apply for the SIN at their local Service Canada Centre. To locate the nearest Centre, call 1-800-O-CANADA (1-800-622-6232), or use Service Canada’s online locator.

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