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How does Co-op work in Canada? Are Co-op programs in Canada paid? Or is the Co-op program worth it? It’s about time we answer all your questions about Co-op programs in Canada that you are so busily scanning quora for. Shall we?

What are Co-op Programs?

A co-op program or co-operative education is a program where you can work in any industry in your area of study. While you gain program-related, real-world work experience, you also get paid for your work. Additionally, a co-op can also help you decide what career you may wish to pursue and increases your chances of landing your dream job as a graduate. Co-op programs are generally structured in alternating semesters of study and work.

Is Co-op Program worth your time?

Many Canadian universities and colleges offer co-op and internship work programs that add real value to the academic curriculum by offering the students hands-on real-world industry experience. Co-op and internship programs are also the ideal way for students to make some money during the school semester, upskill themselves, and earn invaluable work experience and contacts. If you are attending college in Canada by all means Co-op is a valuable experience to have.

How are Internships different from Co-op Programs?

While co-ops are a joint arrangement between the employer, university, and the student, internships are a joint venture between the student and the employer. Co-ops are built into the course structure so that the student can be a full-time employee as well. In an internship, the student may or may not pursue his semester. And finally, most co-ops are paid while internships are unpaid.

What are the Co-op Programs in Canada for international students?

In Canada, most of the well-known post-secondary institutions and colleges offer a co-op program along with their academic course. An instructor will facilitate your entry into a company and advise you on your roles and responsibilities.

What are the eligibility requirements to pursue co-op programs in Canada?

Foreign students who wish to take up a Co-op/internship while studying in Canada need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • They must hold a valid work permit.
  • The said Co-op/internship program must be a portion of the course study in the Canadian university or college.
  • The intended Co-op/internship program must be a component of the academic requirement of the course pursued in Canada.
  • The duration of the Co-op or internship program must not be greater than 50% of the time for the total study program.

How to get a Co-op in Canada?

For international students who wish to enroll in a co-op or internship program, it is mandatory to apply for a co-op work permit. This is required irrespective of whether the work is on-campus, off-campus, unpaid, paid, or the number of hours involved.

Typically, students must apply for their co-op or internship work permit at least 6 months before they expect to begin.

Who can get a Co-op Work permit in Canada?

You are eligible for the co-op or internship work permit if:

  • You procure a letter from your department about the mandatory nature of your work.
  • You have a Study Permit.
  • Employment is a required component of your course program.
  • The employment time is not more than 50% of your course duration.

What do you need to apply for a Co-op in Canada?

To support your work permit, you must provide a letter from your college department stating that the work is a mandatory component of your course study.

You do not need to show any job offer while applying for a Co-op or internship work permit and your work permit will have the university name as the employer’s name that allows you to work for any authorized work permit term for the job approved by the Co-op program.

How to apply for a Co-op Work permit in Canada?

You can apply for a co-op work permit online. Given below are the steps to apply for the co-op or internship work permit online:

  • Visit the Immigration Canada website, go to the Apply Online page and fill out the Check your eligibility form.
  • Print out the “Document Checklist” that is given at the bottom of the questionnaire and write down the personal reference code provided in the first line of the Document Checklist.
  • Login to MyCIC or register for an account by following the instructions from the Document checklist.
  • Fill out the “Application to Change Conditions” a PDF form is provided.
  • Upload the necessary documents from inside your MyCIC account.
  • Pay the required fees (the Co-op or internship work permit is currently free and exempted from a fee).
  • Once your application is approved, your Co-op or internship work permit will be sent to your registered address in Canada.

*If you need to extend your work permit, you must follow the same steps as that for applying for a new work permit.

Can you pursue Co-op Program from your home country?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, several international students are studying virtually from different parts of the world. In these circumstances, if your educational institution and employer agrees, you may:

  • Accept a Canadian placement and begin to work remotely.
  • Work for an approved company in your home country.

Choosing a Co-op or an internship program in Canada will open many doors for you in the job market. By studying and working in Canada, you can transform your professional career by availing yourself of the opportunity to learn and gain experience in the field of your choice.

If you want more advice on studying and working in Canada, connect with our expert Canada education consultants and they will guide you through and chalk out your personalized admissions roadmap.

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