Working in Canada
Getting a work permit to do an internship
Does your Université Laval program include an internship requirement?
You may need to apply for a co-op or intern work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
For the purposes of Canadian immigration, student internships, even when unpaid, are considered work and require permission.
Students enrolled full time in a program at Université Laval who hold a valid study permit are allowed to:
- Work on campus for unlimited hours
- Work off campus (except unauthorized students) 20 hours per week during the fall and winter sessions, and full time during breaks
See the section Working during your studies for more information.
Your study permit lets you do an internship during the summer session without having to obtain a work permit if you were enrolled full time in the winter session and will be enrolled full time in the subsequent fall session. Students enrolled in a co-operative program do however need a co-op or intern work permit because summer is not considered an academic break in their study program.
If you would like to do an off-campus internship of more than 20 hours per week during the semester you will need to apply for a co-op or intern work permit from IRCC. Such a permit can be issued only for internships that are mandatory for your program of study.
Eligibility criteria to apply for a co-op or intern work permit:
- You must hold a valid study permit
- You must obtain a letter from your faculty confirming that all students in your program are required to complete an internship to get their degree. The internship must be a mandatory part of your study program in Canada
- Your internship must account for less than 50% of your total program of study
- There are no fees to obtain a co-op or intern work permit. Processing time is3 to 12 weeks for online applications.
See the processing times on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
Documents required to obtain a work permit:
- Valid study permit
- Letter from your faculty confirming that all students in your program are required to complete an internship to get their degree. The internship must be a mandatory part of your study program in Canada
- ID photo
- Confirmation of enrollment and/or transcript
- Other documents specific to your situation (e.g., medical exam)
Note: Mailing of the work permit in Canada
When you apply for a permit in Canada, the permit is mailed to your home address in Québec. Notify IRCC if you change your address after submitting your application.
Apply online using the MyCIC service. You will need to create an account on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, pay the online application fee by credit card, and upload scanned copies of the required documents. Go to the IRCC website to apply online.
Once your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation message in your MyCIC account and the permit will be mailed to you in the next few days.
For help filling out the forms and gathering the required supporting documents, see the instruction guide on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
Forms and guides for work permits for students applying in Canada.
To do an internship in certain fields (e.g., health, education, and preschool education), you must undergo a medical exam by a panel physician approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
If this is your case, plan to have the exam a few weeks before you apply for your work permit to avoid additional delays.
You are responsible for the cost of the exam. The processing centre that handles your case will contact you and provide instructions as needed.
Important note: This website is intended to provide general information on current procedures, which may change at any time without notice. Quebec and Canadian laws and regulations in effect as well as the websites of Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration (MIFI), and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) take precedence over this website.
This page was last updated on: 30-04-2019