How to apply for or extend your co-op work permit

Overview of the process

When to apply

After receiving a letter of acceptance to a co-op program or a letter from your graduate staff/advisor in your program.

If your study permit expires soon, you can apply for a co-op work permit at the same time you apply to extend your study permit, usually 3-4 months before your study permit expires.

If you must provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photo), apply for your work permit earlier to allow for this extra step.


Free, or

$85 for biometrics, if applicable

Processing time Check for a weekly update of how long it will take
How to apply

Online (recommended)

Application form

Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker [IMM 5710]

Note: Make sure you use the newest form. If applying online, log in to the IRCC website before starting your application. Go to tips to learn how to download this form.

Supporting  documents
  • Original letter provided by your UBC co-op office or graduate staff/advisor in your program stating that your intended employment is an essential part of your program
  • Copy of your passport (include the bio-data page plus any pages with stamps, visas or markings)
  • Biometrics (if applicable)
    • Pay the biometrics fee at the same time you submit your study permit application for faster processing.
    • Receive your biometrics instruction letter. If you applied online you will receive an electronic biometrics instruction letter within 24 hours.
    • Book an appointment as soon as possible at a designated Service Canada location.
    • Submit your biometrics within 30 days of receiving your biometrics instruction letter 

Additional documents might be needed.

    Understanding the application

    What is a UCI?

    UCI field on the application form

    UCI stands for “Unique Client Identifier,” also known as “Client ID.” It appears on official documents such as study and work permits and can be 8 or 10 digits (Example: 0000-0000).

    What type of work permit should I select?

    Field where users select their permit options

    If this is your first co-op work permit, select ‘a work permit with a new employer.’ If this is not your first co-op work permit, select ‘a work permit with the same employer.

    How do I fill out my mailing address?

    Mailing address field

    A “street no.” is the main number on the outside of a building. Some “street names” also contain numbers.

    What is a document number?

    A document number appears on official immigration documents, such as study permits. It is usually printed in black ink and has a letter (an "F" for study permits, “U” for work permits and “C” for Visitor Record) followed by 9 numbers.

    Document number field

    How do I fill out the Details of my prospective employer section if I don’t have a job?

    Details of employment - Co-op Work Permit

    Although you do not need a job offer to apply for a co-op work permit, you still must complete this section with the address of your co-op office (found on your co-op letter). You do not need to attach an offer of employment.

    How do I answer Duration of expected employment?

    Duration of employment field

    Write “from” today’s date and “to” the expiry date of your study permit.

    How do I fill out the Education section?

    Education field

    Please note the question asks if you have had "any" post-secondary education, not if you have completed it. Since you are a student at UBC, the answer to this should be "yes". Then you should provide details of "your highest level" of post-secondary education.

    Once again, please note it does not say "completed", so you should type in your current studies, unless you have a higher level of education. Your “to” date should correspond with the month and year when you are applying.

    How to answer question 2(c) "Background information: Have you previously applied to enter or remain in Canada?"

    Background info screenshot

    If you have applied for a study permit, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), a work permit, or permanent residence, you must report that to IRCC. Check the box "Yes" and write down when you applied for each type of document in the box provided for details.

    There is a character limit, so only include what you applied for and when.

    How can I sign the form if I apply online?

    Online signature field

    You do not need to sign this form if applying online. Simply upload the form without signing. After uploading all your documents, you will later be asked to electronically sign your application by typing your name.

    Do not print and sign the form because you will not be able to upload it to the site successfully.

    Before submitting your application

    Sign up for the new Canvas application review course to go over required documents, learn how to fill out the form, avoid common mistakes, and be ready to submit your application.

    Take screenshots as you apply

    Sometimes applications are refused because the online tools and systems may not have uploaded required documents completely. You may be able to convince IRCC to change the decision if you have proof showing that your required documents were submitted as part of your application.

    Take screenshots at these 3 stages of your application:

    1. The Document Checklist page after all documents have been successfully uploaded
    2. The Final Submission page after the application has been submitted
    3. After uploading/submitting anyafter-the-fact’ documents that an IRCC officer has requested after the original application has been submitted

    Save the images to a safe and accessible place on your computer or cloud-based storage.

    How to take screenshots


    • If you see a “Please wait…” message when trying to download an IRCC form, click on the download arrow at the top right to save the file onto your computer. Then open it with Adobe Reader. (If you don’t see the arrow, move your cursor to the top part of the screen and it will appear.)
    PDF download screenshot
    • If any of your answers to questions on Page 4 (Background Information) are YES or you are not sure about your answer, contact International Student Advising before submitting your application.
    • You must have a valid study permit when you submit your application. The co-op work permit is usually issued for the length of your study permit. When you extend your study permit, you can apply for (or extend) a co-op work permit at the same time.
    • Your co-op work permit will list the employer as “The University of British Columbia” and will allow you to work full-time as long as the work is part of your program requirements.
    • The co-op work permit is free and you do not need a job offer to apply.
    • Need help scanning your documents? Go to the Chapman Learning Commons in Irving K. Barber.
    • Press the “Validate” button to ensure your application is complete. The validate button does not send any information to IRCC, so you can edit and validate as many times as you need.

    After you get your co-op work permit

    After getting your co-op work permit, you must renew (or apply for) your Social Insurance Number (SIN). You need a SIN before working in Canada.

    If your contact information changes after submitting your application, be sure to update it via IRCC’s webform.

    International Student Guide

    Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at UBC's Vancouver campus.

    View the guide

    If you have questions

    International Student Advising is ready to support you on questions related to immigration, health insurance, and life as an international student in Canada.

    Connect with an advisor