Work Permits

Working While Studying

No Work Permit Required

Student Eligibility

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) permits students to work on campus if:

  • You are registered as a full-time student at Queen's
  • You hold a valid study permit
  • If you have any questions about your eligibility, you can connect with an International Student Advisor at the QUIC

On-campus work refers to any employment that happens within the geographic boundary of campus, including university and non-university jobs.

Queen’s Work Study Program

Queen’s Work Study Program increases access to part-time jobs on campus for students who demonstrate financial need. It does not guarantee you a job. Any student who is registered in a minimum 60% course load (or full-time for graduate students) may apply. See the Work Study page of the Financial Aid and Awards website for application deadlines and other information.

Visiting Scholars/Research


  • Postdoctoral Fellows are employees of Queen's University and should visit the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (SGSPA) webpage for Incoming Postdocs for information about getting settled at Queen's, including work permits and extensions, housing, and health insurance
  • Queen’s Office of Postdoctoral Training has useful resources for post-docs

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s new rules allow eligible students to work off campus without a work permit:

  • For up to 20 hours per week during study periods, and full-time during scheduled breaks (ie. summer)
  • From the first day of their program of study


Students will be permitted to work off campus if:

  • They hold a valid study permit
  • They are registered as a full-time student
  • If you have any questions about your eligibility, you can connect with an International Student Advisor at the QUIC

Students who are studying at the Queen’s School of English are not eligible for off-campus work through this program. They can still work on campus if they meet the on-campus work eligibility requirements.

Permit Required

If a work placement is a required part of your Canadian academic program, then you may qualify for a co-op work permit at no charge.

There are a few programs at Queen’s that qualify their students for a co-op work permit (subject to change).

They include (but may not be limited to):

This work permit is supplemental to the existing work authorization for study permit holders. The off-campus work policy will only allow study permit holders to work up to 20 hours per week; however, students on an internship or practicum are required to work full-time as part of their degree requirements. The co-op work permit facilitates this situation.

  • You will need a co-op letter from Queen’s to confirm that you need to perform an employment component as a required part of your degree
  • You do not need to have an internship position secured to obtain a co-op work permit. You just need the co-op letter. The co-op work permit will list Queen’s as your employer, not the actual company you will be working for
  • There will be no issues if you obtain a co-op work permit but decide not to do the internship, and return to your studies instead. You can only use the co-op work permit for your degree-required work component, not any other work
  • If you have any questions about obtaining a co-op letter or work permit, you can connect with an International Student Advisor at the QUIC


If your offer of admission includes confirmation of the mandatory placement, a co-op work permit can be requested as part of your initial study permit application. If it is not included, a co-op work permit can be requested separately after arrival in Canada. In that case, it is important to check with your department/program/faculty to confirm how soon after arrival your placement/co-op will begin. This is to ensure that there is enough time to submit the co-op work permit application and for it to be processed.

The co-op work permit application is available online. Follow our guide for online application (PDF, 11 MB).

There is no application fee for a co-op work permit because the work is a requirement of your Canadian academic program.


Just as with a study permit, you can apply for an extension through your IRCC account if you need a longer permit to cover your entire work period. You will need an updated co-op letter.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

Students who complete an academic degree, diploma, or certificate program that is at least 8 months in length may be eligible for a work permit through the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program.

  • Your study permit will be considered expired after its expiry date, or 90 days after your program completion date, whichever comes first
  • If you submit a PGWP application before your study permit expires, you can start working full-time anywhere in Canada. You can then stay in Canada and work full-time before receiving your PGWP result, even after your study permit expires
  • You need to stop any work on or off campus from your program completion date, confirmed by the program completion letter from your faculty or the date your final grades were posted, until the date you submit your PGWP application (while your study permit is still valid)

This work permit is available after the completion of one academic program. It is a “once-in-a-lifetime” program, which means that even if you complete three degrees in Canada, you can only participate in the PGWP Program once.

  • The PGWP Program issues an “open” work permit. This means that it will not name an employer (a job offer is not required). This allows for movement between employers
  • More information is available from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada

Work Permit Validity Period 

Length of Academic Program Length of Work Permit

8 months to 2 (academic) years

One month of work for every month of study

2 (academic) years or longer

3-year work permit

2 one-year programs where completions dates fall within 2 years

3-year work permit

Master's degree of any duration (effective February 15, 2024) 3-year work permit

When to Apply

You must submit your PGWP application within 180 days following the completion of your program requirements. You can do so from inside or outside Canada.

You do not need a job offer to apply.

Undergraduate students are usually considered to have completed the requirements of their degree on the date that marks are released after their final exams. For graduate students, completion is the date the revised thesis is submitted (in thesis-based programs). Check with your faculty, academic department, or the Office of the University Registrar to confirm. You will need to request a program completion letter from your faculty as one of the required documents for this work permit.

How to Apply

  • The application is available online
  • Follow our guide for online application (PDF, 11 MB)
  • You will need a letter from your faculty to confirm your program completion and your final transcript from SOLUS


In general, this work permit cannot be extended. If your passport expires before the “normal” validity period of your Post-Graduation Work Permit (the validity period that you should be qualified for based on the study program you completed), in which case your first approved PGWP would not be valid for the full length that you should be qualified for, you can apply to extend your PGWP until the end of your eligibility, once you have extended your passport.

If you are near the end of your eligibility and you want to continue to work, the rules for getting a new work permit depend on your situation.

  • One option is for your employer to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada. With a positive LMIA, your employer can offer you the job extension and you can apply for a new work permit
  • If you have applied for Permanent Resident status in Canada but your Post-Graduation Work Permit will expire before that status is granted, a Bridging Open Work Permit may be an option to ensure uninterrupted work


Spousal Work Permit

The spouse or partner of an international student or worker is eligible for an open work permit to work in Canada. The application for the work permit can be submitted online.