Get all the tools & resources you need to settle down in Canada and start your career after you graduate!
As an international student, Brock International Services, along with Brock’s department of Coop, Career and Experiential Education, can support you throughout each step of your pathway to career success and settlement. From assisting with your work permit application to reviewing your resume, exploring your career options to transitioning into Canadian society, Brock University’s support services are here to guide you!
Journey to Success: An International Perspective
Being an international student certainly isn’t easy, but it can come with some great rewards and experiences that can change your life, both personally and professionally!
Learn about Ken Chan’s inspiring journey from international student to Brock University’s Vice-President!
On-campus work is defined as occurring at employment facilities within the boundaries of Brock’s campus. Students are only allowed to work on the campus of the educational institution at which they are registered in full-time studies.
Students registered in full-time studies: Brock degree, certificate, diploma students, visiting/exchange students, and who have a valid Study Permit.
To work during scheduled breaks, students must be registered full-time before and after scheduled breaks.
- Students who do not have a valid Study Permit (for example 1 term exchange/visiting students who only have a visitor status)
- Students registered part-time (unless it’s their final term of study and they have otherwise maintained full-time status for the duration of their program of study)
The number of hours is not specified by Immigration Canada. However, please note that Study Permit holders must be “actively pursuing their course or program of study” – i.e., “making continuous progress towards the completion of their degree”. Also, IRCC requires study permit holders to remain enrolled full-time during Fall/Winter semester.
You may work an unlimited number of work hours during an academic term and scheduled breaks.
Co-Op/Internship Work Permit
International students must apply for a co-op work permit if work (e.g. co-op placement or internship) is a required part of the program of study. This applies whether the work is on- or off-campus, paid or unpaid, during the academic year or during the summer, and regardless of the number of hours involved.
Because of current processing delays, students are advised to apply for their co-op/internship work permit 6 months before their internship is due to start.
- Your co-op work permit is an open work permit that allows you to work anywhere in Canada as long as the work is a mandatory requirement of your program.
- A coop work permit will be issued for the same length of time as your study permit.
- This application is fee exempt (i.e. free).
- Although the co-op work permit is an open work permit, IRCC will list “Brock University” as the employer on the work permit since the work is an essential part of your studies at Brock. This does not mean that you cannot work for an employer other than Brock. A co-op work permit allows you to work for any employer as long as the work satisfies a mandatory requirement of your program for which you will be registered for an internship or co-op course. Please see IRCC’s website for more information about the co-op work permit.
- The remarks at the bottom of your Co-Op Work Permit must indicate:
“AUTHORIZED ONLY FOR WORK FORMING AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE COURSE AS PER DLI’S INSTRUCTION.”
If the above remarks do not appear, it is best to ask for a correction while you are at your Port of Entry (e.g. land border or airport). If you applied for your co-op work permit online or you have left the border, you may need to apply for a work permit amendment.
- No job offer is necessary when applying for a Co-Op Work Permit.
- You can check how long it will take before you get your Work Permit on the IRCC website. Select “Temporary residence (visiting, studying, working)” “Work permit from inside Canada (Initial and extension)” for appropriate processing times.
If you have problems with your online application, then Contact the Immigration Canada Call Centre at 1.888.242.2100
Additional detailed information about the Co-Op Work Permit is available on IRCC’s “Co-op/Internship” page.
You are eligible for a coop work permit if:
- You have a valid study permit
- Work is required to complete your study program in Canada
- You have a letter from your school that confirms all students in your program need to complete work placements to get their degree, and
- Your co-op placement or internship totals 50% or less of your study program
More information can be found at IRCC website.
If you will be working in a job in agriculture related fields, public health, or health sciences (e.g. health care workers, clinical laboratory workers, medical students, primary and secondary school teachers), and you will be in close contact with patients, children, the elderly, etc., you must complete a medical exam.
If the above applies to you, you will need a medical exam conducted by an IRCC-approved panel physician. The doctor will send the full results to IRCC automatically. Ask the doctor for a copy of your medical exam report and submit it with your new permit application.
Include a letter of explanation asking specifically for your work permit to indicate that you may work in these occupations. You cannot start the position until you have received a study or work permit with appropriate conditions.
Your co-op work permit will normally match the expiry date of your study permit.
If your study permit does not expire soon, apply for a co-op work permit only.
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 4 – 6 months before your study permit expires.
Biometrics requirement (fingerprints and a photo) expanded to inside Canada applications: you must submit biometrics in order to extend or apply for an immigration document from inside Canada – e.g. study permit, work permit, visitor record, and temporary resident visa (TRV/Visitor Visa/Entry Visa). See Immigration Canada’s website for more information. U.S. citizens are currently exempt from having to provide biometrics. For a full list of exemptions, see Immigration Canada’s website.
When to apply
After receiving a Brock co-op letter from Brock Co-op Office.
- Free, or
- $85 for biometrics, if applicable, and/or
- $180 – $200, medical examination, if applicable
Check for a weekly update of how long it will take
How to apply
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.
- Original letter provided by Brock University 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.
Applying Online: Step-by-Step Guide
- Go to the Apply online page of the Immigration Canada website and fill out the Check your eligibility to apply questionnaire.
- In reply to the question: “What would you like to do in Canada?” you must indicate “Work”.
- In reply to the question: “What is your current immigration status in Canada?” you must indicate “Student”.
- When asked if you are planning to work on campus, even if you are, you have to indicate “no”.
- When asked: “Are you a full-time student at a participating post-secondary institution and want to work off-campus up to 20 hours per week?” you must indicate “no” even if you do.
- In reply to the question: “Is your work an essential part of your studies (for example, a Co-Op or internship program)?” you must indicate “yes”.
- After you have completed the first part of the questionnaire it will indicate that you may be eligible to work in Canada as a co-op student. Click continue under Co-op (in Canada).
- You will then be prompted to continue with completing the questionnaire.
- At the end of the questionnaire, you will be provided with your personalized document checklist which will include the “Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada As a Worker (IMM 5710)” form that you are required to complete AND one of the supporting documents that you will be required to upload is your “Co-Op” letter.
- Print the “Document Checklist” that you are provided at the end of the questionnaire and write down your personal reference code provided on the first line of your “Document Checklist” (you will need it in order to initiate your co-op work permit application through your MyCIC account).
- Log on to MyCIC (or register for an account – also known as a “GC Key” – if you don’t have one already)
- Complete the “Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada As a Worker (IMM 5710)” PDF Form provided
- In Section 1 – Be sure to include your UCI (Universal Client ID – which can be found on your Study Permit)
- In reply to Section 1 a) of the “Details of Intended Work in Canada – What type of work permit are you applying for?” you must select “Co-Op Work Permit” from the drop-down menu. For 2 a) Name of Employer, you must put “Brock University”.
- Please leave sections 3, 4, 5 6, 7 and 8 of the “Details of Intended Work In Canada” part of the form blank
- Once you have completed this form save it to your desktop as you will upload it as part of your application which will be done through your MyCIC Account
- Upload required documents from within your MyCIC Account
- Upload your saved “Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada As a Worker (IMM 5710)” form to your application;
- When asked to upload your passport, be sure to include ALL stamped/marked pages of your passport;
- Upload your Co-Op letter or curriculum from your department or the Co-op Office at Brock stating that work is a necessary requirement for the completion of your studies.
- If you are required to do a medical exam for your work permit application (see Jobs for which you need a medical exam), upload proof of this (i.e. a medical exam receipt).
- Pay the required fees:
- The Co-op/internship work permit is free (fee exempt).
- Wait to receive your “Work Permit approval notice” which will be through your MyCIC Account.
- Your actual Co-Op Work Permit will be sent to your mailing address in Canada.
If you are accepted directly into a program requiring a co-op or internship, you can apply for co-op/internship work permit at the same time as you apply for your initial Study Permit from outside of Canada. You will be applying online.
- Go to the Apply Online pageof the IRCC website and fill out the “Check your Eligibility to Apply Questionnaire“.
- After you have completed the first part of the questionnaire it will indicate that you may be eligible to come to Canada as a student.
- You will then be prompted to continue with completing the questionnaire and when asked: “Is work an essential component of your studies?” you must indicate “Yes” (whether the placement is paid or unpaid).
- At the end of the questionnaire, you will be provided with your personalized document checklist which will include the “Application for Study Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM1294)” form that you are required to complete AND one of the supporting documents you will be required to upload is “Evidence of Work Requirement in Study” (you can highlight the part about work in your Letter of Offer and a letter of explanation written by yourself).
- Print the “Document Checklist” that you are provided at the end of the questionnaire and write down the personal reference code provided on the first line of your “Document Checklist” (you will need it in order to initiate your study permit/co-op work permit application through your MyCIC account).
- Log on to MyCIC (or register for an account – also known as a “GC Key” – if you don’t have one already)
- Complete the “Study Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1294)” PDF Form provided
- You will not be asked any information about your co-op/internship work on this form.
- Once this form is completed save it to your desktop as you will upload it as part of your study permit application which will be done through your MyCIC Account
- NOTE: Brock’s Immigration Canada (IRCC) Designated Learning Institution numbers (DLI#) is: O19394569014 (The first one is a letter O, not zero 0).
- Upload required documents from within your MyCIC Account
- Upload your saved “Application for Study Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1294)” Form to your application.
- When asked to upload your passport, be sure to include ALL stamped/marked pages of your passport.
- Upload your Letter of Offer from Brock stating that work is a necessary requirement for the completion of your studies.
- If you are required to do a medical exam for your work permit application (see Jobs for which you need a medical exam), upload proof of this (i.e. a medical exam receipt). See detailed instructions.
- Pay the required fees:
- The Co-op/internship work permit is free (fee-exempt). Study permit application has a fee.
- Wait to receive your Study Permit and Work Permit “POE letter of introduction” which will be issued to you through your MyCIC Account.
- Print this letter as you will be required to present it to the Canadian Border Service Agent when you arrive in Canada. You will be issued your actual Study Permit and your Co-Op Work Permit documents at that time.
International students who are currently in Canada may apply for their Coop Work Permit by travelling to a US/Canada land border (“flagpoling”). Students who choose to flagpole must do so during the flagpoling hours.
Apply at the border/Flagpoling:
- Although we cannot guarantee that you will be issued a Co-Op Work Permit at the Canadian port-of-entry/border you have the option of applying for it – and obtaining it the same day – if you are TRV-exempt, meaning either:
- You are a citizen of a TRV-exempt country, OR
- You are a citizen of a TRV-required country, and are re-entering Canada solely from the US
- The closest land borders that process Co-Op work permits are:
- Lewiston-Queenston Bridge
- Rainbow Bridge
- Peace Bridge
- Do not forget to bring your Supporting Documents to the border, including:
- Valid Passport
- Valid Study Permit
- Your Co-Op letter provided to you by Co-op office
- If you are required to do a medical exam for your work permit application (see Jobs for which you need a medical exam), bring proof of this (i.e. a medical exam receipt)
- Optional but recommended: Proof of enrolment (which you can print off student Portal)
NOTE: Make sure that you clearly state that you are a Brock student and that the work is an integral part of your studies at Brock.
If you are required to extend your co-op Work Permit, please follow the same instructions as provided in the Section “How do you apply for a co-op work permit from within Canada” above.
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 4-6 months before your study permit expiry.
As an international student, you have unique needs when it comes to looking for work during and after your studies at Brock. You may have many questions about the Canadian job market or how to navigate through the job search, as well as how to prepare a Canadian CV and cover letter. Brock’s department of Co-op, Career and Experiential Education (CCEE) is here to help you find your way. Visit the websites below to learn more.
Transition & Settlement
Once you’ve graduated and you’ve made the decision to stay in Canada, your goal is to prepare for the socio-cultural differences between campus, society, community, and workplace. There are a number of resources that can help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of Ontario’s and Canada’s society outside of academia.
Additionally, many departments offer Alumni services for a certain period of time after graduation, and some offer lifetime access.
As you approach the end of your studies, international students in Ontario must decide whether or not to remain in Canada. Graduation is a time of transition for every student, but international students must think carefully about what they plan to do after graduation and the end of their study permit.
If you think you may like to become a permanent resident of Canada after graduation, you should begin researching the different pathways to immigration before you even begin your studies. There are several pathways to immigration for international students who complete college or university programs in Ontario.
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) is designed to help the province of Ontario select new immigrants with the appropriate skills and experience to work and live in Ontario. The program nominates people for permanent resident status within Ontario. The individuals will submit their own permanent residence application through one of the immigration programs through IRCC. Following three streams are most common for international students.
You can apply for permanent residence under the OINP if you obtain a bachelor’s degree, a two-year diploma, or a post-graduate certificate from an institution in Ontario and you have a permanent full-time job offer from a registered Ontario employer. You must apply for this program within two years of graduation. Job Offer applicants may apply from outside Canada. If applying from within Canada, applicants must have legal status within the country.
You can apply for permanent residence under the OINP if you obtain a master’s degree from an Ontario university. You must apply for this program within two years of graduation. Master’s applicants do not need a job offer, but they must be currently living in Ontario and planning to live and work in the province. Applicants must have legal status within the country.
You can apply for permanent residence under the OINP if you obtain a doctorate degree from an Ontario university. You must apply for this program within two years of graduation. Ph.D. applicants do not need a job offer and they may apply from outside Canada. If applying from within Canada, applicants must have legal status within the country.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses the Express Entry system to select new immigrants based on their skills, education, work experience, and ability to settle in Canada, etc. There are three federal express entry streams: Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and the Federal Skilled Trades Program. The first two programs are most common for international students.
The Express Entry process manages permanent residence applications for three federal economic immigration programs:. These programs are designed for people with previous work experience and the first two programs can apply to international students.
The Canadian Experience Class is for applicants who have at least one year of Canadian work experience in a skilled, professional, or technical field. International students who plan to apply for permanent residence under this class should start preparing the application three years before the submission date.
There is a specific list of job categories included in this program. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada outlines how international students can qualify for the Canadian Experience Class program.
The Federal Skilled Worker Program is for applicants who are skilled professionals with qualifications and work experience in management positions, professions, or technical and skilled trades. In this class, the work experience does not have to be in Canada. Applicants are awarded points under the following six categories:
- facility with English or French
- work experience
- job offer
If you meet the requirements of one of the above immigration programs, you can create your own online Express Entry profile (a free application). Once your profile is completed, you will be ranked in the Express Entry pool through Comprehensive Ranking System. Candidates with highest scores will receive invitations to apply for immigration under one of the above programs.
Check out these workshops on ExperienceBU:
- Employment/Workplace Culture
- Employer Expectation
- Company Benefits
- Tax Information
- Community Participation
- Health Care and Insurance
- Legal Rights
- Pathway to Permanent Residence in Canada
- Social Insurance Number
- International Student Connect: provides online and in-person support for international students in Ontario.
- Government of Canada; Workplace Standards: Information about federal and provincial labour laws, workplace standards, federal health and safety standards, and labour relations programs.
- Government of Canada Job Bank: Canada’s national employment service, and the leading source of jobs and labour market information in the country.
- Niagara Workforce Planning Board: providing resources for Niagara’s job seekers and workers with tools and insights to help identify opportunities and support career planning.
- In Communities: information about Niagara community services, volunteer connections and language services.
Career Success Stories
Curious about what Brock international students are doing now? Check out some of our career success stories below!
Anton Hoa Ton, Class of 2018
Degree: Master of Education in Administration, Leadership, and Policy
In 2017, Anton arrived in Canada to pursue his second master’s degree at Brock University at the age of 40, leaving his spouse and two little sons in his home country, Vietnam. With his previous educational accomplishments and professional competencies, he continued to further his studies at Brock University’s Faculty of Education, proudly receiving the Leadership Scholarship from the faculty, and successfully graduating in 2018.
It sounds like a smooth journey, but it was not at all!
On his graduation day in October 2018, he did not celebrate the special day with his family members, as their Visitor Visa applications to Canada had been refused, not once, but twice! Fortunately, Brock University’s 2018 convocation ceremonies were live-streamed, so his beloved family was able to watch him walk across the stage, creating a truly memorable experience. It was not until the end of 2019, after a 2-year education-to-career journey, that Anton was able to reunite with his spouse and kids in Canada.
Upon graduation, Anton landed a job as an Education Counsellor at the Erindale Academy and is now the Associate Director of International Student Recruitment and Marketing at the school. In October 2021, Anton and his family members officially became permanent residents of Canada.
Reflecting on his journey to Canada, Anton considers Brock University a steppingstone to his satisfying career and life in Canada – his second homeland. Brock University has a lot to offer to its students, especially those who are international. Brock University has caring professors, attentive academic and career support staff, and a supportive community. Brock University International Student Career and Settlement Services are readily accessible for timely and informative advice and consultation on a variety of areas, such as career and immigration. “There is always someone at Brock University to offer support and advice”, said Anton, firmly and proudly.
As one of the Brock University International Alumni, Anton considers himself an untitled ambassador to Brock University.
Marcello Muniz Correa, Class of 2021
Degree: Bachelor of Science, Biotechnology
Marcelo Muniz Correa came to Canada in 2016 to pursue an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology, but what makes Marcelo unique is that he was able to unite his passion for studying with that of playing volleyball at a high-performance level. Many had told him that being a varsity athlete, taking on difficult science courses, and working part-time would be very challenging, and they were right! Though completing his degree was not easy, Marcelo noticed that all those skills he had to develop to succeed (e.g., teamwork, leadership, discipline, time management) had positively shaped who he was as a person and future professional in his discipline.
As Marcelo continued his various part-time and full-time jobs, along with serving as an International Student Ambassador and fully engaging in the campus community, he was fortunate to be exposed to diverse areas of the labour market: from retail to research assistant positions in both academia and in the private sector, to landscaping, to volleyball coaching, to even international student recruitment! Marcelo noticed that “Getting exposed to a variety of job areas helped me to gain valuable insights on myself: what I liked, what I didn’t like as much, and what I envisioned to do in the long run. Thinking on ‘how’ to get there, however, was scarier, as there can be multiple paths to arrive at an end goal, and that’s exactly where Brock International Career and Settlement programs were pivotal to me”.
The more Marcelo took advantage of campus career services, such as CV and cover letter writing support with CareerZone or attending Brock’s Employability Expo, the more opportunities he had to talk to professionals from different areas and gain valuable career-planning insights while still being a student. In his last year as an undergraduate, he had an important decision to make: to continue his education in graduate studies or begin full-time employment. Though entering the working world would be a shorter path to settlement, in the end, his love for academic research is what ultimately led to his decision to pursue graduate studies at Brock in Gene Biotechnology.
Currently, Marcelo plans to continue his path in research at Brock and still hopes to become a permanent resident of Canada in the near future. To current and future international students, he offers the following advice: “Take advantage of all services, workshops, and info sessions that Brock offers. They are there for you and may greatly help you in your journey. Also, get exposure to different areas through volunteering, part-time work, and so on; these experiences can help you to better know yourself, and your preferences and they offer great networking experiences.”