International Students

Mandatory Internship and Co-op Program

IMPORTANT
This website has no legal value; it’s simply a summary of the procedures in effect, compiled to the best of our knowledge on the date it was prepared. This information is subject to change without notice. The laws and regulations of Québec and Canada, as well as the information found on the MIFI and IRCC websites take precedence over this website.
Updated: 2022-10-26

IRCC update: coop work permit and off-campus work

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides that from November 15, 2022 to December 31, 2023, students with off-campus work authorization on their study permit will be able to work more than 20 hours/week during regular semesters in their program.  This relaxation has implications for the internship work permit (co-op):

  • If you have a study permit authorizing off-campus work valid as of October 7, 2022, or have filed an application (first application or extension) on or before that date: you will not need to file a co-op work permit, you will be able to complete your internship using your off-campus work authorization
  • If you applied for your study permit (first application or extension) after October 7, 2022 or plan on doing your internship after December 31, 2023: you must apply for a co-op work permit.  However, you will be able to begin your internship before your work permit is issued.

For more information, please refer to this page.



Co-op students and interns must obtain a C32 work permit (C32-WP). C32 is a code used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to indicate that no labour-market impact assessment (LMIA) is required prior to the permit being issued.

A person who holds a C32-WP is authorized to work in Canada in a job that is part of a mandatory internship.

 

What kind of work can i do C32-WP?

The C32-WP is a document that authorizes you to work in Canada* in a job that:

  • Is a requirement for all students in your program;
  • Is essential to obtain your Canadian degree;
  • Does not constitute more than 50% of your total program of study.

We call these jobs mandatory internships.

What is a mandatory internship?

Here are the jobs that Polytechnique recognizes as mandatory internships for the various study programs available at our university.

Study program at Polytechnique

Jobs recognized as mandatory internships at Polytechnique

Bachelor of Engineering

Regular program (all fields except geological and mine engineering)

One mandatory internship required for the program. Must be completed between the 55th and 80th credits.

Co-op program (geological and mine engineering)

3 mandatory internships required for the program.

Graduate studies

Professional master’s programs

Internships are credited and the credits count toward a Polytechnique degree.

C32-WPs are not valid for other types of work. If you would like to work in a position that is not recognized as being an essential part of your study program, including optional internships, you must use the work permit exemptions for on-campus or off-campus work.  

If you are enrolled in a bachelor’s program and would like more information on what permits are required for mandatory or optional internships, please refer to the information provided in this chart (in French only).

If you are unsure whether you need a C32-WP, please speak to our International Student Advisor.  

* No Canadian immigration document, including a coop work permit, is necessary if you do your internship abroad, even if your employer is Canadian.  The coop work permit is mandatory only if your internship is done on Canadian territory.  Work authorizations might be necessary if your internship takes place in a different country than that of your citizenship. 

Obtaining an internship confirmation from Polytechnique

To apply for a C32-WP, you will need written confirmation about your internship from the applicable authority: 

Study program at Polytechnique

Who can issue an internship confirmation

Bachelor of Engineering

Service des stages et de l'emploi (employment services), located at 3535 Queen-Mary, 5th floor

Graduate studies

Profesional master’s programs

Registrar’s Office (the internship must be listed in your study plan in order for the letter to be issued)

Conditions and characteristics of the C32-WP?

Period of validity

Generally, a C32-WP will be valid for the duration of your study permit (SP), but not longer.

Open permit

A C32-WP is an “open permit,” which means you don’t need to have a job offer before you apply. This type of permit is open to any job that meets the conditions of the permit (i.e., any job that meets the criteria for a mandatory internship).

Employer 

Even though your C32-WP is open, it will list Polytechnique Montréal as your employer. However, this does not mean that you must obtain a job on campus.

Work schedule restrictions

C32-WPs do not restrict the number of hours you can work per week, regardless of the academic term.

Other restrictions

Under a C32-WP, you may not hold a position that requires you to work closely with people in an occupation in which public health must be protected (such as childcare or healthcare).  The IRCC website includes a non-exhaustive list of these occupations.

To have these restrictions waived, you must undergo a medical exam with an approved doctor and include proof of this medical exam in your WP application. Persons who do not wish to work in one of these occupations are not required to take a medical exam.

Application fees

There are no fees for applying for a C32-WP. This permit is issued free of charge. 

When to apply for a C32-WP?

COVID-19: Processing times for work permits are currently very long, therefore, you should apply for a C32-WP a minimum of 6 months before the intended start of your internship.

You should apply for a C32-WP as soon as you know that an internship is an essential component of your study program. If you are already in Canada, it can take several months for the permit to be issued. In all other cases, the IRCC does not ask you to specify your employer or internship details in your C32-WP application. However, the IRCC does require a confirmation from Polytechnique that your study program includes an internship.

For bachelor’s programs
The C32-WP application must be submitted as soon as the program begins, as all students are required to complete a mandatory internship. This is indicated on your letter of admission. You may apply for the C32-WP prior to arriving in Canada, at the same time as you apply for your initial study permit. If no C32-WP was issued to you when you initially entered Canada, you may request it once you have arrived. Don’t forget that if you apply for a study permit extension prior to completing your mandatory internship, you will have to renew your C32-WP at the same time. You should start this application process 6 to 7 months before your documents expire.

For graduate programs (Professional Masters')
Unless this permit was issued to you along with your initial study permit, you must apply for a C32-WP as soon as you get approval from your academic or research supervisor to do an internship. The internship must appear in your study plan in order for you to apply.

 

Application type

Processing times (as posted on the IRCC website)

C32-WP only (initial application)

See the processing times for Work permit extension (new employer)

Extension of SP+C32-WP

See the processing times for Study permits

How to apply?

The instructions below explain how to apply once you are in Canada. If you are a new student in a bachelor of engineering program and are physically located outside of Canada, you must include your C32-WP application with your initial study permit application.

There are three ways to apply:

  • Applying online
  • Applying by mail
  • Applying at a Canadian port of entry

APPLYING ONLINE

You must create a Government of Canada online account called MyCIC. Click here for information on how to create an account. You’ll be directed to a series of questions to determine whether or not you are eligible to apply online.

If you’re only applying for a work permit, you should be directed to an application to work as a co-op student or intern. If you are applying to renew your study permit and C32-WP, follow the instructions available here.

Applying online is the most secure option, as the risk of your file being lost is much lower than when applying by mail. It also reduces the chances that your application will be rejected, as it is almost impossible to forget to answer a question or attach a document.

APPLYING BY MAIL

On-paper applications are restricted to specific cases described on the IRCC website

APPLYING AT A CANADIAN PORT OF ENTRY

ATTENTION!  Hours of service have been established for the processing of work permit applications at the Canadian-American border.  Please refer to the CBSA website for details.  As a limited number of cases are processed each day on a first come first served basis, we advise you to arrive on place a few hours before, in order to increase your chances of being selected.

You can apply for a C32-WP at a Canadian port of entry, such as at the airport when flying into Canada or at the border crossing when travelling by land. The application will be processed by a Border Services agent and the permit will be issued on the spot. When you apply at a land port of entry, you’ll have to leave Canadian soil in order to cross the border again. When you re-enter Canada, you will be subject to the usual customs verifications.

There is no form to fill out, but you must have all the necessary support documents, including a letter from Polytechnique confirming that your study program includes an internship. For more information on what support documents are needed, conduct an online application simulation or consult the Document Checklist.

The IRCC’s instructions state that in order to be eligible to apply for a C32-WP at a point of entry, you must be exempt from the requirement for a temporary resident visa (source). In other words, if you come from a country where a temporary resident visa is required to enter Canada, you are in theory not eligible to apply for a C32-WP at a Canadian port of entry and must therefore apply online or by mail.

Biometrics

COVID-19: If you are in Canada, IRCC is temporarily setting aside the mandatory requirement to provide biometric data, given that Service Canada offices have not yet reopened to provide the aforementioned data collection services.

Applicants are required to provide their biometrics, unless they have already provided them to IRCC in the last ten years in a prior application (ex: study or work permit, temporary resident visa). 

Biometrics consist of a photograph and fingerprints, which are used by the Canadian government to establish a person's identity. If you are required to provide them, the fee is $85 CDN (170$ for a family unit); you will need to present yourself at a Service Canada collection center for in-Canada applications, or at a point of entry, if the application is made on site.

If you have to provide biometrics, you can still complete the online application for your co-op work permit. To proceed with biometric data collection, IRCC will upload an instruction letter on your MyCIC account once they receive your application. Follow the instructions in the letter. Print a copy of the letter and bring it with you, as well as all required documents when you go to the biometrics data collection centre. Note that processing times posted on the IRCC website do not include the time required to travel to the VAC for biometrics collection purpose.

Once collected, biometrics remain valid for ten years.

To learn more on biometrics, visit the IRCC website.