Study permit and work permit at the same time
Erevu is a Tanzanian citizen. He holds a valid work permit in Canada. However, Erevu wonders if he could also apply for a study permit. He is willing to complete a diploma program at a community college in Toronto. Nonetheless, he will apply only if he can hold a study permit and a work permit at the same time.
Table of contents
- Why do I need a study permit while holding a work permit?
- Why do I need a work permit while holding a study permit?
- Under what circumstances do I lose my study permit?
- Can I apply for a work permit while holding a study permit?
- Can I apply for a study permit while holding a work permit?
- Work experience for Canadian Experience Class
- Let us help!
- Read this in Spanish
Why do I need a study permit while holding a work permit?
A work permit allows you to make a living in Canada. However, work permits include restrictions. Here are some of them:
- You may not work in the adult industry.
- With no upfront medical exam, you may not work in the following sectors: (1) healthcare; (2) direct work with minors, such as daycares and primary schools.
- You may face restrictions regarding the place, region of employment, or even the NOC of the job.
- Unless authorized, you may not study without a study permit.
Sometimes despite not having a study permit, you may study in Canada. I have listed these situations in another article. However, our focus in the current article is on those situations that require study permits.
Why do I need a work permit while holding a study permit?
The purpose of a study permit is to study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. Most post-secondary students may work on the campus of school while studying. Moreover, full-time students at post-secondary DLIs may work up to 20 hours per week off-campus. A recent public policy allows this group to work full-time off-campus until December 31, 2023. Unless the government extends this policy, it will end soon. Sometimes your studies require co-op work or internship. You receive a study permit and a work permit simultaneously for such programs. However, the employer’s name on the work permit is usually the school. They may place you with an employer for your internship or co-op work. Considering these limitations, you may not work off-campus if,
- You are studying at a primary or secondary school.
- You are an ESL student, or your studies are not full-time.
In these circumstances, your only chance to work is to have a work permit.
Under what circumstances do I lose my study permit?
A person loses their study permit on the earliest of one of the following dates [practitioners see R222(1)].
- 90 days after completing their studies
- when receiving an enforceable removal order
- reaching the expiration date on the study permit
The first condition does not apply to the following people:
- Refugee claimants, protected persons, and others who are exempt from the study permit processing fee.
- The family members of a foreign national who holds a valid study permit, work permit, or a six-plus-month TRP
- The family members of people who may work in Canada without a permit for one of the following reasons.
- an officer of a foreign government described in R186(e);
- The family members of those foreign nationals who are subject to unenforceable removal orders
Can I apply for a work permit while holding a study permit?
The simple answer is yes. As mentioned in the previous section, holding a work permit is not a reason to cancel a study permit. Moreover, there is nothing under the Immigration Act or regulations that indicates international students lose their study permit if they receive a work permit. On the contrary, two examples demonstrate that you may simultaneously hold study and work permits.
- As I mentioned earlier, for co-op work or internship
- Receiving a work permit as a destitute student
Considering these examples and the previous explanations, you may apply for a work permit when holding a study permit. You’ll keep your study permit whether the officer approves or refuses the work permit application.
Can I apply for a study permit while holding a work permit?
I have another article that explains the reasons for losing a work permit. Generally speaking, these circumstances include the following:
- The work permit has reached its expiration date
- Losing the work permit because of non-compliance
- Loss of work permit because of public policy
An immigration officer has the power to cancel a work permit under the authority of section 185(a) of IRPR. However, I cannot recall if I have ever seen an officer cancels a work permit for no reason. Considering these explanations, you may apply and receive a study permit without losing your work permit.
Can a person hold two work permits in Canada?
Work experience for Canadian Experience Class
While studying full-time, you may not count your work experience for immigration under CEC. Therefore, if you hold both a study permit and a work permit, your Canadian work experience becomes moot. Consequently, if you hold a work permit and intend to immigrate under Canadian Experience Class, please consider postponing your application for a study permit. Alternatively, you may decide to delay applying for immigration. Of course, you could have both permits and qualify for Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSW) or other options.
Let us help!
If you have questions about holding a study and work permit simultaneously, please book a consultation with me. Of course, I can offer consultation about other immigration and visa matters in Canada. You may alternatively complete our assessment form or the following form.
Would you please fill out our free assessment form if you wish to visit or move to Canada? We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal immigration advice from a licensed practitioner.
Al ParsaiAl Parsai, LLM, MA, RCIC-IRB
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada
Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!
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