Study permit and work permit at the same time

work and study permit in Canada

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.

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:

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,

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)].

  1. 90 days after completing their studies
  2. when receiving an enforceable removal order
  3. reaching the expiration date on the study permit

The first condition does not apply to the following people:

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.

Relevant article:
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.

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