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International Student Guidebook

Frequently Asked Questions

Study Permits and Working While Studying


  1. I am planning to study at NSCC for less than 6 months. Do I need a study permit?

    No, you do not need a study permit if your program of study is less than 6 months.


  2. I started my program as full time, but I want to switch to part-time for one semester. Can I do this?

    Your study permit remains valid for your part-time studies. However, you must be a full-time student to work on and off-campus and the post-graduate work permit requires that you pursued studies as a full-time student. If you plan to stay and work in Canada after graduation, we recommend you don’t switch to part-time status.


  3. Can I work part-time? Do I need a special work permit?

    Full-time students with a valid study permit are permitted to work off-campus without a work permit up to 20 hours/week and full-time during school breaks (i.e. summer).


  4. What is considered part-time at NSCC?

    Anything under 60% of the full course load in a program is considered part-time. For program specific information you should contact the Assistant Registrar at your Campus.


  5. If I become a part-time student, can I still work part-time?

    No. You must be a full-time student in order to work on and off campus.


  6. I have to discontinue my studies at NSCC. What do I do?

    Students wishing to withdraw from the College are required to complete a Program Withdrawal form which can be obtained from the Assistant Registrar at your Campus.


  7. I have to take a leave of absence for one semester. What do I do?

    NSCC does not currently have a leave of absence policy. You will have to withdraw from your program and then either reapply if you need courses in the first semester of your program or submit a Return to Studies form to be considered for readmission to your program.


  8. How does taking a leave of absence or discontinuing my studies affect my immigration status in Canada?

    Your study permit requires you to continuously pursue your studies and as of April 2015, NSCC will be reporting students’ registration status to IRCC. You may have to change your status to visitor and re-apply for a new permit. If you are taking a leave of absence please contact NSCC International for assistance.


  9. Can I take online courses? How many can I take?

    You are not permitted to have a study permit for an online or distance learning program. While you may take a class or two online within your program, you may not take an entirely online program.


  10. I am transferring to NSCC from another Canadian university or college. Do I have to let Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) know?

    Yes – you have to notify IRCC any time that you change institutions while studying in Canada.  The process is called “Changing DLI”, and you need to do it online, using IRCC’s portal.  You can find more information and instructions in the NSCC International Student Guidebook

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Co-Op Work Permits


  1. What is a co-op work permit?

    A co-op work permit allows you to work full-time during the academic year.


  2. When do I need a co-op work permit?

    If your program of study requires one or more work terms, work placements, clinical, practicum, co-op or internship placements, you will require a co-op work permit.


  3. I am doing a work placement, but it’s unpaid. Do I still need a co-op work permit?

    If you are working full-time (paid or unpaid) as part of your studies, you do require the co-op work permit.


  4. What is a co-op letter and where do I get it?

    You can get a co-op letter from the Assistant Registrar at your Campus. This letter will confirm that work is a mandatory part of your program.


  5. When should I apply for my co-op work permit?

    You should apply for your co-op work permit at least 3 months before your first work term. The permit is free and in most cases will expire the same date as your study permit. You can also apply for a co-op work permit at the same time as your study permit.


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Working after graduation – Post-Graduate Work Permit


  1. What is a Post-Graduate Work Permit? How long will it allow me to work in Canada?

    A post-graduate work permit allows you to work in Canada for up to three years after you graduate. The length of you work permit depends on the length of your program of study.  If your program was two years (or more) in length, you will receive a 3 year work permit. If your program was a one year program, you will receive a one year permit.


  2. When should I apply for my Post-Graduate Work Permit?

    You must apply for your PGWP within 90 days of receiving notification from your department that you have completed your program. You must have a valid study permit when you apply and you must apply from Canada.


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