On January 22, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) announced a number of updates and measures to the International Student Program. A cap will be placed on the intake of outside Canada study permit applications, resulting in approximately 360,000 approved permits. The number allocated to British Columbia or SFU is not known at this time.

The following updates are highlighted into two parts for undergraduates and graduate students. Note that the information on this page is current as of February 2, 2024.

Undergraduate Students:

1.     Beginning January 22, 2024, unless exempted, most international students must include an attestation letter with their outside Canada study permit applications.

2.     Current students applying to extend or change the conditions of their study permits within Canada are exempt from having an attestation letter.

3.     In the weeks ahead, spouses/common-law partners of undergraduate students will no longer qualify for open work permits. IRCC has yet to announce the implementation date.

Graduate Students:

1.     Master’s and PhD students are exempt from the study permit intake cap and requirement of attestation letter for their study permit applications.

2.     Starting on February 15, 2024, a longer, 3-year post-graduation work permit will be available to those who are graduating from a master’s degree program that is less than 2 years and who meet all other PGWP eligibility criteria. For undergraduate students and other short-term graduate level programs (e.g. graduate certificate/diploma), there are no changes to the eligibility criteria for the PGWP. 

For more information about how the above updates may impact you, review our News and Updates section.  We will update the page with new details as they become available.

Co-operative Education provides an opportunity to alternate degree-related, paid work terms with academic study. Co-op positions may be available on campus, in Vancouver, across Canada and even overseas! Many international students participate in Co-op.  If you're interested, do your research early to find out the GPA requirements and deadlines. Contact the Co-op Co-ordinator in your faculty for more information.

After being accepted into Co-op you must apply for a work permit.  Your Co-op work permit will only allow you to work in jobs which are part of the Co-op program and only while you are enrolled at SFU.

Your Co-op Co-ordinator will issue a letter for you to include with your work permit application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Co-op work permits are free (fee exempt). For instructions on how to apply, please review the "Co-op/SFU-Approved Internship Work Permit" handout on our Instruction Guides page.

Important: If your study permit will expire in the next few months, you should apply for both your study and work permit at the same time, using one application. You will need to include all documents and pay a fee for your study permit extension.  See Extend your study permit for details.