February 26, 2024

Can a Foreign National Hold a Valid Study Permit and Work Permit Simultaneously?

The desire to pursue both academic and professional opportunities in Canada is a common one for many foreign nationals. Fortunately, under certain circumstances, it is possible to hold a valid study permit and work permit simultaneously in Canada. However, navigating this process requires understanding individual eligibility criteria, demonstrating your ability to manage both commitments, and potentially encountering specific limitations based on your goals.

Eligibility for Two Permits

While holding two permits grants access to both education and employment, it's crucial to remember that each permit has its own distinct eligibility requirements.

1. Study Permit:

To be eligible for a study permit, you must meet several essential criteria:

Acceptance into a Designated Learning Institution (DLI): You must receive a letter of acceptance from a DLI, which is an educational institution recognized by the Canadian government to accept international students.

Financial Resources: You must demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support yourself and any dependents throughout your studies in Canada. This includes providing proof of tuition fees, living expenses, and any other relevant costs.

Health and Character Requirements: You must meet specific health requirements, which may involve undergoing a medical examination, and comply with Canada's character requirements, demonstrating no criminal activity or other factors that could pose a security risk.

For comprehensive details and updated information on study permit eligibility, refer to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

2. Work Permit:

The specific criteria for work permits can vary considerably depending on the type of work being offered, your skills, and individual circumstances. However, some common requirements include:

Genuine Job Offer: You must have a bona fide job offer from a Canadian employer willing to hire you and obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) if necessary.

Skill Requirements: You must possess the skills and qualifications required for the specific position as outlined in the job offer. This may involve providing educational credentials, work experience documentation, or professional licenses.

Financial Support: You must demonstrate sufficient financial means to support yourself and any dependents while living and working in Canada.

For a more detailed exploration of work permit types and their specific eligibility requirements, visit the IRCC website.

Balancing Work and Studies

Even if you meet the individual eligibility criteria of both permits, convincing an immigration officer that you can effectively manage both your studies and work commitments is essential. To achieve this, IRCC recommends including a well-written letter of explanation as part of your application package.

This letter should outline:

Specific details on how you will balance your work schedule with your studies: This includes information about your planned course load, intended work hours, and strategies for managing your time effectively.

Concrete examples of your time management skills: Providing evidence of previous academic or work experiences where you successfully juggled multiple responsibilities can strengthen your application.

Alignment between your work and studies: Demonstrate how your chosen work experience aligns with your academic goals and will contribute to your overall career aspirations.

Online applicants: Remember to upload your letter of explanation in the "Client Information" section of your document checklist.

Additional Considerations

While it's possible to hold both permits, it's essential to be aware of some additional factors:

Studying without a Study Permit for Certain Work Permit Holders: In specific cases, some individuals holding valid work permits issued before June 7, 2023, or with a work authorization letter issued before that date, may be eligible to study in Canada without needing a separate study permit.

Impact on Permanent Residence (PR) Eligibility: It's important to understand that work experience gained while holding a study permit does not typically count towards the work experience requirements for most PR programs. However, there are exceptions like the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) within the Express Entry system. While work experience gained during your studies won't contribute to your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, it can fulfill the minimum work experience requirement for the program.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Eligibility: For international students seeking a PGWP after completing their studies, it's critical to maintain full-time student status throughout your program even while holding and utilizing a work permit. This ensures you remain eligible for the PGWP program.

Seeking Additional Support

Navigating the complexities of double permits can be challenging. To ensure a smooth application process and overcome potential hurdles, consulting with a reputable immigration consultant or lawyer is highly recommended. An immigration lawyer can provide invaluable assistance by:

  1. Helping you accurately complete your permit applications.
  2. Effectively communicating with the Canadian government on your behalf.
  3. Guiding you through the process to minimize potential errors and delays.


While holding both a study permit and work permit in Canada requires fulfilling specific criteria, demonstrating successful time management, and understanding the potential impacts on specific programs, it opens doors to enriching educational and professional experiences. By carefully planning, following the outlined procedures, and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can increase your chances of obtaining both permits and reaping the rewards of studying and working in Canada.

Seeking Guidance for Canadian Immigration?

Navigating the complexities of obtaining both a study permit and work permit in Canada can be challenging. Partnering with experienced immigration consultants like Pelican Migration Consultants can significantly streamline the process and increase your chances of success.

Pelican Migration Consultants, leading immigration consultants in Dubai, boasts extensive expertise in assisting individuals from countries around the world in migrating to Canada. With a proven track record of success and a commitment to client satisfaction, our team of CICC licensed immigration consultants is well-equipped to guide you through every step of the application process, including:

  1. Assessing your eligibility for both study and work permits
  2. Preparing and submitting your applications with meticulous attention to detail
  3. Communicating effectively with Canadian immigration authorities on your behalf
  4. Providing ongoing support and guidance throughout the process

Don't navigate this crucial journey alone. Contact Pelican Migration Consultants today to schedule a consultation and explore your options for studying and working in Canada.