Airport worker smiling and checking in male traveler

Working in the United States (U.S.)? You will need a work permit to be legally allowed to work for your co-op work term.   

There are various types of work permits. We provide support for the J-1 visa, which includes an intern category that applies for students on a co-op work term. If your employer wants you to obtain a different work permit (like a TN), please contact for more information. 

Please note, if you are a U.S. citizen or if your work term will be remote from Canada, then you do not need a work permit. The following information applies if you will be working from within the U.S.

About the J-1 visa

J-1 visa applications

Spring 2024

Regardless of how you obtained employment, spring 2024 J-1 visa applications will start on Friday, February 9, 2024. You cannot apply for the visa unless you have been approved for co-op credit and your work term is listed on WaterlooWorks.

  • The last date international students may apply for a J-1 U.S. visa is Friday, August 30, 2024, at 4:30 p.m. ET
  • The last date Canadian students may apply for a J-1 U.S. visa is Friday, September 6, 2024, at 4:30 p.m. ET

Next steps

Once you have the necessary authorization for travel for your U.S. work term, there are a few other requirements to ensure your work term is eligible for co-op credit: 

  • Visit the Co-op requirements checklist to learn more about the Risk Management Form, the Anvil App and more.  

  • Access the Co-op Work Term Readiness course on LEARN. It provides great information and resources including what to bring with you to the airport.

  • Once you have arrived in the U.S., let your international employment specialist (and your visa sponsor) know that you’ve arrived at your location.

  • Update your emergency contact and location information in WaterlooWorks and contact your visa sponsor as soon as possible after arriving in the U.S.