Skip to main content

Foreign workers and interns

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian immigration rules allow Université Laval to receive visiting professors and researchers, postdoctoral and medical fellows, training or research interns and other foreign workers such as tenure-track professors and research professionals who:

What you need to do

All foreign workers and interns who wish to come to Université Laval must read this page which, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been provided as a complement to the usual immigration procedures.

This page summarizes the rules in effect at the time of writing. The health situation in Canada, the requirements for entering Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic and the immigration requirements may change at any time. It is therefore important that you also consult the websites of the relevant authorities (notably federal and provincial authorities).

See the list at the bottom of the page. See the procedure that applies to your situation.

Immigration process and vaccination status

Your vaccination status is now the first thing to consider when planning a stay at Université Laval.

As of January 15, 2022, individuals with a valid work permit (or a letter approving a work permit) will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada.

Foreign workers exempt of a work permit are eligible to enter Canada only if they are fully vaccinated.

Effective November 30, 2021, Canada will expand the list of COVID-19 vaccines to include Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN.

Travellers should check if they are eligible to enter Canada and meet all entry requirements before heading to the border.

Please note that fully vaccinated foreign nationals must still prepare a quarantine plan.

All students, including postdoctoral and medical fellows as well as training or research interns, have been required to be adequately protected against COVID-19 to access a health and social services establishment or a research centre adjacent to such an establishment for the purpose of their fellowship or internship in Quebec.

When requesting an invitation for a fellowship or internship, students who are not adequately protected against COVID-19 must notify their supervisor. Their invitation may be postponed or cancelled.

It is the students’ responsibility to ensure they meet the requirement for adequate protection against COVID-19 and to provide proof of vaccination to the Registrar’s Office when registering. Students who are not adequately protected cannot register for or carry out their fellowship or internship.

Pay attention: Québec protection standards and vaccines approved by Canada may differ. Students are responsible to ensure their vaccines meet the requirements for Canada and Québec.

Once the foreign worker or intern has obtained an invitation letter, he or she can go through the usual immigration procedures.

Here is how COVID-19 has affected the procedures.

Find out about the current public health situation in Quebec before you book your trip. Due to the pandemic, certain services and businesses may be closed, public and private gatherings may be banned or limited, and travel between regions may be restricted.

Université Laval’s on-campus health guidelines to slow the spread of the pandemic follow the government’s current COVID-19 directives and the alert levels for the Capitale-Nationale region.

As a general rule, foreign workers or interns may be accompanied by members of their immediate family, i.e. their spouse or common-law partner and dependent children. The accompanying individuals must meet the Canadian vaccination requirements, provide the immigration documents required based on their situation and meet the requirements for entering Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as preparing a quarantine plan and their proof of vaccination, doing the pre-entry COVID-19 test, download and fill the ArriveCAN app and if applicable, do a random COVID-19 test upon arrival.

Workers and interns applying for a work permit can include their family members’ applications with their own. Their spouse or common-law partner may then be eligible for an open work permit. School-age children must usually apply first for a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (Certificat d’acceptation du Québec,  CAQ) and then for a study permit.

Travellers should check if they are eligible to enter Canada and meet all entry requirements before heading to the border.

Université Laval is not responsible for the immigration process for family members.

Biometrics (photo and fingerprints) are required to apply for a Canadian work permit. If you are outside of Canada, you can have your photo and fingerprints taken in a visa application centre (VAC).

Since the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the services offered at VACs, visit your VAC’s website before going to find out if it is open and what services are available. You can find the contact details for the VACs in your country here.

Without your biometrics, your work permit application will not be processed.

Please note that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada asks that applicants do not to travel to another VAC if the closest one is closed, and that additional time will be granted to provide their biometrics..

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting processing times in many countries.

Note that even though you have an invitation from Université Laval, you may still not be able to carry out your stay on the expected dates.

Prepare for your arrival in Canada

Once you have your regular immigration documents and the additional documents required due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can book your flight. Please note that the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the availability and continuation of flights.

We strongly recommend that you enter Canada through Montreal airport.

You must comply with all public health measures during your trip.

Ensure you have all the required documents using our two checklists, which you should crosscheck with the official Canadian immigration checklist for your situation:

  1. Regular immigration documents, which you will find in the “Going through Canadian customs” section of the immigration and invitation procedures for your situation
  2. Documents required due to the COVID-19 pandemic, listed here (see the sections below for more details):

Before your arrival, it is crucial you read the information pertaining to health and hospitalization insurance for your stay in Canada on the Enrolling in the health and hospitalization insurance plan for international students and Impacts of COVID-19 on international students web pages.

Please note that the group health and hospitalization insurance plan offered to international students and foreign interns through Desjardins Insurance and the coverage under Quebec’s public health insurance plan (Régie d’assurance maladie du Québec, RAMQ) offered to certain international students under reciprocal social security agreements with their countries only take effect upon arrival in Quebec.

If you have to complete part or all of your quarantine outside the province of Quebec, we strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel health insurance and emergency medical insurance that covers any costs related to COVID-19 for the duration of your travel until you arrive in Quebec and for the entire period of your quarantine outside the province. It must also include a possible coverage extension in the event you contract COVID-19 or develop COVID-19 symptoms.

During your trip to Canada

If you begin to experience COVID-19 symptoms on your way to Canada, speak to a flight attendant right away to receive the necessary recommendations for the rest of the flight. When you arrive in Canada, notify the border services officers and contact Université Laval by email at

When you arrive in Canada

You will probably undergo 2 identity checks when you arrive in Canada (arrival at your first Canadian airport).

This first step is generally carried out through answering a series of questions using an automated kiosk. Once you are done, you will receive a receipt that you will have to take to a border services officer when you leave the secure area.

If you had to provide your fingerprints to obtain your Canadian immigration document, you will have to have them verified at the automated kiosk.

More information on primary inspection kiosks

When you arrive at your first Canadian airport, you will have to show your letter of introduction to obtain your work permit (or, if you need a visitor record, your invitation letter and the letter confirming the work permit exemption), regardless of whether it is a stopover or your final destination. Upon exiting the secure area, a border services officer will send you to secondary inspection. Your documents will be examined, and you will be issued your work permit. You will also be asked to show your ArriveCAN receipt as well as your quarantine plan.

The total time for going through customs and having your work permit (or visitor record) printed may vary from 1 to 3 hours, depending on the airport and the time of day.

The customs officer has the final say on your entry into Canada. If everything is in order, he or she will issue your work permit. Before leaving customs, check that all the information on the permit is correct, particularly with regard to your identity, the employer (Université Laval), the city (Quebec City), the status under which you have been invited (visiting professor or researcher, postdoctoral or medical fellow, training or research intern, research professional or other), the expiry date (covering at least duration of the invitation, unless your passport expires earlier), the LMIA-exempt job offer number and the conditions listed (e.g. if you have undergone the medical examination, there must be no restrictions on working with patients, children or the elderly). It is best to have any errors corrected on the spot as even one mistake could prevent you from working in Canada for several weeks.

If your letter of introduction indicates an expiration date that is less than the duration of your stay, due to processing times during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can ask the border services officer if he can consider the length of your invitation when printing your work permit, but generally he or she will respect the date indicated in your letter of introduction. If necessary, you can contact your faculty’s contact person for immigration to extend your work permit. See the list (in French only).

Foreign workers and interns who are exempted of a work permit and who need a visitor record must, upon receipt of the visitor record, review the information regarding their identity and the work permit exemption (must mention the right to work and the applicable work permit exemption). If there are errors, ask for a new visitor record (do not accept handwritten corrections).

If you are required to quarantine

Once admitted to Canada:

  • Go directly to your place of quarantine and follow your quarantine plan.
  • To get to your place of quarantine, use private transportation (shuttle service, taxi, etc.) and follow federal government and Quebec government instructions.
  • Report your arrival within 48 hours using ArriveCAN (iOSAndroid or online) or by calling 1 833 641-0343.

During your mandatory quarantine, you must carefully follow the measures implemented by the federal and Quebec governments and Université Laval.

Visit the “During your quarantine” section of our Mandatory quarantine page. It contains important information, reminders and guidelines to follow in the event you develop COVID-19 symptoms. You will also find a list of important emergency contacts.

If you are a training or research intern, you are coming to Canada for the first time as part of your internship at Université Laval and you completed the COVID -19 | Visiting Foreign workers, fellows and interns at Université Laval form, the university will contact you periodically during your quarantine to:

  • check on you and refer you to resources for any assistance you may need
  • ensure that you are respecting the quarantine rules

You will first be contacted within 48 hours of your arrival. Please make sure that the means of communication you provided Université Laval before your arrival work correctly.

Université Laval wants to help students who are required to pay for hotel accommodation for their self-quarantine upon arriving in Canada. A bursary program has been created to provide some relief. Subject to certain conditions, you could be awarded a bursary of $750.

This bursary will end on November 30, 2021. To be eligible, you must arrive in Canada by November 30, 2021 and apply for the scholarship by November 30, 2021.

For arrivals from December 1, 2021, this bursary program will no longer be available. To learn more about the program and apply for financial aid, see quarantine relief bursary (in French).

If you suffer from stress, anxiety, panic, or any other emotional reaction related to the pandemic and your quarantine, do not hesitate to make use of the services available to you.

If you are a salaried postdoctoral fellow or a worker, consult our frequently asked questions for administrative staff (PDF, in French only), also available on the Human Resources intranet under your job category.

For your family members or yourself, you can use the Info-Social service by calling 811. We also recommend you consult the COVID-19 section of the official Quebec government website, where you will find information and advice such as Protecting your well-being in the COVID-19 pandemic and Stress, anxiety and depression associated with the coronavirus COVID-19 disease.

If your invitation to Université Laval includes a salary, you will need to open a Canadian bank account as soon as possible and provide a specimen cheque upon request. If necessary, you can open a bank account over the telephone by booking an appointment with the Caisse populaire Desjardins de l’Université Laval at 418 656-2358.

If you are a postdoctoral or medical fellow or a training or research intern, you will need to complete your registration at the Registrar’s Office. These steps are necessary in order for us to be able to start paying you during your quarantine. Your cooperation is therefore required.

Once your quarantine is over, you will be safe to start your internship or employment at Université Laval. You must follow the on-campus health guidelines and government directives, which vary according to the Quebec government’s COVID-19 alert level for the Capitale-Nationale.

You can go to a Service Canada office for your Social Insurance Number and if you are eligible and you were not able to do so beforehand, register with the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

Our priority is to make your stay at Université Laval as safe and enjoyable as possible under the current circumstances.

Relevant websites

Before leaving for Canada, it is your responsibility to regularly consult the information on the measures that the federal and Quebec governments as well as Université Laval have put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. By doing so, you can prepare for your arrival and ensure you comply with the measures once you are in Canada.