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Have you been invited to Université Laval as a medical fellow?

Canadian immigration considers you to be a foreign worker.

To be invited, you must be eligible for a status at Université Laval and hold a work authorization to work from Canadian immigration. If you have an open work permit, such as a post-graduation work permit, notify the person inviting you.

Foreign workers are responsible for their immigration procedures, for respecting the conditions of their invitation and Canadian work authorization, and for extending their Canadian work permitas required. If your working conditions change, whether there be more or fewer, a new invitation letter with a new LMIA-exempt job offer and a new work permit may be required.

Eligibility and invitation

To come as a medical fellow, you must have received a letter of invitation from Université Laval’s Faculty of Medicine. This process begins approximately 10 months before your expected arrival. For more information on the invitation process, contact

Valid passport

You must have a passport that will be valid more than three months after the end of your stay. The dates of your stay and your immigration documents cannot extend beyond your passport’s expiry date.

Processing times

Start the procedure as early as 6 months in advance  to allow sufficient time for immigration processing.

Invitation letter

You will need an invitation letter for your stay. The letter will include an LMIA-exempt job offer number and a description of your working conditions. It is essential for your immigration procedures and your entry into Canada.

Immigration procedure

This procedure is for a first stay. If you are already in Canada, you will have to follow the instructions for an extension of your work permit, if applicable.

Important: Your right to work will be limited to the permission you obtain and to what is stated in your letter of invitation. You will not be able to hold other employment in Canada (unless you have obtained an open work permit in exceptional circumstances). You must therefore have the financial means to support yourself during your stay.

Medical fellows must apply for a work permit. Under exemption code C45, they are exempt from an LMIA if they have a medical degree equivalent to a Canadian medical doctorate (including in dental medicine) as well as a medical specialization. They must:

Step 1. Undergo the Canadian immigration medical exam. This is always required due to contact with patients.

Step 2. Obtain permission from a professional order. This is always required due to the nature of the work. The Faculty of Medicine will assist you with this.

Step 3. Apply for a LMIA-exempt work permit.

If yyou have any questions, you can contact

In the event of a refusal

It may happen that a work permit or visa application is refused. Should this occur, you can contact the faculty contact person at Université Laval (PDF in French only). An immigration counsellor will asses your file with this person. 

If you are advised to apply for a new work permit, you will need a new invitation letter with a new LMIA-exempt job offer number.

Plane ticket

Before booking your flight, making the arrangements for your stay and travelling to Canada, you must wait until:
- you have received your visa and/or approval for your work permit
- you have all the necessary documents for entry into Canada (listed in the “Going through Canadian customs” section)

If necessary for administrative purposes, arrive a few days before the start of your stay at Université Laval.

Arrangements for your stay

For suggestions on accommodation and practical tips for your stay, see the Living in Québec City  section for International Students on the Student Life Office (Bureau de la vie étudiante - BVE) webpage. Even though you don’t have access to the BVE services as a foreign worker, some of the information will be useful to you.

Going through Canadian customs

Customs clearance is carried out at the first Canadian airport you enter and includes two inspections.

The primary inspection begins with automated kiosks where you must answer a series of questions, cross-check your biometric information (if it has already been collected by Canadian authorities) and take a receipt. Next, you will meet with a border services officer who will request to see your receipt.

During the secondary inspection, you will meet with the immigration services to obtain your work permit or visitor record. Listed below are the documents you will need to provide.

If you have a stopover in Montreal or a flight arriving in Montreal, you must allow enough time before taking the next plane or bus. Significant delays have been observed in recent months.

Please note that you should keep the following documents with you rather than in your checked baggage:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid electronic travel authorization or visa
  • A letter approving your work permit: follow the instructions on it and show it to the border services officer so they can print out your work permit
  • Your invitation letter with the host professor’s phone number
  • Proof that the criteria for the LMIA exemption you used (e.g.your medical degree and medical specialization)
  • Proof that you have undergone a medical exam
  • Permission from a professional order
  • Any other document Canadian immigration might require before entering Canada, according to the following requirements:

The border services officer has the final say on your entry to Canada. If everything is in order, the officer will issue your work permit. Before leaving customs, check that all the information on the permit is correct, including your identity, employer (Université Laval), the city (Quebec City), the status under which you were invited (medical fellow), the expiry date (covering at least the duration of the invitation, unless your passport expires earlier), the LMIA-exempt job offer number and the conditions listed (as 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.

Important: If the expiry date on your approval letter is before the end of your stay due to slower-than-usual processing times, you may ask the border services officer if they can consider the duration of your invitation when printing your work permit. Generally, the officer will respect the date on your letter. If necessary, you may contact your faculty contact person (PDF in French only) to have your work permit extended.

Social Insurance number (SIN)

A SIN is required to receive remuneration from Université Laval or another Canadian employer and for certain Canadian grants.

You can go to the nearest Service Canada office to request a SIN. We recommend that you make an appointment online first. You must bring your passport and original work permit.

Health and hospitalization insurance

Medical fellows are generally eligible for coverage under the Québec health insurance plan.

Barring exceptions (e.g. a social security agreement), you will qualify after a maximum waiting period of 3 months after registering.

Medical fellows who do not have coverage will be required to take out private health and hospitalization insurance during the waiting period and to provide proof of such coverage to the Faculty of Medicine’s Vice-décanat aux études médicales postdoctorales. Failure to do so will render their registration impossible.

If you have family members with you, they must make sure they have adequate health insurance coverage.

Depending on your personal or family needs, you may have to take out complementary private insurance of your choice.

For any questions about insurance, send an email to


As mentioned, this process starts about 10 months before your expected arrival. You can register through

Information from the employer

For foreign workers with an LMIA exempt work permit, read this document regarding your rights as a foreign worker and the resources in case of injury or illness at the workplace.

Work permit extension

If need be, you can request a work permit extension. You will be required to undergo a new Canadian immigration medical exam (the results expire after 12 months) and to request an extension of the permission from the professional order. Do this as early as 6 months before your current permit expires. 

You can also apply for an extension if you are already in Canada with a work permit issued for another job.

Once you have applied for an extension, you can continue working as long as you work permit is valid.

If the extension is for the same job and working conditions as your current work permit and your current work permit expires before you receive your new permit, you may continue working with a maintained status if you meet the conditions. Leaving Canada will end your right to work. 

If your extension is for a new job and you wish to start working before you receive your new work permit, you can, if you meet the conditions, apply to change jobs during COVID-19.

This website is intended to provide general information on current procedures, which may change at any time without notice. Québec and Canada laws and regulations in effect as well as the websites of the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Inclusion (MIFI) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) take precedence over this website. This page was last updated on: 2023-05-04.