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Foreign nationals are only eligible to enter Canada if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved for entry into Canada.

Moreover, postdoctoral fellows are 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.

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

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the process for inviting a postdoctoral fellow has changed. Please read the updated procedure (French only) and the COVID-19 page for foreign workers and interns.

If you are a professor at Université Laval and would like to invite a foreign worker, please follow the instructions on the VREDIRH intranet.

Have you been invited to Université Laval as a foreign postdoctoral or 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 permit or authorization to work from Canadian immigration. If you have or are eligible for 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 obtaining and extending their Canadian work permit if necessary. If their working conditions change, for more or less, a new invitation letter and work permit may be required.

Eligibility and invitation

You must be eligible for postdoctoral fellow status and be invited by a professor at Université Laval. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, the professor must write to

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 procedures 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. This letter is essential for your immigration procedures and your entry into Canada.

Immigration procedure

Postdoctoral fellows must apply for a work permit. Under exemption code C-44, they are exempt from an LMIA if they meet the following criteria: 

  • They have obtained the doctoral degree (or expect to obtain it soon, i.e. they have successfully defended their thesis and met the PhD requirements)
  • They must have been invited to work for remuneration in their field to expand their knowledge (the source of remuneration is of no consequence for immigration purposes)

The procedure for postdoctoral fellows applying for an LMIA-exempt work permit is as follows:

  1. If required, take the Canadian immigration medical exam.
  2. If required, obtain permission from a professional order.
  3. Apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit.

If you are unsure, contact the faculty contact person at Université Laval. (PDF in French only)

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: this person will assess your file with an immigration counsellor.

If you are advised to file a new application for a work permit, be sure to obtain a new invitation letter with a new LMIA-exempt job offer number.

Plane ticket

Important : If you require a visa and/or a work permit, you must wait until you receive your visa and/or approval for your work permit as well as all the documents required for entering Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic before you book your flight.

In all cases, wait until you have all the documents necessary for entry into Canada (see the list in the “Going through Canadian customs” section as well as the documents required for entering Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic) before booking your flight, making your travel arrangements and coming to Canada.

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 Bureau de la vie étudiante (BVE) page. Even though you don’t have access to BVE services as a foreign worker, some of the information will be useful.

Going through Canadian customs

IMPORTANT : In addition to the following, you must provide all documents related to the COVID-19 pandemic, listed in the procedure (French only) and on this page.

You will go through customs at the first Canadian airport you arrive at.

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 customs officer so they can print out your work permit
  • Your invitation letter with the host professor’s phone number
  • Proof that you meet the criteria for the LMIA exemption you used (e.g., a letter confirming a grant, your doctoral degree, proof that you are a professor in another country, etc.)
  • If required, proof that you have passed a medical exam
  • If required, permission from a professional order
  • Any other document Canadian immigration might require before entering Canada, according to the following requirements:

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. the results of your medical examination must not show any 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.

Social insurance number (SIN)

You must have a social insurance number (SIN) to receive a salary or scholarship (grant) from Université Laval or another Canadian employer.

You can go to the nearest Service Canada office to request a SIN (once you have completed your mandatory quarantine, if required). To do so, you must make an appointment online first and bring your passport and original work permit.

Health and hospitalization insurance

Postdoctoral fellows are generally eligible for coverage under the Québec health insurance plan (RAMQ).

Barring exceptions, you will qualify after a maximum waiting period of 3 months after registering.

Postdoctoral fellows who are covered by the collective agreement between Université Laval and the Syndicat des travailleuses et travailleurs étudiants et postdoctoraux de l'Université Laval (union), as well as their spouses and dependents, are covered by the employer’s health and hospitalization insurance during the waiting period.

Postdoctoral 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 Registrar's Office. Failure to do so will render their registration impossible.

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

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

If you have any questions about insurance, send an email to


You must register at the Registrar’s office before starting your fellowship. Plan to arrive a few days in advance to complete this process.

Extending your work permit

If necessary, extend your work permit.

Permanent residence

Some postdoctoral fellows can apply for permanent residence.

For more information

Depending on where you are, you can refer to the following resources:

Outside Canada:

Inside Canada:

If necessary, you can submit your question to the faculty contact person at Université Laval.

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: 2022-01-19