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

Have you been invited to Université Laval as a foreign postdoctoral fellow?

Canadian immigration considers you to be a foreign worker.

To be invited, you must be eligible for a status at Université Laval and for authorization to work from Canadian immigration. If you have an open work permit 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 extending their Canadian work permit as 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

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. 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.

Postdoctoral fellows must apply for a work permit. Under exemption code C44, 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)

For postdoctoral fellows the procedure is to apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit as follows:

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

If you have any questions, you can 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 (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 doctoral degree, proof that you are a professor in another country, a letter confirming a grant, etc.)
  • If required, proof that you have undergone 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 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 (postdoctoral 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 (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. *More work permit are being issued according to the NOC code. It is therefore normal for a postdoctoral fellow’s work permit to indicate “University professors and lecturers”, as fellows are under the same NOC code 41200.

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

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

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

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.

Extending your work permit

If necessary, you can extend your work permit. 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.

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: 2023-05-04.