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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 research professional?

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 if necessary. 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 have been recruited in accordance with the collective agreement between Université Laval and the Syndicat des professionnelles et professionnels de recherche de l’Université Laval (union).

Immigration procedures before you are invited

Generally, work permits are based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (Certificat d’acceptation du Québec, CAQ).

In some cases, research professionals can be exempt from the LMIA process. This simplifies work permit applications and shortens processing times. LMIA exemptions are listed in the “Immigration procedure” section below. Note that individuals with LMIA exemptions are also exempt from the CAQ.

If you are not exempt from the LMIA, you must check whether the inviting professor can apply for an LMIA and a CAQ for you. If so, the instructions below, with a few adjustments, will apply.

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.

If applicable, add up to 4 months for the LMIA and CAQ procedures.

Invitation letter

  • For an LMIA-exempt work permit

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.

  • For an LMIA- and CAQ-based work permit

The LMIA and CAQ are required. You will receive an invitation letter.

Immigration procedure (LMIA exemption)

With the exception of the A73 work permit, 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.

Research professionals must apply for a work permit.

They are exempt from the LMIA if they meet all the criteria for one of the following exemptions:

- A73: They reside in Quebec, have a valid work permit and a valid Quebec selection certificate (Certificat de sélection du Québec, CSQ) or They are awaiting the results of a permanent residence application that was based on an initially valid CSQ. The person must be the main applicant for the CSQ and permanent residence (proved with their Quebec letter of acceptance entitled “Acceptation de votre demande de sélection permanente” including the principal applicant’s individual reference number and file number) and the CSQ must be from one of the categories listed under A-73. (Work permits are valid for a maximum period of 24 months, depending on the applicant’s situation.)

- C21: They are eligible for International Experience Canada’s program for young professionals. The age requirement for and duration of the program (12 to 24 months) depend on the country of citizenship*. They must also have a postsecondary diploma in the field of work.

*Citizenship, age and duration of the program for IEC’s Young Professionals program (on October 19, 2021)

AgeCountry (and duration in months)
18 to 30Austria (12), Luxembourg (12), Norway (12), Spain (12) and Sweden (12)
18 to 35Australia (12), Chile (12), Costa Rica (12), Croatia (12), Czech Republic (12), Estonia (12), France (24), Germany (12), Greece (12), Ireland (24), Latvia (Republic of – 12), Lithuania (12), Netherlands (12), Poland (12), Portugal (24), Slovakia (12), Slovenia (12), Switzerland (18), Taiwan (12) and Ukraine (12).

- T36: They are American or Mexican citizens who have at least a bachelor degree (maximum initial duration of work permit: 3 years).

- F22: They are Chilean citizens who have at least a bachelor degree (maximum initial duration of work permit: 3 years).

- For more options, you can email the faculty contact person for immigration (PDF in French only).

What you must do next if you are exempt from the LMIA process:

Step 1. If required, undergo the Canadian immigration medical exam

Step 2. If required, obtain permission from a professional order

Step 3. Apply for a work permit based on your LMIA exemption:

If you are unsure, contact the faculty contact person for immigration (PDF in French only).

Immigration procedures if you have an LMIA and a CAQ

Once you have obtained your LMIA and CAQ, you must:

Step 1. If required, undergo the Canadian immigration medical exam

Step 2. If required, obtain permission from a professional order

Step 3. Apply for a work permit with your LMIA: send an email to for instructions.

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

The following does not apply to the exemption A73 as applicants are already in Québec. They will receive their new work permit by mail.

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
  • If applicable, proof that you meet the criteria for the LMIA exemption you used (e.g., your CSQ, International Experience Canada’s invitation letter, a relevant extract from the free trade agreement between your country and Canada, copies of your diplomas
  • If applicable, your LMIA and CAQ
  • A copy of your CV
  • Copies of any required diplomas
  • 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 (research professional or other), 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.

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

Research professionals who are invited for 6 months or more are generally eligible for coverage under the Québec health insurance plan and must register for it.

Barring exceptions, (e.g. a social security agreement), you will qualify after a maximum waiting period of 3 months after registering. During this time, you are required to take out private health and hospitalization insurance at your own expense.

Once they are eligible for RAMQ coverage, you and your family will also be eligible for the employer’s supplementary insurance.

Family members accompanying a research professional to Canada must also have adequate Canadian health insurance coverage. If they do not have such coverage, they must take out private health and hospitalization insurance at their own expense.

Depending on your personal or family needs, take out supplementary private insurance that best suits your situation.

Arrival at Université Laval

Research professionals must submit their immigration documents and SIN to their unit, so they can start the contract.

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 and possible, 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.

Please note that International Experience Canada programs have their own rules for extensions.

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 research professionals 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. (PDF in French only)

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.