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Training and research interns

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hosting of research and training interns from outside of Canada is only possible if they fulfill all of the following additional conditions:

  • They are eligible for an LMIA-exempt work permit
  • They are able to travel to Canada
  • They agree to assume the risks related to their immigration process, travel, entry into Canada and quarantine

It is your responsibility to make sure you meet eligibility criteria before initiating the process.

Because work permit exemptions do not exempt one from the current travel restrictions, foreign training or research interns must be eligible to an LMIA exempt work permit, specifically for a Canadian or foreign university research scholarship (C-44). Please note that the International Coop Work Permit of International Experience Canada is not currently available due to the COVID pandemic. For more information.

If you are a Université Laval professor and you want to bring over a training or research intern, please follow the invitation procedure (in French only).

Have you been invited to Université Laval as a foreign training or research intern?

Canadian immigration considers you to be a foreign worker even if you are unpaid and the internship is part of your studies.

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

Foreign workers are responsible for their immigration procedures, for respecting the conditions of their invitation and work authorization , and for obtaining and extending their Canadian work permit as required. If their working conditions change, a new invitation letter and work permit may be required.

Eligibility and invitation

You must be eligible for training or research intern status and be invited by a professor at Université Laval.

PLEASE NOTE: Training or research intern status cannot be extended beyond 12 months. If you plan to stay longer, please consider another mobility option from the start (e.g., co-supervision, regular enrolment, etc.).

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 time

Start the procedures at least 4 months in advance to allow sufficient time for immigration processing.

Invitation letter and internship agreement

You will need an invitation letter for your stay and a signed internship agreement. The letter will indicate the type of work permit or authorization you require and the conditions of your stay. This letter is essential for your immigration procedures and your entry into Canada. An internship agreement is not required for exchange students.

Immigration procedure

LMIA-exempt work permit for a grant

a) You must meet the criteria for this exemption and know its limits:

  • You hold a university research grant or scholarship from a foreign institution.


  • You hold a university research grant or scholarship from a Canadian university to perform research based on the following criteria:
    • The award is the result of a selection process based on academic excellence, which must be provable upon request (eligibility criteria, application, selection criteria or selection process, etc.).
    • The grant must be paid directly to you as a form of compensation.
    • You must play an important role in a Canadian research project.
    • The importance of your role is justified by your academic excellence and expertise.
    • It is unlikely that an undergraduate student could meet these criteria.
    • Eligible awards include Global Affairs Canada grants like the Emerging Leaders in America Program and Mitacs grants.
    • Recruitment must not be the main purpose of the grant.
    • These criteria do not include a professor offering you money out of their own funds.

Read the official description of this LMIA exemption (Exemption C-44 for “Award recipients paid by foreign institutions” or “Award recipients paid by Canadian institutions”), which takes precedence.

b) If required, take the Canadian immigration medical exam

c) If required, obtain permission from a professional order

d) Apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit

Plane ticket

Please note that if you require a visa and/or a work permit, wait until you receive your visa and/or the approval for your work permit before buying your plane ticket.

In all cases, wait until you have all the required documents listed in step 8 for entry into Canada before buying your ticket, making arrangements for your stay, and coming to Canada.

Plan to arrive a few days in advance to complete the administrative procedures.

Arrangements for your stay

For suggestions on accommodation and practical tips for your stay, see the section on Living in Québec City in the section for International Students on the Student Life Office (BVE) webpage. 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

Work permit

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 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 to Canada. If everything is in order, the officer will issue your work permit. Before leaving customs, check that all the information on your work permit is accurate, including your identity, employer (Université Laval), the city (Québec City), the status under which you were invited (visiting professor, visiting researcher, postdoctoral fellow, medical fellow, or training or research intern), the expiry date (same length as the invitation unless your passport expires first), the LMIA-exempt job offer number and the conditions listed (e.g., if you have taken the medical exam, there should be no restrictions on working with patients, children, or the elderly). A mistake in any of this information could prevent you from working in Canada for several weeks and it’s much easier to correct any errors directly at customs.

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.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can still apply for a SIN, after completing your mandatory quarantine. An appointment must be made here. You must bring your original work permit.

Health and hospitalization insurance

*Once enrolled, foreign interns are automatically covered by Université Laval’s group health and hospitalization insurance plan for foreign students and interns. Click here for more information on this insurance.

This insurance is mandatory and therefore no personal insurance can replace it.

Foreign students and research interns eligible for Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), in particular through a social security agreement with Québec, may be exempted from joining the compulsory health and hospitalization insurance plan if they take the necessary steps within the prescribed time limits.

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


Enrolment at Université Laval

All training and research interns must be officially registered full time at Université Laval. They will be enrolled for 0 credit, but will have full-time status. Depending on the length of stay, enrolment is renewable each term up to a maximum of one year (12 months). No university credits will be awarded by Université Laval to students registered under this arrangement.

When you arrive at Université Laval

Your first step on arrival is to go to the Registrar’s Office to complete admission and enrolment formalities and get the information you will need for your stay. Once you are enrolled, the Registrar’s Office will issue you a student card, an official email address, an ID number, and a card proving you have paid for and are a member of Université Laval’s mandatory health and hospitalization insurance plan.

Documents to provide to the Registrar’s Office

In case of changes to your stay

  • You must inform the Registrar’s Office ( of any changes to your file (e.g., contact information, duration of stay, etc.).

Work permit extension

If necessary, extend your work permit.

Work permit exemptions (such as those for healthcare students and university research stays of 120 days or less) cannot be extended.

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 Université Laval faculty respondent.

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 Diversité et de l'Inclusion (MIDI) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) take precedence over this website.

This page was last updated on: 2020-11-12