Skip to main content

Visiting professors or researchers, and other visitors on very short stays


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

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the process for inviting a visiting professor or researcher or a visitor on a very short stay and the procedure to be followed by the guest have changed. Please read the updated procedure (in 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 an international visiting professor, researcher or short-term visitor?

Canadian immigration considers you to be a foreign worker even if you are unpaid and are here for academic purposes.

To be invited, you must be eligible for a status at Université Laval and hold an 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 Canadian work authorization, and for 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

If you are a visiting professor or researcher, check your eligibility with the person inviting you. If you are a visitor coming on a very short stay (5 days or less), go to the next step.

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 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 indicate the type of work authorization you require and the conditions of your stay. This letter is essential for your immigration procedures and for entry into Canada.

Immigration procedures

For visitors on very short stays (who are not invited as visiting professors or researchers), there are 2 possible work authorizations.

Work permit exemptions – for fully vaccinated persons only

  • For a single conference or a seminar of 5 consecutive days or less
  • For a maximum 5-day stay for academic work (you must be outside Canada when filing your application and must not have benefited from such exemption over the last year; not extendable)

For visiting professors or researchers, there are 4 possible work authorizations.

Work permit exemption - for fully vaccinated persons only

  • For a single conference or a seminar of 5 consecutive days or less
  • For highly skilled work for a maximum of 15 or 30 consecutive days
  • For academic research for a maximum of 120 consecutive days (without teaching). Important: if your stay is likely to last more than 120 days, you must apply for a work permit (where possible).

LMIA-exempt work permits

  • Visiting professors (you must retain a regular or permanent position outside Canada as a university professor or as a researcher in a research centre during your stay - maximum of 2 years for a first stay)
  • For other types of work authorizations, refer to the faculty contact person (PDF in French only)

Apply for the type of work authorization indicated in your invitation letter by following the corresponding instructions below.

If you are unsure, contact the faculty contact person at Université Laval.

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): 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 the Student Life Office (Bureau de la vie étudiante - 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

IMPORTANT: In addition to the documents required for your situation (work permit exemption or work permit), you must provide all documents related to the COVID-19 pandemic, listed in the procedure (French only) and on this page.

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

Visiting professors or researchers and visitors on very short stays are responsible for their own health and hospitalization insurance.

If you hold a work permit for 6 months or more, you will normally be eligible for the Québec health insurance plan. Barring exceptions, you will qualify for the plan after a waiting period of up to 3 months after you register. You will need to take out private health and hospitalization insurance to be covered during this waiting period.

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.

Arrival at Université Laval

Upon arrival at Université Laval, you must submit your immigration documents to your unit and the VREDIRH (at, and your SIN to your unit only.

Extending your work permit

If necessary, extend your work permit.

Work permit exemptions cannot be extended.

Permanent residence

Some professors 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: 2022-05-26