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Visiting professors, researchers, and other short-term visitors

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the invitation process for a visiting professor or researcher and the procedures to be followed by the guest have been modified. Please read this procedure (in French only) to invite a professor or a researcher.

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

Because work permit exemptions don’t allow you to be exempt from travel restrictions under the current conditions, employees or interns will have to, among other things, be eligible for a work permit to be invited.

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 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 Canadian 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

If you are a visiting professor or researcher, check your eligibility with the person inviting you. If you are a short-term guest coming for 5 days or less (e.g., guest speaker, university program evaluator, or thesis examiner), 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 at least 4 months in advance to allow sufficient time for immigration processing. Guest speakers invited for 5 consecutive days or less, university program evaluators, and thesis examiners can start the procedures 2 months in advance.

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 visiting professors, researchers, and other short-term visitors, there are 7 possible work authorizations:

Work permit exemptions

  • Guest speakers invited to give a single presentation OR a seminar lasting 5 consecutive days or less
  • University program evaluators or thesis examiners assessing a program or dissertation
  • High-skilled workers doing 30 or 15 consecutive days of work or less
  • Researchers performing 120 consecutive days or less of university research (without teaching)

LMIA-exempt work permits

  • Visiting professors (i.e., you retain a position outside Canada during your stay)
  • Guest lecturers teaching for more than 30 days but less than a full semester
  • Research award recipients

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 immigration resource person.

Work permit exemption

You must:

1. Procedure for an electronic travel authorization (eTA)

  • Apply for an eTA
  • Get an opinion from the International Mobility Workers Unit (IMWU). An opinion is not required for guest speakers invited for 5 days or less, university program evaluators, or thesis examiners. If for any reason you are unable to obtain an opinion in time and cannot wait for it, be prepared to justify to the custom’s officer why you meet the work permit exemption criteria.
  • If the faculty sponsor thinks it may be helpful, they will send a request to IMWU

2. Procedure for a visa

LMIA-exempt work permit

Plane ticket

Please note that if you require a visa and/or a work permit, you must 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.

If necessary, plan to arrive a few days in advance to complete administrative procedures.

Going through Canadian customs

Work permit exemption

Please print this document and follow the instructions to prepare for 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

As a visiting professor, researcher or other short-term visitor (e.g., guest speaker, university program evaluator, or thesis examiner), you are responsible for your 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.

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 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: 2019-07-15