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

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 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 for authorization to work from Canadian immigration. If you have an open work permit or are eligible for 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. For those who have a work permit: 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

If you are a visiting professor or researcher, check your eligibility with the person inviting you. Your status must have been approved by the Vice-rectorat aux ressources humaines et aux finances. 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. It is essential for your immigration procedures and for entry into Canada.

Immigration procedures

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.

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 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 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 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. Important: Even if you are exempt from a work permit, you are still considered a foreign worker under Canadian immigration policies.

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, whether or not you are exempt from a work permit.

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.

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

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 (e.g. a social security agreement), you will qualify for the coverage after a maximum waiting period of 3 months after registering. 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 supplementary private insurance that best suits your situation.

Arrival at Université Laval

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

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.

Work permit exemptions cannot be extended.

Permanent residence

Some visiting 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: 2023-05-04