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Foreign Academics in Canada

Working With and Without Work Permits

York University welcomes both national and international academia to York to assist in teaching and research. For those who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents, a Labour Market Opinion (LMO), work permit and/or visa, as applicable, may be required. This guide will assist you in determining whether an LMO and work permit are required, the position title used and recognized by  immigration and border services agency officers, and what needs to be given to the appointee in order to make the correct application to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA).

The information and table below is provided courtesy of Paul Dowden, Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Since Canada's immigration regulations and procedures are subject to change, please use this as a guide only. More details can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site at www.cic.gc.ca and in the following CIC Fact Sheet:

In order to know whether or not you will need a temporary resident visa in order to enter Canada, please visit the Visiting Canada pages on the CIC web site at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp.

Please contact the Immigration and Relocation Coordinator should you need assistance.

Academics Not Requiring Work Permits

General Information: Working Without Work Permits

Persons who come to Canada temporarily to hold the following positions do not require Work Permits to be issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC):

  • Academic Consultants
  • Academic Examiners
  • Public Speakers
  • Graduate, Teaching and Research Assistants.

Academic Consultants

Academic consultants are persons who:

  • appraise or evaluate academic programs, including videos
  • provide consultation strictly on academic matters
  • advise on the appropriateness of hiring a Dean for a Faculty where there is an existing vacancy.

The following table presents the suggested documentation that should be provided to CIC by the academic consultant and the Canadian educational institution:

Who is Responsible

Documentation

Academic Consultant The academic consultant should present the following documentation to CIC:

  • proof of citizenship
  • letter of invitation from the Canadian educational institution
Canadian Educational Institution The Canadian educational institution should provide a letter of invitation to the academic consultant containing the following information:

  • the purpose of the trip
  • intended length of stay
  • amount of honorarium and intention to reimburse expenses

Academic Examiners

Academic examiners are eminent individuals who:

  • direct the studies and review the work done by scholars under their tutelage
  • review the thesis and papers prepared by those scholars.

The following table presents the suggested documentation that should be provided to CIC by the academic examiner and the Canadian educational institution:

Who is Responsible

Documentation

Academic Examiner The academic examiner should present the following documentation to CIC:

  • proof of citizenship
  • letter of invitation from the Canadian educational institution
Canadian Educational Institution The Canadian educational institution should provide a letter of invitation to the academic examiner containing the following information:

  • the purpose of the trip
  • intended length of stay
  • amount of honorarium and intention to reimburse expenses

Public Speakers

Public speakers are persons who come to Canada as:

  • guest speakers to address a particular convention, graduation, dinner or similar function
  • seminar leaders to deliver a paper or information during a seminar, workshop or other related teaching or research activity
  • commercial speakers who sell tickets to people who come to hear the person speak on a particular topic.

Seminar leaders and commercial speakers are limited to entry for no longer than five days.

The following table presents the suggested documentation that should be provided to CIC by the public speaker and the Canadian educational institution:

Who is Responsible

Documentation

Public Speaker The public speaker should present the following documentation to CIC:

  • proof of citizenship
  • letter of invitation from the Canadian educational institution
Canadian Educational Institution The Canadian educational institution should provide a letter of invitation to the public speaker containing the following information:

  • the purpose of the trip
  • intended length of stay
  • amount of honorarium and intention to reimburse expenses

Graduate, Teaching and Research Assistants: On Campus Employment

Foreign graduate, teaching and research assistants may work at post secondary schools without Work Permits as long as they are registered in full time programs of study and work on the campus of the institution at which they are registered.

Only the following post-secondary institutions qualify:

  • Universities
  • Community colleges
  • Publicly funded trade/technical schools
  • Private institutions authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees.

 On-campus means:

  • facilities located within the boundaries of the campus
  • facilities located at different locations within the same municipality, if the institution has more than one campus
  • facilities located off-campus in research related to their work, as long as the facility has a formal association or affiliation with the learning institution such as a teaching hospital, clinic, research institute or library.

Foreign graduate, teaching or research assistant must meet the following criteria:

  • be registered in a degree or diploma granting course of study at an approved institution as a full-time student
  • be in possession of a valid student permit issued by CIC
  • work on-campus only at the institution at which they are registered
  • have been recommended by an official of their department
  • have their work directed by a department head or faculty member.

Academics Requiring Work Permits but No HRSDC Labour Market Opinion

General Information: Labour Market Opinion (LMO) Exempt Work Permits

Persons who come to Canada temporarily to hold the following positions are required to apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for work permits but institutions hiring them are exempt from the requirement of applying to Human Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) for offers of employment confirmed by a Labour Market Opinion:

  • Guest Lecturer
  • Post Doctoral Fellows
  • Visiting Professors
  • Research Award Recipients
  • American, Mexican and Chilean University Teachers

Guest Lecturer

A guest lecturer is a person who:

  • is invited by a post-secondary institution to give a series of lectures, and
  • occupies a temporary position for a period of less than one academic term or semester.

A guest lecturer does not need to be a professor.

The following table presents the documentation that should be provided to CIC by the guest lecturer and the Canadian educational institution:

Who is Responsible

Documentation

Guest Lecturer The visiting academic should present the following documentation to CIC:

  • proof of citizenship
  • letter of invitation from the Canadian educational institution
Canadian Educational Institution The Canadian educational institution should provide a letter of invitation to the guest lecturer containing the following information:

  • the purpose of the trip
  • the nature and location of the position
  • intended length of stay
  • evidence that the period of stay is less than one academic term or semester
  • arrangements for remuneration

Post Doctoral Fellows

A post doctoral fellow is a person who:

  • has completed a doctorate
  • is appointed to a time-limited position granting a stipend or salary
  • may be involved in teaching, advanced study, and/or research
  • is working in a field related to that in which they earned their Ph.D.

The following table presents the documentation that should be provided to CIC by the post doctoral fellow and the Canadian educational institution:

Who is Responsible

Documentation

Post Doctoral Fellow The visiting academic should present the following documentation to CIC:

  • proof of citizenship
  • letter of invitation from the Canadian educational institution as a post doctoral fellow
  • evidence that the applicant has completed their doctorate
  • evidence that the applicant is working in a related field to that in which they received their Ph.D.
Canadian Educational Institution The Canadian educational institution should provide a letter of invitation as a post doctoral fellow to the applicant containing the following information:

  • the nature and location of the position
  • intended length of stay
  • arrangements for remuneration

Visiting Professors

A visiting professor is a person who:

  • is coming to Canada for a period of not more than two academic years to take a position with a post-secondary institution, and
  • retains their position abroad

 A visiting professor must be a professor in their home country and have a Ph.D.

The following table presents the documentation that should be provided to CIC by the visiting professor and the Canadian educational institution:

Who is Responsible

Documentation

Visiting Professor The visiting academic should present the following documentation to CIC:

  • proof of citizenship
  • letter of invitation as a visiting professor from the Canadian educational institution
  • letter from the foreign educational institution
Canadian Educational Institution The Canadian educational institution should provide a letter of invitation to the applicant containing the following information:

  • offer of a position as a visiting professor
  • the nature and location of the position
  • intended length of stay
  • arrangements for remuneration
Foreign Educational Institution The foreign educational institution should provide a letter to the applicant confirming that the person retains their position in the foreign educational institution.

Research Award Recipients

A research award recipient is a person who is the direct recipient of an academic research award paid by a:

  • Canadian academic institution, or
  • foreign source

The following table presents the documentation that should be provided to CIC by the foreign award recipient and the Canadian educational institution:

Who is Responsible

Documentation

Award Recipient The applicant should present the following documentation to CIC:

  • proof of citizenship
  • letter of invitation from the Canadian educational institution
  • details of the award directly received by the applicant.
Canadian Educational Institution The Canadian educational institution should provide a letter of invitation to the applicant containing the following information:

  • the nature and location of the work that the person will be doing
  • intended length of stay
  • evidence that the person has received an award from either a Canadian or foreign source and the nature of the award

American, Mexican and Chilean University Teachers

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Canada Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) provide mechanisms by which certain American, Mexican and Chilean professionals can enter Canada temporarily to provide their services.

College, university and seminary teachers are included in the list of Professionals in each of these agreements.

Teachers applying for temporary entry to Canada under NAFTA or CCFTA may be issued with Work permits for a period of one year at a time providing they meet all of the requirements specified in the Agreements.

The following table presents the documentation that should be provided to CIC by the foreign professional and the Canadian educational institution:

Who is Responsible

Documentation

Foreign Professional The foreign professional should present the following documentation to CIC:

  • proof of citizenship of:
    • the United States or Mexico in the case of NAFTA
    • Chilean the case of CCFTA
    • proof that the applicant meets the minimum educational requirements: Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
    • documentation from a Canadian college, university or seminary providing proof of pre-arranged employment
Canadian College, University The Canadian educational institution should provide a letter of invitation to the foreign professional containing the following information:

  • a signed contract for service with a Canadian educational institution or evidence that an offer of employment has been made and accepted
  • letter containing the following information:
    • the proposed employer in Canada
    • the nature and location of the work that the person will be doing
    • the position title and duties
    • educational qualifications necessary to perform the job
    • intended length of stay