Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires employers hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to submit an offer of employment online through the Immigration, Refuges, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Employer Portal. This includes postdoctoral fellows. Employers must pay a fee before the work permit application is submitted.
To obtain a Canadian work permit as an international postdoctoral fellow, you must:
Hold a valid passport.
Receive letter of invitation from the School of Graduate Studies. This letter should state that you are being invited as a postdoctoral fellow, the duration of your appointment and the total amount and source of the stipend/salary you will be receiving. You will need this letter to support your application for a valid work permit.
You must obtain the offer of employment number from the postdoctoral development coordinator once the Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Forms are completed and your potential supervisor has paid the $230 compliance fee (in coordination with the School of Graduate Studies).
Once your postdoctoral appointment is extended, the $230 compliance fee is paid by your supervisor (in coordination with the School of Graduate Studies) and the Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Forms are completed and sent to the postdoctoral development coordinator, you will obtain a new offer of employment number. This number is required to extend your work permit.
Departure and arrival checklists
Make sure you have the following:
Your valid passport.
Work permit approval: A letter from your Canadian visa service/embassy confirming that your work permit has been approved.
If you are travelling with accompanying dependents, be sure to have all their documents as well. For school registration, we recommend bringing your children’s birth certificates bearing both parents’ names.
Evidence of financial support if you are receiving funding from a source outside Canada and/or Concordia. For example, letter confirmation of fellowship from your home country, university or research organization.
Evidence of successful PhD/doctorate degree completion. This should consist of one of the following:
An official transcript from your home university (issued to you in a sealed envelope);
An original or notarized/certified copy of your PhD diploma or medical specialist diploma/certificate;
If your PhD degree has not been granted, you will need an original registrar statement/original certificate from your home university’s School of Graduate Studies (or equivalent). This statement should confirm that you have successfully completed your PhD requirements and that your degree will be granted;
If the above documents are in a language other than English or French, you will need to provide a notarized/certified official translation (into English or French) of the documents.
Travel insurance and medical coverage:
You are also strongly advised to purchase travel insurance to cover medical emergencies that may occur between the time of departure from your home country and the start date of your temporary medical insurance.
You must obtain and/or maintain temporary health insurance coverage until you receive Quebec Medical Coverage, if eligible, which can take up to three months; otherwise, a proof of an insurance coverage for the whole period of their appointment is required (refer to the Guidelines for Postdoctoral Fellows). You must provide the Postdoctoral Office with such a proof before being registered.
Concordia will not assume responsibility for any medical charges incurred by a postdoctoral fellow.
Be sure to:
Apply for a Social Insurance Number, in person or online, as soon as possible. Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work and get paid in Canada.
Open a bank account.
Apply for the Quebec Health Insurance Card. This card will allow you to benefit from a range of services covered under the Quebec Health Insurance Plan. Only one card is issued per person. Keep your card valid at all times by renewing it before the required deadline.
International postdoctoral fellows in certain disciplines may qualify for a provincial tax exemption.
The Government of Quebec implemented a tax exemption program to increase the capacity of the province’s universities and public research centres. This helps attract or recruit international postdoctoral fellows with expertise in areas where the province is experiencing shortages, such as the pure/applied sciences and related fields.
To apply for a tax exemption, please submit your application and supporting documents to the postdoctoral development coordinator before January 31. The tax exemption must be renewed annually and may only be granted for a maximum of five years.
Below is the tax exemption format over five years from the start of the employee’s exemption period:
100 per cent for the first two years
75 per cent for the third year
50 per cent for the fourth year
25 per cent for the fifth year
To qualify for a tax exemption, you must:
Be specialized in the pure or applied science or a related field;
Have assumed employment responsibilities after March 31, 1998, in a Quebec university or a public research centre, under an ‘employment contract’;
Not be a resident of Canada immediately before signing your employment contract or immediately before starting your job with an eligible employer;
Hold a PhD, or its equivalent, for less than five years from the beginning of your appointment;
Be a postdoctoral fellow and be working exclusively or almost exclusively in your eligible field of expertise for all or part of the tax year in which you are seeking an exemption.
To qualify for a Quebec Tax Exemption and receive an Eligibility Certificate from Quebec’s Ministry of Higher Education, you must provide the following documents to the postdoctoral development coordinator — the coordinator will then apply to the Ministry on your behalf:
Copy of the document which certifies your appointment as a postdoctoral fellow at Concordia (signed Letter of Invitation);
Copy of your work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The dates should correspond to the start date of your postdoctoral appointment (if you have received several work permits, please include all issued for Concordia);
Certified copy of your doctoral degree or an equivalent. You can obtain a certified copy of your documents from a notary who is a member of the Chambre des notaires du Québec. Or you can search for a notary or a commissioner of oaths (commissaire à l’assermentation) via the following links:
Your request will be reviewed and submitted to the Ministry by March 1.
The Ministry will review and send all decisions to the postdoctoral development coordinator.
If your application is deemed eligible, the postdoctoral development coordinator will receive your Quebec Tax Exemption Eligibility Certificate via email by the end of April. The coordinator will then submit a copy of the certificate to Concordia’s Human Resources and request an amendment to your Relevé-1 (RL-1) tax slip for that fiscal year.
If your application is deemed ineligible, the postdoctoral development coordinator will send you the Ministry’s decision by the end of April.
Note 1: Ensure that you check the email address you provided to the postdoctoral development coordinator upon registration. It will be used to contact you regarding your Québec Tax Exemption application.
Note 2: The eligibility certificate issued by the Ministry is valid for one year, yet it can be renewed. See the renewal process below.
If you have obtained a Québec Tax Exemption Eligibility Certificate, you may qualify for a renewal and will need to apply annually. An eligibility certificate may be renewed for a maximum of five years.
Your request will be reviewed and submitted to the Ministry by March 1.
The Ministry will review and send all decisions to the postdoctoral development coordinator by the end of April.
Note: Ensure that you check the email address you provided to the postdoctoral development coordinator upon registration. It will be used to contact you regarding your Québec Tax Exemption Renewal application.