In general, individuals who are neither Canadian citizens nor Canadian permanent residents must apply for and obtain a work permit before starting to work in Canada. The work permit should be valid for the full period of employment and must identify Concordia University as the Employer. If there are multiple employers, Concordia University must still be clearly indicated on the document. Alternatively, most holders of open work permits (where no employer is specified) may work at Concordia University.
Only holders of work permits as outlined above can work and be paid by Concordia University, unless an exception applies. This rule concerns all Faculty, including full-time and part-time professors, visiting scholars, research professors and post-doctoral fellows. Please contact our Immigration Specialist who can determine the rules applicable to your specific case.
Concordia University graduate students enrolled in full-time studies with a valid study permit may work on campus. Under certain conditions, they may work off campus for up to 20 hours a week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break; a valid study permit is acceptable in lieu of a work permit. If the student does not maintain full-time enrolment status or satisfactory academic results, he/she is no longer authorized to work on or off campus.
For information regarding Temporary Foreign Workers’ rights, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/know-your-rights-worker-international-mobility-program.html. Please consult the pdf version here.
Applying for a work permit in Quebec is typically a two-step process unless an LMIA exemption or a work permit exemption applies:
- Concordia University must apply for and obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) as well as a Quebec Certificate of Acceptance for Temporary Work from the appropriate Government institutions;
- The individual applies for the work permit either with a Canadian visa office or, in some cases, directly at a port of entry to Canada (airport or land border).
Once the LMIA and CAQ have been obtained by the University, they are sent to the individual in .pdf format together with detailed instructions regarding the next steps. Individuals who are citizens of countries that require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) in addition to the work permit must submit their work permit applications directly to either: (1) the Canadian visa office that serves their country of citizenship or to (2) the Canadian visa office in their current country of residence. Each faculty member will be provided with specific instructions as to how to apply for their work permit.
Individuals who have resided for more than six months in certain Canadian government-designated countries or territories will need to undergo an immigration medical examination. Upon approval of the work permit application, the visa office will (1) request the original passport for visa issuance; and (2) issue a letter of authorization that allows the applicant to apply for the official work permit upon entry to Canada.
Processing times at visa offices may vary greatly both from an office to the other as well as over time. In general, applications will take longer to process under certain circumstances, such as: where a medical examination is required, where there are health, criminal or security concerns, or if the individual is applying from a country other than their country of citizenship, etc.
Individuals who do not require a Temporary Resident Visa may select to either apply with a visa office or apply for their work permit(s) upon arrival at the port of entry to Canada (POE). In the latter case, special attention is required to any travel restrictions in place at the time of travel.
Exemptions to the LMIA/CAQ process may apply, such as under certain free trade agreements (ex. T23, Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)) or Canadian Interests, such as C22, Academic Exchanges, among others.
Exemptions to the work permit requirement may also apply in specifically described situations, such as Short-term (120-day) work permit exemption for researchers or the work permit exemption for public speakers, among others.
In all cases, you will be provided with documentation as well as detailed instructions as to how to apply by our Immigration team. Should you be able to apply for a work permit or a work permit exemption at the border, please note that the best time for an individual to arrive at a POE is during business hours, Monday to Friday. If there are any out-of-the-ordinary questions or concerns at the POE, the individual should call the Immigration Specialist at 514-848-2424, ext. 4830 while still with the immigration agent. Individuals travelling by vehicle should, if possible, try to avoid crossing the border on weekends or at night. It is recommended that individuals verify that the information on their work permit is correct, including the name of the Employer (Concordia University), the job title (e.g. “University Professor” or “Post-secondary Teaching Assistant” in the case of Researchers, as the case may be), as well as any personal information. It can take four to five months to correct any errors on work permits and an incorrect work permit may delay starting to work as well as receipt of salary.
For the renewal of your work permit, please contact our Immigration Specialist six months in advance.
Spouses as well as qualifying common-law partners of full-time faculty can generally apply for dependent restricted open work permits without having to acquire a Labour Market Impact Assessment or a specific job offer before entering Canada. Such open work permits allow their holders to apply to work for almost any employer in almost any field. Certain restrictions may be removed by undergoing a medical exam with a designated panel physician followed by an application for an open, unrestricted work permit.
Underage children from non-visa requiring countries of full-time faculty with valid work permit may attend elementary and high school under visitor status. Children from visa-requiring countries as well as those attending post-secondary institutions may require study permits as well as Quebec Certificates of Acceptance for Studies to attend school.
A Guest Lecturer is defined as a person invited by a post-secondary institution to give a series of lectures and whose position in the University is temporary and non-continuing. Guest lecturer appointments are validation (LMIA and CAQ) exempt. Appointments of more than five days require a work permit. All citizens of visa countries must also obtain temporary resident visas to enter Canada or the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) when travelling by air.
Visiting scholars, self-funded researchers, and post-doctoral fellows are exempt from having to acquire a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ). While these appointments are validation exempt, a work permit and the compliance form/fees are still required. All citizens of visa countries must also obtain temporary resident visas to enter Canada.
NOTE: Individuals holding contracts for a period of greater than six (6) months are eligible to apply to the Régie de l’assurance de maladie du Québec (RAMQ) for health insurance coverage. Individuals holding contracts for less than six months are not entitled to Québec or Concordia University health benefits and should make appropriate health insurance arrangements before departing for Montréal.
This information has been reviewed and approved by Legal Counsel.