How to come to Concordia as an academic visitor
Each year, Concordia welcomes a number of academic visitors from around the world to its campus. "Academic visitor" refers to an individual who is not a registered Concordia student or postdoctoral fellow or who does not hold an academic or research appointment covered by the provisions of a collective agreement. There are generally two types of Academic Visitors at Concordia:
- "Visiting Scholars" are faculty members and research fellows at other institutions who are invited to campus by a Concordia faculty member to conduct collaborative research activities.
- "Research Interns" are undergraduate or graduate students who are invited to campus by a Concordia faculty member to conduct collaborative research activities.
Activities academic visitors conduct on campus include:
- Research in collaboration with Concordia faculty
- Short-term teaching, seminars, lectures, or panels
- Exhibitions and performances
- Evaluators for graduate theses, examinations, performances, exhibitions
Coming to Concordia as an Academic Visitor
- In accordance with the Policy on Academic Visitors (VPRGS-10), perspective Academic Visitors to Concordia should follow the steps described on this page.
- First, a Concordia professor must agree to host you on campus for a specific project and set period of time AND be willing to obtain the necessary approval from her or his department in order for you to be issued an official Letter of Invitation to Concordia. Where applicable, she or he must also be willing to pay the required Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) $230 employer compliance fee of $230 using either a Concordia corporate card or their own credit card so that an IRCC Offer of Employment may be issued so you can apply for a work permit. Concordia University does not cover this fee; the inviting professor is responsible for identifying funding for it and under no circumstances can they ask you to cover or reimburse them for it.
- If you are unfamiliar with Concordia, the following list of academic units and departments and website for exploring research at Concordia is a good starting point for identifying Concordia professors whose fields of expertise correspond to yours. Please be advised, however, that Concordia professors are not obliged to host academic visitors and Concordia International cannot find a professor to invite you to campus for you.
- In order for a professor to invite you to campus, she or he will need the following information from you. We advise that you supply this information to the professor at least six (6) months before your expected arrival date in Canada.
- Section 1 of the Academic Visitor Request Form completed.
- A letter from your home institution indication your affiliation/status there.
- A copy of your curriculum vitae.
- A photocopy of your passport page showing personal information (photo, name, date of birth, etc.) if you are not a Canadian citizen or other similar identification document if you are Canadian.
- If you are a Canadian permanent resident, please also include a copy of your valid permanent resident card.
- If you already hold an open temporary work permit authorizing you to work anywhere in Canada for the duration of your visit, please include a copy of the same.
- If the request is approved by the University, you will receive an official Letter of Invitation (LOI), an Acceptance Form and, where applicable, CIC immigration documents for you to apply for a Temporary Work Permit.
- Sign and return the Acceptance Form as instructed on and use the other document to begin applying for a Temporary Work Permit. Please don’t apply for a visa or work permit until such time that Concordia provides you with the required documentation.
Immigration: If you are not a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or do not hold an open work permit for the duration of your visit, then you are responsible for obtaining any and all immigration documents required for you to enter Canada and conduct your research project at Concordia.
Immigration options to foreign Academic Visitors include:
- Work Permit Exemptions:
- 120-day work permit exemption for researchers. For further details, please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/tools/temp/work/researcher-exemption.asp;
- 15/30-day work permit exemption for highly skilled workers. For further details, please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/tools/temp/work/short-term-exemption.asp;
- Self-funding researcher may be eligible to work without obtaining a work permit if they meet the criteria for the business visitor category: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/tools/temp/work/permit/business/index.asp.
- The Business Visitors category also includes foreign professors and researchers seeking entry to Canada to evaluate academic university programs or research proposals as well as Seminar Leaders or Guest Speakers provided the seminar does not last more than five (5) days.
- Work Permits: according to current regulations, most academic visitors are required to obtain a Temporary Work Permit regardless of whether or not you receive any compensation in Canada. Temporary Work Permits may be based on Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or Exempted exempt from LMIA requirement. Please be advised that Concordia will not apply for an LMIA for any academic visitor should you not qualify for an exemption. There are several relevant LMIA exemptions for Academic Visitors, including:
- Exemption C20: “Canadian interests - Reciprocal employment general”. Your home institution must have an existing reciprocal, bilateral exchange agreement with Concordia. For a list of current Concordia bilateral partners, please consult: http://www.concordia.ca/international/partnerships.html;
- Exemption C21: International Experience Canada for the citizens of certain countries Canada has an agreement with. Please verify if you’re eligible to apply here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/iec/eligibility.asp;
- Exemption C22: Reciprocal employment – Academic exchanges designed mainly for Guest Lecturers and Visiting Professors: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/tools/temp/work/opinion/academic.asp;
- Exemption T23: NAFTA Professionals allows US and Mexican Research assistants and Professors to obtain a work permit exempted from the LMIA requirement;
- International Non-Trade Agreements [R204(a) – T11], such as Fulbright Program between Canada and the U.S., Scientific and Technical Cooperation Agreement between Canada and Germany, etc.;
- Other International Mobility Programs (i.e. Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement; International Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) - Canada-Peru, Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, etc.).
- You are responsible for informing yourself of CIC requirements for applying for any travel documents you might need.
- Insurance: CIC will require you to obtain a Canadian health insurance policy for the duration of your stay in Canada. Health insurance policies vary in coverage and price, but the insurance you choose should cover at least 80% of any medical treatment you receive. You should also take any personal health condition in consideration when selecting a policy. In addition to health insurance, you are also responsible for making sure make sure you have appropriate travel, repatriation, emergency medical evacuation, liability and any other type of insurance you may deem necessary. Many companies sell insurance policies in Québec. You are encouraged to do as much research as you can, but here are a few to help get you started:
- Make an appointment with your supervising professor: Once you know when you will be arriving, you should contact your supervising professor to schedule an appointment to meet her or him, visit the location where you will be conducting your research internship and coordinate any other remaining details.
- Finding Accommodations in Montreal: Academic visitors to Concordia are responsible for securing their own accommodations while here.
- If you are coming during the summer months, you may request on-campus accommodations, for more information please contact Summer accomodations. Throughout the rest of the year, you will have to search and secure your own apartment or other accommodations.
- Luckily, finding accommodations in Montreal is relatively easy and inexpensive when compared to other major North American cities. To get started on finding out how to search for an apartment in Montreal, please visit Concordia’s page on off-campus housing.
- Your status at Concordia: As an academic visitor at Concordia, you will be considered as a visitor. You will not be able to register for courses at Concordia as an academic visitor and will not have access to the same types of services offered to registered, tuition-paying Concordia students will not be eligible for reduced fares on the subway and bus systems.
- University Identification: As soon as you arrive, you should obtain a Concordia University I.D. It will give you access to certain parts of the campus that require it, such as the library and the shuttle bus. To obtain an I.D., please take your Letter of Invitation, Passport, Work Permit and address in Montreal to Human Resources (SGW FB-1130/1250, rue Guy) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
Ms. Cristiana Voiculescu
Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs