Academic Visitor FAQ
How long in advance should I start the process for inviting an academic visitor?
You should begin the process as soon as possible, ideally 6 months prior to the scheduled start date. If you start a few weeks in advance, then you will not have enough time to obtain approval to invite your visitor and then submit the additional CIC forms. The academic visitor will also need enough time to have her or his temporary work permit processed at a Canadian consulate abroad. Processing times at consulates vary significantly across the world and information on this topic is often not available or difficult to find.
Which academic visitors might qualify for an LMIA exemption?
Official information is available on the CIC website. However, for more comprehensive information, you may visit Concordia’s general Academic Visitors page.
Who is responsible for paying/submitting the $230 employer compliance fee?
The inviting faculty member is responsible for paying the fee, submitting it and identifying funding for it. You should never ask the researcher to pay for this fee.
Who is responsible for completing the online employer portal?
Our Immigration Specialist, Cristiana Voiculescu will be completing this part and request your approval before submitting it online. She will also need the credit card information you wish to use for the payment of the employer compliance fee.
Can I pay my visitor?
Visitors have visitor and not employee status at Concordia. In general, you can provide stipends or reimburse them for expenses, but you as the inviting faculty member are responsible for identifying funding for any stipends and/or reimbursements. If you are using a research or otherwise restricted account, then you will need to make sure the account allows for such expenses before making any commitments to a visitor. In addition, it is very important that any such payments be indicated in the employer portal when the application for work permit is submitted. It is therefore important that the final amount to be paid to the researcher does not change after the application is submitted for compliance purposes. Please remember that all work permits can be audited for 6 years after the work permit is issued. Audits include proof of payments made to the researcher.
Who provides space, equipment and access to visitors?
The inviting faculty member is responsible for identifying any space, equipment or access to restricted areas the visitor might need while at Concordia. S/he can take her or his Concordia Letter of Invitation, photo ID and Montreal mailing address to Human Resources (FB 1130) to request a Concordia ID, which will allow her or him to use the library.
What services are available to academic visitors?
As academic visitors are neither students, nor employees at Concordia University, there are limitations to the amounts of services they can access compared to enrolled students and employees. Upon arrival, however, the should take a copy of their Concordia Letter of Invitation, photo identification and their Montreal address to Human Resources FB 1130 to obtain a Concordia ID. The Concordia ID will enable them to access the library.
My home University needs a signed internship agreement. Will Concordia University sign such an agreement?
Concordia University provides all Academic Visitors with an invitation letter containing all of the information that an internship agreement would. If your home University requires a separate internship agreement in addition to the invitation letter, we will be happy to provide you with such a document that our legal services have prepared, upon request. This is the only internship agreement we can sign and provide you with. Therefore, we cannot sign any internship agreement produced by your home University.
Why is an official invitation necessary?
It is important that all of Concordia’s international visiting scholars be known to the Office of Concordia International. This offers higher visibility, invitations to meet with groups interested in discussing further collaboration with the visitors’ institutions, invitations to receptions and other events to showcase the activities of visitors and their Concordia colleagues. The letter also facilitates the rapid processing of visa applications and allows the visitor to have temporary faculty privileges for library, internet, and other university facilities.
How long does it take to receive a letter of invitation?
Once a host unit is identified, the approval process generally takes no more than two weeks. If a visa is necessary for travel to Canada, please include this letter in the application through the nearest Canadian High Commission or Consular Office.
Are Academic Visitors paid?
Not under normal circumstances. Occasionally, a research grant or other funding will offset some costs, and a few visitors are offered an honorarium for public lectures, performances, or other activities. In these cases, the circumstances are outlined in the letter of invitation. Many visiting scholars have funding from their home institution or funding agencies.
What is the difference between an Academic Visitor and a postdoctoral fellow?
Postdoctoral researchers are considered trainees and are closely associated with a research group, laboratory, or professor. They receive funding, and are eligible to work as research assistants or teaching assistants. For more information and application forms, please visit the Postdoctoral section
Can I teach as an Academic Visitor for a full semester or a year?
Visiting Professors are hired to teach courses in their area of expertise. These positions are posted well in advance of the academic year, or are proposed by a potential visitor. Please contact the appropriate Department, Faculty, or the Associate Vice-President, International. Appointments are made by the Office of the Provost.