Office of Post-Doctoral Training



Post-Doctoral Training

School of Graduate Studies

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Obtaining a Work Permit

Starting February 21, 2015, new obligations will be imposed on Canadian employers hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. Exemptions from the LMIA process include Post-Docs and professionals under free trade agreements such as NAFTA. Under the new procedure an employer will be required to submit information about its business, complete an offer of employment form and pay a $230 "employer compliance fee" online to Citizenship and Immigration Canada before the work permit application is filed. As of that date, foreign nationals will not be able to get an employer-specific work permit if their employer has not submitted the required forms and paid the fee. The compliance fee is in addition to the current work permit processing fee of $155. Please see further instructions below and contact for remaining questions.

If you are a prospective post-doc who is a foreign national (neither a Canadian citizen nor permanent resident), you must apply for a work permit  from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)) in your current country of residence (provided you have a valid residence permit in that country) prior to coming to Queen’s to take up your post-doctoral position.

  • Find out how to apply for a work permit to work in Canada
  • In addition to the work permit, you may need an entry visa (Temporary Resident Visa or TRV) or an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization)
  • The fee for the TRV is $100 and is payable when you apply in your country of origin. The fee for the eTA is $7.00 and can be paid by credit card online when you apply.
  • Check how and where to apply for your work permit. International scholars of some nationalities are able to apply directly at the port of entry for their work permit (i.e. land border or airport immigration). To apply upon entry into Canada, you must bring with you all documents needed for the work permit when you enter Canada for the first time. 
  • If you are eligible to apply at the border, and you have decided to make an application at the Port of Entry (airport or land border) do NOT apply online first. If you have made an online application and have not yet received a decision, you may not be able to get a work permit at the border. You may be admitted as a visitor only. As a visitor, you cannot work until you receive your work permit and your status changes.
  • Review the final application closely prior to submission to ensure all required documents are included. You can get assistance (for a fee) from the Visa Application Centre in your country.
  • In some cases you may require a medical examination. Read more to determine whether you need to take this step at Citizen and Immigration Canada.
  • If you made an online application for your work permit and it is approved, you will receive a "Letter of Approval" (also called “Port of Entry Letter”). You must show this letter to the Customs officer when you arrive in Canada.
  • You will be required to pay a processing fee of $155 Canadian for your work permit.  You can pay with major credit cards (Visa or MasterCard).