Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » Immigration


Canada's immigration regulations define 'work' as an activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned, or that competes directly with activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market. Factors such as duration of stay, activities and citizenship mean that a temporary work permit could be required even if you are not paid by York University. 

When a foreign national accepts a tenure-stream or a contractually limited appointment at York University, the Immigration and Relocation Officer will request employer-specific documentations required to support the temporary work permit application. 

Working at York University

Full-time academic appointments are either tenure-stream (permanent) or contractually limited appointments. The word "probationary" is used in some appointment letters to indicate that the academic (e.g., Assistant Professor) is not yet tenured, i.e., not a full professor.  

Visas and permits are not the same things.

A visa allows a foreign national the right to travel and enter Canada; a permit allows a foreign national to do a particular activity once here e.g., study (study permit) or work (work permit).  Each has its own application process that must be followed correctly and precisely before you can live, work, or study in Canada. 

NOTE: Temporary residents of Canada (visitors, workers, and students), should not allow either their visas or permits to expire while at York University as it could affect their ability to continue to work, be paid and provincial healthcare coverage. 

Visas and eTAs 

If you intend to stay in Canada for a certain period of time, you may need either a temporary resident visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), depending on your citizenship.  

To see if you need either one or how to apply, please visit the Government of Canada website

NOTE: An eTA expires along with your passport. If you get a new passport, you will need a new eTA.

Biometrics (fingerprints and photos)

Biometrics collection is mandatory for all foreign nationals between the ages of 14 and 79 who are applying for, claiming, or requesting temporary residence (excluding U.S. nationals), permanent residence or refugee protection.

More information can be found here.

Generally, you need to give biometrics if you are applying for: 

  • A visitor visa;
  • A work or study permit (excluding U.S. nationals); and
  • Permanent residence.

However, some of the exemptions can be reviewed here

You can only give your biometrics as part of an application you submit to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

Learn more about when you must provide biometrics and the application process by reading the how to give your biometrics from the Government of Canada website

Medical exam

You need a medical exam if at least one of these applies to you:

If you need a medical exam, the visa office will tell you what to do next.

Only an approved panel physician can do a complete medical exam for immigration reasons.

NOTE: You will need to meet all medical inadmissibility rules to be allowed to enter the country. While medical inadmissibility affects anyone applying to visit, study, work or live permanently in Canada, York University does not reject employees on the basis of medical inadmissibility.

Immigration fees 

Several fees may be required for the processing of applications and certain immigration and citizenship procedures. All fees are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees are generally payable at the time of application.

Please consult the fee list here  for current charges.

For a refund of your eligible expenses, please submit your receipts to your Dean's Office or hiring department for processing. 

Depending on your citizenship, you will need some or all of the following items to begin working at York: 

You must apply for a temporary work permit to enter Canada legally to begin your new position at York University.

Prior to proceeding with your work permit application, York University must:

  • provide a formal appointment contract or invitation letter
  • make the appropriate submission to IRCC for approval of the Labour Market Impact Assessment or Offer of Employment
  • pay the processing fees for the submission to IRCC

For the work permit application form, please visit the Government of Canada website

To assist you to complete your work permit application, please follow the guide to applying for a work permit outside of Canada

NOTE: Processing times may be lengthy, so it is advised to submit applications as soon as all prerequisites are met. See the latest processing times here.

Work permits-application process

Visa-exempt nationals

Visa-required nationals

Work permits-LMIA exempt 

York University (specifically an administrator within the applicable Dean's Office or hiring unit) prepares and submits an online application (including payment of the $230 fee unless exempt) to IRCC and emails you (the foreign national) the Offer of Employment number and Compliance Fee receipt that must be entered in your work permit application form.

The Offer of Employment number is required for positions that are exempt from the need for an LMIA. A work permit application will be unsuccessful without this number. If your appointment is extended, a new Offer of Employment number is required to renew your work permit. 

Typically, persons who come to Canada to hold the following positions require a work permit, but are EXEMPT from the need for an LMIA: 

  • C16- Francophone mobility (French speaking workers coming to York University even if French speaking is not required for the position)
  • C22- Academic Exchanges (e.g., Visiting Scholars) 
  • C31-Research (e.g., Canada Research Chairs, Canada Excellence Research Chairs) 
  • C44-Postdoctoral Fellows
  • C52-Academic Award Recipients
  • International Agreements or Arrangements such as CUSMA Professionals, Chile Professionals

NOTE: If you do not fall under one of the aforementioned categories, you will typically need a work permit and LMIA. Please consult our office for further information and guidance.

Work permits-LMIA required 

These applications are prepared and submitted to the government by York (more specifically, the Immigration and Relocation Officer), who then notifies the foreign national of the LMIA decision.

Typically, your spouses/partners and dependents do not require an LMIA. 

A positive or neutral LMIA provides the immigration officer with the authority to issue the work permit. The actual permit is issued at the port of entry (e.g., border or airport) on the presentation of your letter of introduction (work permit approval letter).

When the time comes, the LMIA is also required to successfully process permanent residence applications. It is critical when applying for your work permit or for permanent residency that you include a copy of the LMIA as well as the other documents required, such as the original appointment letter and subsequent employment confirmation letter from York University. 

Work permits-Renewals 

You must renew your work permit before it expires to maintain your legal status to work, be paid and have uninterrupted healthcare coverage.

Applications to extend work permits can be found  here.

NOTE: If you required an Offer of Employment number for your initial work permit, a new number is required to renew/extend your work permit. 

Work permits-Exemptions

A temporary work permit is necessary for almost all foreign workers who want to work in Canada. However, the following short-term appointment qualifies for work permit exemptions:

NOTE: Please consult our office for more guidance and information on work permit exemptions.

Work permits-Know your rights

In Canada, the rights of all workers—including temporary foreign workers—are protected by law. If you are a temporary foreign worker, you have the same rights and workplace protections as Canadians and permanent residents.

International Mobility Program rights

For information on rights as foreign workers hired under the International Mobility Program, please consult their website.

Foreign Worker Program rights

For information on rights as foreign workers hired under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, please consult their website.

Permanent Residency 

If you have been hired for a permanent position, you must apply for permanent residence status as soon as possible, as the process of preparing your application, applying and it being processed can take a year or more.

For current processing times please visit the Government of Canada  webpage

Express entry- A points-based application system used for those who wish to apply for permanent resident status. Express Entry manages applications for three immigration programs:

Typically the program used by academics is the Canadian Experience Class.

For more information, please visit the Government of Canada  here

Canadian Citizenship 

Once you have legally resided in Canada for a minimum of three years, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship.

For more information, please visit the Government of Canada  website

NOTE: Canada’s immigration laws and regulations are enforced, regardless of whether you know about them or not. It is your responsibility, not York University’s, to obtain and maintain your legal immigration status, and to obey immigration regulations while working in Canada.