McMaster University

McMaster University


Immigrating to Canada

The information included on this page is an outline of current immigration practices relevant to Full Time Faculty Members. While this page is updated frequently, please note that Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website contains the most accurate and up to date information.

Labour Market Impact Analysis

The majority of foreign workers hired as faculty members in the Faculty of Health Sciences will require a Labour Market Impact Analysis (LMIA) prior to applying for for work authorization. 

The details to complete the LMIA application will be submitted to Faculty Relations by your Department once you have signed your preliminary letter of offer. Once the application is received by Faculty Relations, it will be reviewed for accuracy, signed and submitted to Citizenship and Immigration for approval.

Expect this process to take between 4-8 weeks to complete.

Once a decision is made on the LMIA application, the Faculty Relations office will be notified and will provide you with a copy of the decision. Once you receive a positive decision, you can use this document to apply for a work permit.


Individuals who hold US citizenship may be able to obtain a work permit via the provisions of the NAFTA agreement rather than going through the LMIA process.

Applying for a Work Permit

All foreign workers require work authorization ("Work Permit") prior to beginning their position at McMaster.

[Click here for information regarding work permits and the processing times]

  • Depending on your country of origin, you may be able to obtain your work permit at a port of entry into Canada.  Please confirm your eligibility with your local consulate.
  • Please keep in mind the processing times when you apply for your work permit.  Until you receive a valid permit, you will be unable to start your position at McMaster.
  • Please keep your current passport up to date.  Regardless of the length of your initial contract, your work permit cannot be extended beyond the end of your current passport's expiry.
  • Depending on your country of origin, you may be required to possess a valid travel visa to enter Canada.  Please confirm this with your local consulate.
  • Faculty who will have clinical responsibilities will need to undergo a medical examination prior to issuance of a work permit.

[Click here for details about medical examination requirements for a work permit]

Applying for a Spousal Work Permit

As a foreign worker, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible to apply for an “open” work permit that will allow her/him to accept any job with any employer if you meet the criteria set out by CIC.  This work permit, once issued will be tied to the faculty member's permit and will only be valid as long as the faculty member holds a valid work permit.  For specific information and to determine if your spouse qualifies please click here

Please note that applying for a spousal work permit is only recommended when your spouse is entering Canada without a job offer.  For those couples where both partners will be joining McMaster, we recommend that each partner apply for their own permit.

Renewal of a work permit

Please note that due to CIC regulations, it is unlikely that you will be able to obtain a renewal of your work permit without obtaining a new LMIA. There is no guarantee that a new LMIA can be obtained for your position. You are encouraged to apply for permanent residency as soon as you are eligible.

Permanent Residency

If you have applied for Permanent Residency (PR), you must still maintain a valid work permit until your PR application is fully approved. Depending on the stage of your application, you may be eligible for a "bridging permit" to allow you to continue to work while the PR application is finalized.

[Click here for infromation on applying for permanent residency]

If you hold an academic license through CPSO, please be aware that CPSO must be informed of the status of your application for an extension and/or when you obtain permanent residency. Failure to provide this information in a timely manner may result in a disruption to your license to practice.

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