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.
In addition to the information contined here, please review the Provost's web pages related to immigration.
The Provost's office holds information sessions twice annually on immigration. These free sessions include representation from the Federal and Provincial Governments and outline the various categories for applying for permanent residency. Further information on the next session and/or to access presentations from the most recent session please click here
Applying for a Work Permit
All foreign workers require work authorization (“Work Permit”) prior to beginning their position at McMaster. For the majority of faculty members in the Faculty of Health Sciences, a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) must be obtained prior to applying for work authorization.
An LMO application will be submitted to Faculty Relations by your Department once you have signed your preliminary letter of offer. Once the LMO application is received by Faculty Relations, it will be reviewed for accuracy, signed and submitted to Citizenship and Immigration for approval. Upon receiving a positive LMO, this document will be forwarded to you and you must include this in your work permit application.
Information regarding work permits and the processing times can be found here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/temp.asp
- 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. (LINK)
- Foreign workers who will be working in the healthcare field will need to undergo a medical examination prior to issuance of a work permit. Further details are available here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/medical/medexams-temp.asp
Applying for a Spousal Work Permit
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
It is your responsibility to maintain a current work permit at all times.
Please review the current processing times here and submit your application well in advance of your current permit’s expiry.
Please note that due to CIC regulations, we may be required to repost your position and obtain a new Labour Market Opinion before you can apply for an extension to your current work permit. Please contact your Department/School to determine if this is a requirement for your position.
If you have applied for Permanent Residency (PR), you must still maintain a valid work permit until your PR application is fully approved.
In some cases, proof that you have applied for an extension to your work permit (i.e. implied status) is acceptable for you to continue to work in your current position. HOWEVER, if you hold an academic license through CPSO, please be aware that CPSO currently requires that you provide a copy of your new work permit before your license can be extended. Failure to provide this information in a timely manner may result in a disruption to your clinical activities.
Applying for Permanent Residency
Faculty members employed with McMaster University on a work permit are encouraged to apply for permanent resident status as soon as possible in order to maintain their employment in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) defines a permanent resident as someone who is not a Canadian citizen, but has the right to live, work and study in Canada without an end date. Temporary foreign workers are not considered permanent residents, but can apply for permanent resident status using one of the following pathways:
- Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC)
- Applicants must fulfil a number of factors including language ability, education and work experience to be deemed eligible to apply for permanent resident status under the FSWC. In addition, applicants must also attain a minimum number of points based on CICs immigration selection factors. Please visit this link for more information: http://www.cic.gc.ca/EnGLish/immigrate/skilled/index.asp
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Certain temporary foreign workers may apply for permanent resident status under the CEC if they meet the experience requirements set out by CIC. To review the list of requirements and to determine your eligibility please follow this link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/cec/index.asp
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
- If you wish to immigrate to Canada under the PNP, you must first be nominated by a Canadian province or territory. You must also meet the education and work requirements needed to successfully contribute to the economy of that province or territory. For more information about PNP please follow this link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/provincial/index.asp
Please check the CIC website for the most up-to-date information regarding permanent residency application: http://www.cic.gc.ca/ENGLISH/INDEX.ASP