Working in Canada for Non-Permanent Residents

Boardwalk at Point Pelee National Park

Photo: Andrea_44 via Flickr.


Under Canadian immigration law, faculty and staff who come to the University of Windsor as foreign nationals must be authorized to live and work in Canada by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

If you are a non-Canadian who has been offered a faculty appointment at the University of Windsor, the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic will provide guidance to assist you with the immigration process wherever possible within the limits of Canadian law. Note that the University of Windsor cannot act on your behalf as an agent in immigration matters. It is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that all required documents are completed accurately and submitted appropriately to IRCC.

The Labour Market Impact Assessment

In most cases, in order to acquire a work permit a foreign national needs to retrieve a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada. In certain cases, foreign nationals from specific countries or who will be performing specific types of work are exempted from an LMIA, provided they meet specific listed requirements. As a general rule, any foreign faculty appointed to a full-time continuing faculty position at the University of Windsor who is not an American or Mexican citizen requires an LMIA.

All post-doctoral fellows are exempt from the LMIA process.

For more information, consult the Government of Canada: Immigration and Citizenship website.

Entering Canada Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

In some cases, citizens of the United States and Mexico are able to apply to enter Canada under the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) Exemption, Appendix 1603.D.1.

This regulation exempts business professionals who meet specific criteria from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for their role. Foreign nationals entering Canada as professionals under NAFTA must still hold a valid work permit.

For a list of professional positions with LMIA exemptions under NAFTA, please see NAFTA Appendix 1603.D.1.

Express Entry for Skilled Workers

Individuals who receive University faculty appointments typically qualify for the government's Express Entry program. Please consult the Express Entry website to determine whether you qualify.

Social Insurance Number

All foreign nationals must apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) upon the receipt of a work permit. This can be done at any Service Canada office, of which there are several in the Windsor area. This number must be provided to Human Resources for employment purposes.

For comprehensive information on this topic, please consult the Service Canada website.

Authorization for Travelling to Canada

To determine the level of authorization you require to travel to Canada, consult Citizenship and Immigration Canada's "Find out if you need a visa" webpage.

Permanent Residency

You are responsible for maintaining your immigration status by initiating an application for Permanent Resident status. The University of Windsor recommends you begin this process as soon as possible after taking up your appointment, as your initial work permit will be temporary. Consult Government of Canada: Immigration and Citizenship for more information about obtaining Permanent Resident status.

Applying for Canadian Citizenship

Canadian permanent residents may consider applying for Canadian Citizenship. In accordance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Canadians are allowed to hold more than one citizenship at one time.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website contains comprehensive information about the citizenship process. As a primer, know that, know that adult applicants for Canadian citizenship must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Demonstrate an understanding of English and/or French
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Canadian culture and the rights and responsibilities of becoming a Canadian citizen
  • Not be under a removal order
  • Not be a security threat
  • Not be under an immigration, criminal, or security prohibition

Related links:

Government of Canada: Immigration and Citizenship

For information regarding:

  • Application Fees
  • Canadian embassy offices abroad
  • Countries that require a VISA along with the Work Permit
  • Hiring temporary foreign workers (as an employer)
  • Foreign worker manual and quick reference guide
  • Permanent residency applications
  • Visa application photo specifications
  • Working temporarily in Canada
  • Work permit applications and instructions

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA):

For information regarding:

  • Crossing the border with more than $10,000
  • Importing a vehicle into Canada
  • Entering Canada to work or study
  • The Nexus program
  • Settling in Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada

For information regarding:

  • Academic Exemptions from a Labour Market Impact Assessment/Work Permit
  • Foreign Worker Application for a Labour Market Impact Assessment
  • Foreign Worker Recruitment Summary
  • Government Services and Benefits
  • National Occupational Classification
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Note: This site is a living document, the goal of which is to improve, in some small way, the working lives of University of Windsor faculty. We are eager to collaborate with the campus community to better this service over time. If you can identify any knowledge gaps, missing resources, or outdated or erroneous information on this site, please contact Iva Gentcheva, Director, Office of the Provost and Faculty Recruitment, without hesitation.