McMaster University

McMaster University

Immigration Procedures for New Foreign Postdoctoral Fellows


Foreign Postdoctoral Fellows are required to obtain a temporary work permit in order to be employed or hold a trainee position at McMaster. The information below provides details to assist in the immigration process:

Before Arrival -

After Arrival -


Applying for a Temporary Work Permit

Postdoctoral Fellows do not require a Labour Market Opinion and the offer letter from McMaster is used instead to obtain the necessary permit/visas.

Prior to arriving in Canada, foreign Postdoctoral Fellows are advised to familiarize themselves with McMaster and the benefits and amenities of the campus and surrounding area.  Helpful information is also listed in Things to Know Before You Arrive.

1.  As soon as the offer letter is received, the Postdoctoral Fellow must apply for a temporary work permit from the nearest Canadian Immigration Office.  Refer to CIC's website for further details on how and where to apply and the application form. The temporary work permit currently costs $150 CDN and depending on the immigration office, it may take several days or several weeks to process the application. Individuals are advised to review the website of their local Canadian Immigration Office to ascertain processing times and required documentation.

It is important to note that if a Postdoctoral Fellow will hold an unpaid appointment at McMaster, or will be receiving his/her own fellowship funding, an application for a work permit must still be made.

Please note that a work permit of at least one year in duration is required in order to be eligible for medical coverage under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) and for coverage of school fees of school aged children.  Please refer to Things to Know Before You Arrive for further information on this and other related matters.

In addition to a temporary work permit, citizens of some countries and territories will also require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). If a TRV is required, it is not necessary to make a separate application; the immigration officer will issue the TRV at the same time as the approval for a work permit. A list of countries and territories whose citizens need a TRV can be found on the CIC website. If you are planning to travel outside of Canada while at McMaster, please ensure that you notify CIC at the time of application to ensure that, if eligible, a multiple entry visa is obtained.  For more information on working in Canada, please refer to Working Temporarily in Canada.

2.  If the temporary work permit is approved, the Canadian Immigration Office will issue a letter approving the issuance of a work permit (the temporary work permit is actually issued at the Canadian port of entry). The Postdoctoral Fellow can now finalize their travel and moving arrangements.

3.  At the Canadian port of entry, the immigration officer issues the work permit, which allows the new postdoctoral fellow to work at McMaster on a temporary basis.  Upon entry into Canada, the Postdoctoral Fellow should have the following documents ready for the immigration official to assist the immigration officer in issuing a temporary work permit:

a)  The letter of approval from the Canadian Immigration Office (if applicable)

b)  The offer letter from McMaster University

c)  Proof of PhD

d)  Passport(s)

e)   Temporary resident visa(s) (if applicable)

f)  Travel documents (i.e. airline tickets)

g)  Marriage certificate or Statutory Declaration of Common Law Union (if requesting a spousal work permit)

h)  Children’s birth certificates (if applicable)

A temporary work permit will normally be issued for the dates outlined in the offer letter. However, there are other factors, such as passport expiry date, which the immigration officer will take into consideration when issuing a work permit. If applicable, a spousal work permit and visitor records for accompanying dependent children will be issued at the same time.

Note: Send all documents and correspondence by a means you are able to track and ALWAYS keep a copy.


If you require further assistance, please contact Human Resources Services at ext. 24554.


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