Inviting International Visitors to Campus

There are many different reasons why visitors may come to the university, and we welcome the opportunities for teaching, learning and collaboration. Anytime an international visitor is invited to campus by a university group or academic staff member, the proper steps must be taken to give them the information they need, facilitate their entry to Canada, mitigate risk to the university, and grant system access where appropriate. These steps are outlined below.

To properly monitor all categories of international visitors and ensure institutional compliance with immigration legislation, a centralized international visitor program has been implemented by Human Resources. HR Immigration Services provides support with categorizing international visitors pursuant to provisions of immigration legislation and advises on immigration processes.

International visitors may or may not require a work permit, based on the type of activities they will be engaged in, in accordance with the applicable Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation (IRPR).

 

Are you planning to host an International visitor?

The FIRST STEP is to fill out the webform and submit. A member of the HR Immigration Services team will contact you and inform you if your visitor will require a work permit or is exempt.

Work Permit Exempt

Visitor Category Defined

HR Immigration Services defines the appropriate visitor category and provides applicable Invitation Letter template to the Host.

Invitation Letter

Host drafts an official invitation letter and delivers to the visitor and forwards a copy to HR Immigration Services.

Records Retention

HR Immigration services uploads the Invitation Letter to HR SharePoint for record-keeping purposes.

Access

Host forwards visitor record to HR Immigration Services and works with Integrated Service Centre if the visitor requires system access.

Work Permit Required

Visitor Category Defined

HR Immigration Services defines appropriate visitor category, provides applicable invitation Letter, and requests other required documents.

Invitation Letter

Host drafts invitation letter, forwards completed letter and other required documents  to HR Immigration.

Employer Compliance Fee

HR Immigration contacts host to process payment of the Employer Compliance fee and submits an Offer Employment to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada through the Employer Portal.

Offer of Employment ID

HR Immigration Services provides an Offer of Employment ID to the visitor, along with instructions to enter Canada

Work Permit

UCalgary host forwards Work Permit to HR Immigration Services for verification, and works with Integrated Service Centre if the visitor requires system access.

International Visitors

International visitors who are not required to obtain a work permit may still need a visitor visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada, depending upon their country of citizenship.

 

Visa Exempt

Visitors from visa-exempt countries will be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) prior to flying into Canada. An eTA may be issued within minutes and is valid for up to five years or until the expiry of their passport.

What do I need?

International visitors can check the IRCC website to determine if they require a visa (TRV) or eTA for their country of citizenship.

IRCC


Work Permit Exempt Visitor Types

A business visitor is a person who seeks to engage in international business activities without directly entering the Canadian labour market. Foreign academics who come to the University to discuss research matters of mutual interest are eligible to be admitted as business visitors; however, if there exists an employee-employer relationship, then a work permit is required.

General Criteria:

  • There must be no intent to enter the Canadian labour market, that is, no gainful employment in Canada;
  • The activity of the foreign national must be international in scope;
  • There is the presumption of a foreign employer:
  • The primary source of the foreign national’s remuneration remains outside Canada
  • The principal place of the foreign national’s employer is located outside Canada
  • The accrual of profits of the foreign national’s employer is located outside Canada.

The University of Calgary should provide a letter of invitation to the business visitor containing the following information:

  • the purpose of the trip; and
  • intended length of stay.

The business visitor should present the following documentation to IRCC:

  • proof of citizenship;
  • letter of invitation from the University of Calgary;
  • a statement form their employer confirming their continuing employment with that foreign institution/company; and
  • proof of sufficient funds to support their stay in Canada

Public Speakers include both guest speakers for specific events (such as an academic speaker at a university or college function) and commercial speaker or seminar leaders provided the seminar to be given by the foreign speaker does not last longer than five days.

A “seminar” is defined as a small class at a university for discussion and research, or a short intensive course of study, or a conference of specialists.

The University of Calgary should provide a letter of invitation to the public speaker/guest speaker containing the following information:

  • purpose of the trip
  • intended length of stay
  • amount of honorarium and intention to reimburse, if applicable.

The guest speaker should present the following documentation to IRCC:

  • citizenship
  • letter of invitation from the University of Calgary

These persons may enter Canada as visitors without the requirement for a work permit. The reference is Regulation R186(j).

Self-Funded Academic Researchers are persons who:

  • conduct research activities in their field of study at Canadian academic institutions;
  • have autonomous funding arrangements other than an award.

The University of Calgary should provide a letter of invitation to the self-funded researcher confirming the following:

  • there is no displacement of Canadian or Permanent Resident workers
  • there is no employer-employee relationship between the visiting academic and the University of Calgary
  • the individual will not receive remuneration for the research from the University of Calgary
  • the University of Calgary will not receive remuneration for the research conducted by the foreign academic.

The self-funded researcher should present the following documentation to IRCC:

  • proof of citizenship
  • proof of sufficient funds to support themselves while in Canada
  • letter of invitation from the University of Calgary.

Examiners and Evaluators are eminent individuals who:

  • direct the studies and review the work done by university students under their tutelage
  • review the thesis and papers prepared by those students
  • evaluate academic university programs or research proposals (including evaluation of proposals from organizations such as NSERC).

The University of Calgary should provide a letter of invitation to the examiner/evaluator containing the following information:

  • purpose of the trip
  • intended length of stay
  • and amount of honorarium and intention to reimburse expenses, if applicable.

The examiner/evaluator should present the following documentation to IRCC:

  • proof of citizenship
  • letter of invitation from the University of Calgary.

These persons may enter Canada as visitors without the requirement for a work permit. The reference is Regulation R186(n).

Academics coming to the University of Calgary for employment interviews are considered to be visitors and will be assessed against the criteria applicable to all visitors to Canada. All visitors to Canada require documentary proof of their citizenship. A letter from the University inviting the foreign academic for an interview will be helpful in order to facilitate entry. The letter should outline the position that the academic is being considered for and a statement that appointment of the successful candidate will be in accordance with the academic recruitment process as agreed upon by EWDL, IRCC, the Association of University Teachers (CAUT), and Universities Canada.

Short-term Academic Researcher are persons who:

  • perform work for 120 consecutive days or less and have not been granted an exemption under the public policy facilitating entry into Canada for short term work in the last 12 months;
  • intend to perform work as a researcher;
  • have an offer from a publicly funded degree-granting institution (at the college or university level) or its affiliated research institution;
  • have  a significant role to play in or value to add to the research project; and
  • have written confirmation from the receiving institution attesting to the details of the work as being primarily research and outlining the duration of the work.

The University of Calgary should provide a letter of invitation to the short-term Academic researcher confirming the following:

  • details of the work (that is, descriptions of the duties, research activities and the National Occupational Classification code of the occupation the foreign national will be performing)
  • amount of any payment and/or reimbursement if applicable
  • period of employment (start date and end date)
  • significant role the foreign national will play in or the value the foreign national will add to the research project

The short-term Academic researcher should present the following documentation to IRCC:

  • passport
  • invitation letter
  • resume
  • educational document(s) (e.g. diploma, degree)

Eligible persons may also need a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to come to Canada.

Short-term High Skilled workers are persons who:

  • will be in Canada for a short duration (15 consecutive calendar days or 30 consecutive calendar days);
  • have not been granted an exemption under the public policy facilitating entry into Canada for short-term work in the last 6 months or 12 months; and
  • will be in an occupation that is listed in skill type 0 (management occupations) or skill level A in the matrix of the National Occupational Classification (NOC)

The University of Calgary should provide a letter of invitation to the short-term High Skilled worker confirming the following:

  • details of the work, descriptions of the duties, the NOC code of the occupation they will be performing
  • amount of any payment and/or reimbursement if applicable
  • period of employment (start date and end date)

The short-term High Skilled worker should present the following documentation to IRCC:

  • passport
  • invitation letter
  • resume
  • educational document(s) (e.g. diploma, degree)

Eligible persons may also need a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to come to Canada.

Stronger Enforcement and Tougher Penalties

Major reforms to the International Mobility Program (the program under which all of the international visitors are admitted to Canada) came into effect in February 2015, which place new emphasis on employer compliance and enforcement. As a result, the Government is massively increasing the number and scope of inspections and employer compliance reviews, so that one in four employers of temporary foreign workers will be inspected each year. To be compliant, the University of Calgary must demonstrate that we have provided each foreign worker or international visitor with employment in the same occupation as stated in the offer of employment and with wages (if applicable) and working conditions that are substantially the same as those in the offer of employment/letter of invitation.

Therefore, the University is required to report to and seek approval from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on any changes to the terms and conditions of foreign national employee’s appointment, including:

  • Change in remuneration (if applicable)
  • Change in working conditions

Ensure that you contact the HR Advisor responsible for your Faculty, prior to the implementation of any changes to international visitors’ appointment. They will consult with Immigration Services and advise you of the appropriate action.

Administrative Monetary Penalty Regime

A regime of Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) established in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into force on December 1, 2015, designed to promote compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program requirements. Penalties may be imposed for a range of violations, including non-compliance with record-keeping requirements and failure to adhere to conditions laid out in offers of employment or letters of invitation (including payment of certain stipends, and failure to provide certain working conditions).

Where an employer fails to comply with multiple conditions or program requirements, each failure will be treated as a separate violation. As such, penalties under the AMP are cumulative, up to a maximum of 1 million. In addition to penalties, employers may also be barred from hiring foreign workers and have their violations published on a website.


Work Permit Required

Some international visitors are required to apply for a work permit from IRCC. However, the host institution is exempt from submitting a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

International visitors who require a work permit must have the host pay a $230 employer compliance fee and submit an Offer of Employment form to IRCC before they can submit a work permit.

HR Immigration Services will provide the Offer of Employment ID Number.

A visiting professor is a person who:

  • is coming to Canada for a period of not more than two academic years to take a position with a post-secondary institution, and retains their position abroad;
  • may also include those on sabbatical who are doing collaborative research with a Canadian post-secondary institution; and
  • is paid by the foreign university that employs them outside Canada.

To facilitate the issuance of a work permit, the University of Calgary should provide a letter of invitation containing the following information:

  • the purpose of the trip to Canada;
  • the nature and location of the position;
  • intended length of stay; and,
  • arrangements for any financial assistance (i.e., reimbursement of airfare and accommodation expenses).

The visiting professor should present the following documentation to IRCC:

  • proof of citizenship;
  • letter of invitation from the University of Calgary;
  • letter from the foreign educational institution stating that the person retains their position abroad; and
  • proof of payment by non-Canadian originating institution; an
  • Offer of Employment ID Number

Work permits will be issued pursuant to Regulation R205(b), C22.

A guest lecturer is a person who:

  • is invited by a post-secondary institution to give a series of lectures; and
  • occupies a temporary position of a non-continuing nature (which does not comprise a complete academic course) for a period of less than one academic term or semester.

The University of Calgary should provide an Offer of Employment ID Number, and a letter of invitation to the visiting academic containing the following information:

  • the purpose of the trip to Canada;
  • the nature and location of the position;
  • intended length of stay
  • evidence that the period of stay is less than one academic term or semester; and, • arrangements for any financial assistance (i.e., reimbursement of airfare and accommodation expenses).

The guest lecturer should present the following documents to IRCC:

  • proof of citizenship;
  • letter of invitation from the University of Calgary;
  • Offer of Employment ID Number

Work permits will be issued pursuant to Regulation R205(b), C22.

A guest post-doctoral scholar is a person who: 

  • meets the requirements outlined in the Post-Doctoral Policy of the University of Calgary;
  • is appointed to a time-limited post-doctoral scholar position; and
  • receives directly a fellowship from a funding source other than the University of Calgary.

Guest post-doctoral scholars are assessed and appointed by the Postdoc Office, who provides a letter of offer and forward the appointment to Immigration Services for generating an Offer of Employment ID Number. The letter of offer shall cover:

  • the purpose of the trip to Canada;
  • the nature and location of the position
  • intended length of stay;

The guest post-doctoral scholar should present the following documentation to IRCC:

  • proof of citizenship;
  • letter of offer issued by the Postdoc Office;
  • evidence that they have completed their doctorate, or that they will be completing their doctorate shortly;
  • evidence that they are working in a related field to that in which they received their PhD; and
  • Offer of Employment ID Number

A research award recipient is a person who is the direct recipient of an academic research award paid by:

  • academic institution, or
  • foreign source.

To facilitate issuance of a work permit, the University of Calgary should provide a letter of invitation to the visiting academic confirming the following:

  • the purpose of the trip to Canada;
  • the nature and location of the work that the person will be doing;
  • intended length of stay; and
  • evidence that the person has received an award from either a Canadian or foreign source and the nature of the award.
  • Offer of Employment ID Number

The research award recipient should present the following documentation to IRCC:

  • proof of citizenship;
  • letter of invitation from the University of Calgary;
  • confirmation of research award; and
  • offer of employment ID number.

A visiting co-op student or intern is a person who:

  • is registered at a foreign post-secondary institution as a student;
  • is coming to complete a co-op assignment or internship for academic credit which is part of their curriculum; and
  • is not registered as a student at the University of Calgary.

To facilitate the issuance of a work permit, the University of Calgary should provide a letter of invitation to the visiting co-op student or intern confirming the following:

  • the purpose of the trip to Canada;
  • the nature and location of the work that the person will be doing;
  • intended length of stay for the co-op assignment or internship

The visiting co-op student or intern should present the following documentation to IRCC:

  • proof of citizenship;
  • letter of invitation from the University of Calgary;
  • Internship or work placement agreement, if applicable;
  • conditional acceptance letter (if they apply through the International Experience Canada program); and
  • offer of employment ID number.

Visiting co-op assignments and internship may be paid or unpaid; either way international students will require a work permit.


Stronger Enforcement and Tougher Penalties

Major reforms to the International Mobility Program (the program under which all of the international visitors are admitted to Canada) came into effect in February 2015, which place new emphasis on employer compliance and enforcement. As a result, the Government is massively increasing the number and scope of inspections and employer compliance reviews, so that one in four employers of temporary foreign workers will be inspected each year. To be compliant, the University of Calgary must demonstrate that we have provided each foreign worker or international visitor with employment in the same occupation as stated in the offer of employment and with wages (if applicable) and working conditions that are substantially the same as those in the offer of employment/letter of invitation.

Therefore, the University is required to report to and seek approval from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on any changes to the terms and conditions of foreign national employee’s appointment, including:

  • Change in remuneration (if applicable)
  • Change in working conditions

Ensure that you contact the HR Advisor responsible for your Faculty, prior to the implementation of any changes to international visitors’ appointment. They will consult with Immigration Services and advise you of the appropriate action.

Administrative Monetary Penalty Regime

A regime of Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) established in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into force on December 1, 2015, designed to promote compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program requirements. Penalties may be imposed for a range of violations, including non-compliance with record-keeping requirements and failure to adhere to conditions laid out in offers of employment or letters of invitation (including payment of certain stipends, and failure to provide certain working conditions).

Where an employer fails to comply with multiple conditions or program requirements, each failure will be treated as a separate violation. As such, penalties under the AMP are cumulative, up to a maximum of 1 million. In addition to penalties, employers may also be barred from hiring foreign workers and have their violations published on a website.

Enforcement

Major reforms to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program came into effect, which place new emphasis on employer compliance and enforcement.

 

 

The Government is massively increasing the number and scope of inspections and employer compliance reviews, so that one in four employers of temporary foreign workers will be inspected each year. To be compliant, the University of Calgary must demonstrate that we have provided each foreign worker with employment is the same occupation as stated in the offer of employment and with wages and working conditions that are substantially the same as those in the offer of employment.

Therefore, the University is required to report to and seek approval from EWDL/SC on any changes to the terms and conditions of foreign national employee’s appointment, including:

  • Change in Remuneration – salary increase/decrease and any lump sum payments
  • Additional Market Supplement, Overload Teaching or Administrative Appointment
  • Any change in working conditions

Ensure that you contact the HR Advisor responsible for your Faculty, prior to the implementation of any changes to foreign national employees’ appointment. They will consult with Immigration Services and advise you of the appropriate action.

A regime of Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) established in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act came into force on December 1, 2015, designed to promote compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program requirements. Penalties may be imposed for a range of violations, including non-compliance with record-keeping requirements and failure to adhere to conditions laid out in offers of employment (including payment of certain wages, and failure to provide certain working conditions).

Where an employer fails to comply with multiple conditions or program requirements, each failure will be treated as a separate violation and subject to an Administrative Monetary Penalty from $500 to $100,000 per violation. As such, penalties under the AMP are cumulative, up to a maximum of 1 million per year. In addition to penalties, employers may also be barred from hiring foreign workers for 1, 2, 5, and 10 years -  even permanently - and have their violations published on a government website.