Visiting Academics

International visiting academics (also called visiting scholars, visiting faculty, visiting professors, visiting scientists, visiting researchers, etc.) at Simon Fraser University (SFU) must meet the following conditions: 

  • Must hold a faculty position (Instructor, Assistant, Associate or Full professor) at their home institute or organization abroad 
  • Appointment/visit at SFU is no more than two academic years 
  • A visiting academic may also include those on sabbatical who are doing collaborative research at SFU 

Some visiting academics will fall under Academic Policy A12.04: Visiting Faculty and will be formally appointed following the appointment process on the Faculty Relations website.

Other visiting academics may be invited as visiting scholars or visiting self-funded researchers and will follow the process outlined below:

NOTE: When inviting Visiting Researchers for less than 120 days, please check with Faculty Relations to find out the appropriate process.

Step 1 

Hiring/host department: 

  • Create and appointment or invitation letter
  • Contact Faculty Relations for the list of information and supporting documentation required.

Step 2 

Faculty Relations: 

  • Pay the Employer Compliance Fee ($230) online and submit the Offer of Employment form to Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 
  • Email a copy of the Offer of Employment Number and LMIA exempt code to the hiring department. 

Hiring Department: 

  • Forward the Employment Number and LMIA exempt code to the foreign faculty member which is required for the work permit application. 

Step 3 

Interntional Visiting Scholar: 

  • Apply for a work permit. The following document and information will be required for the application. 
  1. Appointment letter 
  2. Support letter to the IRCC 
  3. Offer of employment number 
  4. LMIA exemption code 
Please follow the work permit guide below for more details. 

Step 4

International Visiting Scholar:
(below only applies if the position is salaried.)
  • Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) required for employment in Canada. SIN can be obtained from a local Service Canada office with a proof of ID and valid work permit.
  • Download the PDF below to learn how to obtain a SIN:

Work Permit Application

Where can I apply for my work permit?

You may submit your work permit application to the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live.  For a list of visa offices outside Canada, please visit If you are already inside Canada with a valid work permit, or you or your spouse or common-law partner hold a valid study permit, you may apply for your work permit from inside Canada. 

How can I apply for my work permit?

You have two options for applying for a work permit:

  • Apply online
  1. Determine your eligibility and create a Personal Checklist Code by answering the questions in the Come to Canada wizard at
  2. Apply online at after creating a GCKey or Sign-in Partner login ID, and registering with MyCIC. Enter your Personal Checklist Code when prompted.  

Scan and upload all supporting documentation. Supporting documents should be current and original (unless it clearly states photocopies are acceptable). If your supporting documents are not in English or French, you must include a translation from a certified translator with your application. Refer to your online checklist for acceptable file formats.

  • Apply by mail
  1. Download the required forms from
  2. Submit your application to the Visa Office or Visa Application Centre (VAC) responsible for the country or region where you live.

What documents do I need to apply for my work permit either online or by mail?

The documents you need to apply for your work permit will vary depending on where you are residing when you apply for your work permit. You will be required to submit standard IRCC forms plus supporting documentation.

Application item Application submitted outside Canada  Application submitted in Canada Tips
Document Checklist (required for paper-based applications only)

Document Checklist

(IMM 5488)

Document Checklist

(IMM 5556)

Place this document on top of your application package
Application Form

Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada

(IMM 1295)

Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker (IMM 5710)
  • Complete the application form electronically (not by hand) 
  • Include the Offer of Employment Number in the application form)
Family Information

Family Information

(IMM 5707 or IMM 5645)

  • Include all family members even if they are not accompanying you to Canada 
  • Include the Family Information form listed in the application package for your country
Passport or travel document Photocopy all relevant passport pages. Include all pages with photos, signatures, stamps and other  markings. Photocopy all relevant passport pages. Include all pages with photos, signatures, stamps and other  markings.

The work permit will not be issued for longer than the validity of  your passport

Photo Online applications require a digital photo. Paper applications may requires 2 photos meeting IRCC requirements. Online applications require a digital photo. Refer to the photo specifications in your checklist
Fee N/A N/A The current fee for a work permit is $155.

Required supporting documents may include:

  • Proof you meet the requirements of the job being offered (ex. proof of education, work reference letters)
  • Offer of employment letter from the SFU Department offering you the position including
    • Employment start and end date
    • Amount of remuneration
    • Location
    • Nature of the position
  • Employment reference letters from current or past employer(s)
  • Employment records
  • CV/resume outlining relevant education, qualifications and work experience
  • Proof of funds (if you research funding is from an external source, proof of that must be submitted with your application)

Please consult the website of the Canadian visa office serving the country or region where you live to determine if you are required to provide additional forms or documents.

When is a medical exam required for a work permit?

You will need a medical exam if you have lived temporarily for 6 or more consecutive months in a designated country in the one year immediately before the date you enter Canada.  For a list of designated countries, please see

In some cases, there may be restrictions on the type of job you can hold unless you complete and pass an immigration medical exam prior to submitting an application for your work permit.  For a complete list of occupations requiring a medical exam, refer to

If a medical exam is required, you must make an appointment with a designated Panel Physician:

Can my spouse or common-law partner work in Canada?

If you hold a work permit, and are employed in a position listed at Skill Level 0, A or B in the National Occupational Classification, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an open work permit.  If this is the case, your spouse must include proof that you are employed in a skilled occupation in their work permit application. 

See or contact Faculty Relations for more information.


Appointment/Support letter
Hiring department

Visiting Faculty Immigration Support
Immigration Services team at