The academic community is an international one, and UBC welcomes new faculty members from around the world.
When a UBC department wishes to hire a foreign academic, who is neither a citizen nor permanent resident of Canada, the university will assist in obtaining a temporary work permit in order for the individual to legally work and receive salary in Canada.
For all foreign academic positions, except for adjunct professors, postdoctoral fellows and visitors, a recruitment process must be followed in accordance with guidelines established by both the University and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada (SC). Please refer to the following sections to find out more:
Labour market exemption or impact assessment
There are normally two ways in which foreign academics can obtain a temporary work permit: under a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption, or through an LMIA.
Faculty Relations arranges for all LMIAs or LMIA exemptions for tenure stream faculty and research associates. LMIA exemptions may be granted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in specific circumstances, such as a work permit granted for an accompanying spouse, or a post graduation work permit granted to a recent graduate of a Canadian university.
The following are the typical LMIA exemptions that apply to faculty members:
- Free Trade Agreement (FTA) exemption: U.S. and Mexican citizens who meet the definition of Business Professionals fall under the new Canada-United States-Mexico agreement, and Chilean citizens fall under the Chilean Free Trade Agreement. Departments submit the appropriate documents from the documentation required list (below) to UBC's faculty relations department, which will confirm eligibility and pre-approval from IRCC.
- Award recipient exemption: Foreign academics who are the direct recipient of an award that's strictly based on academic excellence may apply for a work permit under an LMIA exemption. Departments submit the appropriate documents from the documentation required list (below) to UBC's faculty relations department, which will confirm eligibility and pre-approval from IRCC.
- Visiting professor exemption: Visiting foreign academics with a current faculty appointment at their home institution fall under this exemption. This is regardless of citizenship and is limited to two years under IRCC rules. Department administrators are responsible for preparing the necessary documents for submission to IRCC.
- Postdoctoral Fellow exemption: Recent PhDs who have accepted a postdoctoral position at UBC fall under this exemption. This is regardless of citizenship. Department administrators are responsible for preparing the necessary documents for submission to IRCC.
A positive LMIA must be obtained for all other foreign academics. The LMIA is an opinion provided by Service Canada to IRCC (and the employer), which assesses the likely impact that hiring a foreign academic may have on the Canadian labour market. Please also note that Service Canada will not normally consider providing LMIAs for part-time positions.
Supporting documentation required for all foreign academic appointments where Faculty Relations will be obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment or an exemption:
|Document Required||LMIA Exemption||LMIA|
|Foreign Academic Data Form (FADF) Send in Word Version||FADF for Exemption||FADF for LMIA|
|If currently visiting or working in Canada, copy of current work permit or visa||Yes||Yes|
|Copies of the advertisement (as it appeared in all publications/websites in which it was posted and with proof of posting dates/range)|| Yes
(one copy only with list of placements)
|Yes (all copies)|
|List of all Canadian/Permanent Residents who applied, including reasons why each was not chosen *send digital copy*||No||Yes|
|Copy of offer letter accepted and signed by faculty member||Yes||Yes|
|Faculty Appointment Form* signed by Head and Dean||Yes||Yes|
|Copy of identification page of the Foreign Academic’s passport||Yes||Yes|
|Labour Market Impact Assessment Payment Form (complete only last page)||No||Yes|
|Offer of Employment Compliance Fee Payment Form||Yes||No|
Additional review: Please note that for foreign tenure/track appointments at the rank of Associate or Full Professor or any appointment with tenure will also need to be reviewed by the Senior Appointments Committee (SAC). For more information, please review the online information regarding Tenure, Promotion and Reappointment.
Record keeping requirements
Note that UBC units are required to keep copies of all information and documentation relating to the recruitment and hiring process for a period for six years following the hire date of the foreign worker, and that an audit could be performed at anytime during that six-year period.
Please refer to the Employment and Social Development Canada website for further details.
Information for administrators regarding immigration processes:
- NAFTA exemption for Faculty Members: NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement, which includes citizens of Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Other guides and information