120-day work permit exemption for researchers

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General criteria

Researchers will be eligible for a work permit exemption for 120 days if they

  • are coming to perform work for 120 consecutive calendar days or less and 12 months have passed since the first day of work under the previous use of this exemption;
  • will be engaged primarily in research activities;
  • are coming to work at a publicly funded, degree-granting institution at the college or university level or affiliated research institution;
  • have a letter from the receiving institution attesting to the details of the work as being primarily research and outlining the period of employment.


Officers may wish to consider the following in assessing prospective researchers under this exemption:

  • The applicant has a significant role to play or value to add to the research project.
  • The applicant demonstrates academic excellence or expertise in a field related to the particular work to be undertaken.
  • The position reflects the experience and expertise of the applicant and the role they will play in the project (e.g., an undergraduate student is unlikely to lead a research project on their own).

Where applicable, officers should document “120-day work permit research exemption” in the case notes. Upon receipt of an application for this exemption, officers should verify in the system whether the foreign national has previously availed themselves of this exemption. The foreign national is ineligible unless 12 months have passed since the first day of work under the previous exemption.

In the event that the officer has concerns over the past use of this exemption, the onus will be on the foreign national to demonstrate that 12 months have passed since the first day of work under the previous use of this exemption.

Initial inland applications

The intent of this provision is to attract specialized foreign researchers for short periods of time to produce world class research. Therefore, only applicants outside Canada are eligible for this exemption.


Applicants can benefit from this exemption only once within a 12-month period. Consecutive uses are not permitted, so renewals of this exemption do not apply.

Applications submitted before June 12, 2017

Work permit applications that meet the above criteria but that were submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada before June 12, 2017, are not eligible for this exemption. This initiative will begin with applications received June 12, 2017 or later.

Canadian publicly funded degree-granting institutions

Note: While this list is fairly complete, there may be additional Canadian publicly funded degree-granting institutions, so it should not be considered exhaustive.

Institution Province or territory
Acadia University Nova Scotia
Alberta College of Art and Design Alberta
Algoma University Ontario
Algonquin College Ontario
Assiniboine Community College Manitoba
Athabasca University Alberta
Aurora College Northwest Territories
Bishop's University Quebec
Bow Valley College Alberta
Brandon University Manitoba
Brescia University College Ontario
British Columbia Institute of Technology British Columbia
Brock University Ontario
Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology Ontario
Camosun College British Columbia
Campion College Saskatchewan
Canadian Mennonite University Manitoba
Canadore College of Applied Arts and Technology Ontario
Cape Breton University Nova Scotia
Capilano University British Columbia
Carleton University Ontario
Cégep de Rivière-du-Loup Quebec
Centennial College Ontario
Collège Boréal Ontario
Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick New Brunswick
College of New Caledonia British Columbia
College of the North Atlantic Newfoundland and Labrador
College of the Rockies British Columbia
Concordia University Quebec
Concordia University of Edmonton Alberta
Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning Ontario
Confederation College Ontario
Dalhousie Agricultural Campus of Dalhousie University Nova Scotia
Dalhousie University Nova Scotia
Douglas College British Columbia
Durham College Ontario
École de technologie supérieure Quebec
École nationale d'administration publique Quebec
École technique et professionnelle, Université de Saint-Boniface Manitoba
Emily Carr University of Art and Design British Columbia
Fanshawe College of Applied Arts and Technology Ontario
First Nations University of Canada Saskatchewan
Fleming College Ontario
George Brown College Ontario
Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology Ontario
Grande Prairie Regional College Alberta
HEC Montreal Quebec
Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning Ontario
Huron University College Ontario
Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec Quebec
Institut national de la recherche scientifique Quebec
Justice Institute of British Columbia British Columbia
King's University Alberta
King's University College at Western University Ontario
Kwantlen Polytechnic University British Columbia
La Cité collégiale Ontario
Lakehead University Ontario
Lakeland College Alberta
Lambton College of Applied Arts and Technology Ontario
Langara College British Columbia
Laurentian University Ontario
Lethbridge College Alberta
Loyalist College Ontario
Luther College Saskatchewan
Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology Manitoba
Marine Institute Newfoundland and Labrador
McGill University Quebec
McMaster University Ontario
Medicine Hat College Alberta
Memorial University of Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador
Michener Institute of Education at UHN Ontario
Mohawk College Ontario
Mount Allison University New Brunswick
Mount Royal University Alberta
Mount Saint Vincent University Nova Scotia
New Brunswick College of Craft and Design New Brunswick
New Brunswick Community College New Brunswick
Niagara College Ontario
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology British Columbia
Nipissing University Ontario
NorQuest College Alberta
North Island College British Columbia
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Alberta
Northern College Ontario
Northern Lights College British Columbia
Northwest Community College British Columbia
Nova Scotia Community College Nova Scotia
NSCAD University Nova Scotia
OCAD University Ontario
Okanagan College British Columbia
Olds College Alberta
Parkland College Saskatchewan
École Polytechnique de Montréal Quebec
Queen's University Ontario
Red Deer College Alberta
Red River College of Applied Arts, Science and Technology Alberta
Redeemer University College Ontario
Royal Military College of Canada Ontario
Royal Roads University British Columbia
Ryerson University Ontario
Saint Mary's University Nova Scotia
Saint Paul University Ontario
Saskatchewan Polytechnic Saskatchewan
Sault College Ontario
Selkirk College British Columbia
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology Ontario
Sheridan College Ontario
Simon Fraser University British Columbia
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Alberta
St. Clair College Ontario
St. Francis Xavier University Nova Scotia
St. Jerome's University Ontario
St. Lawrence College Ontario
St. Paul's College Manitoba
St. Thomas More College Saskatchewan
St. Thomas University New Brunswick
TELUQ Quebec
Thompson Rivers University British Columbia
Trent University Ontario
Trinity Western University British Columbia
Université de Moncton New Brunswick
Université de Montreal Quebec
Université de Saint-Boniface Manitoba
Université de Sherbrooke Quebec
Université du Quebec à Chicoutimi Quebec
Université du Quebec à Montreal Quebec
Université du Quebec à Rimouski Quebec
Université du Quebec à Trois Rivieres Quebec
Université du Quebec en Abitibi-Temiscamingue Quebec
Université du Quebec en Outaouais Quebec
Université Laval Quebec
Université Saint-Anne Nova Scotia
University College of the North Manitoba
University de Quebec Quebec
University of Alberta Alberta
University of British Columbia British Columbia
University of Calgary Alberta
University of Guelph Ontario
University of King's College Nova Scotia
University of Lethbridge Alberta
University of Manitoba Manitoba
University of New Brunswick New Brunswick
University of Northern British Columbia British Columbia
University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ontario
University of Ottawa Ontario
University of Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island
University of Regina Saskatchewan
University of Saskatchewan Saskatchewan
University of St. Michael's College Ontario
University of Sudbury Ontario
University of the Fraser Valley British Columbia
University of Toronto Ontario
University of Trinity College Ontario
University of Victoria British Columbia
University of Waterloo Ontario
University of Winnipeg Manitoba
Vancouver Community College British Columbia
Vancouver Island University British Columbia
Victoria University Ontario
Western University Ontario
Wilfrid Laurier University Ontario
York University Ontario
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