Work Permits

All foreign workers require a work permit in order to be paid in Canada. A work permit is issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for a specific job, employer and individual; the work permit must state:

  • “UBC” or “Open” as the employer;
  • an appropriate occupation (e.g. lecturer, professor, research associate, etc.); and
  • valid start and end dates that cover the appointment period.

CIC’s role is to assess the qualities and qualifications of an individual to work in Canada and to assess whether the position offered requires confirmation from Service Canada or not. Note that Service Canada’s role is to assess the validity of the position – not the foreign worker.

If you are hiring a foreign worker that is self-funded, the foreign worker may still require a work permit. CIC makes the decision on whether an unpaid foreign worker requires a work permit – this decision is based on CIC’s interpretation of the foreign worker’s activities in Canada.

A work permit is required even if the Non-Canadian has already applied for permanent residency in Canada, or if they have received “approval in principle” for permanent residency.

For further details on the immigration process for foreign academics, please refer to our immigration information.

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