International postdoctoral fellows

International postdoctoral fellows

Many Postdoctoral fellows (PDF) are non-Canadian residents and are visiting Canada solely to complete a postdoctoral position. PDFs and faculty supervisors are responsible for reviewing the application guide closely prior to submitting the final application. Approval will be delayed if information is missing.

Working in Canada

  • Non-Canadian residents must have a work permit to work in Canada legally.
  • International postdoctoral fellows must have a Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) work permit prior to coming to Waterloo to assume a postdoctoral fellowship.
  • If the PDF was at University of Waterloo as a student and intends to remain in Canada to complete a postdoctoral position, he or she must apply for a Canadian work permit, even if the student authorization is still valid. PDFs who already hold a CIC work permit and wish to extend their stay in Canada, should complete a CIC work permit application.
  • Additional information on how to change one's current status and amend application and contact information can be found on the CIC website.
  • Residents of the United States and St. Pierre & Miquelon may apply for a work permit directly at a Port of Entry to Canada.

Visa/immigration procedures

  1. Obtain a valid passport. 
  2. Secure an appointment letter from the University of Waterloo faculty member / supervisor. 
  3. CIC must be assured that financial support will be sufficient for any individual entering Canada. The University of Waterloo minimum annual stipend of $30,000 allows a PDF to prove adequate minimum support after arriving in Canada; the appointment letter will indicate whether there is any additional funding. 
  4. Complete the CIC work permit application and submit it to the visa office at a Canadian embassy or consulate abroad. 
  5. Provide a non-refundable application fee.
  6. Postdoctoral Fellows do not require a labour market opinion from HRSDC (Human Resources and Social Development Canada).

Work permits for spouses/partners

Spouses or partners accompanying PDFs to Canada are eligible to search for employment once they arrive in Canada. Information on the Spousal Employment Authorization initiative can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.

To apply for an open work permit, spouses or partners must provide CIC with an application fee and the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Work permit of the PDF spouse or partner

Citizens and permanent residents of the United States or St. Pierre & Miquelon may apply for a work permit directly at a Port of Entry to Canada. Such residents do not need to apply for a work permit at the embassy, high commission, or consulate in their home country. Apply at the Port of Entry to Canada and provide the Immigration Officer at the border with all documentation and payment as follows: application fee, citizenship card, passport, degree certification, and PDF's appointment letter. 

Refer to the CIC website for further information.