Immigration Information

Find Your Path to ULethbridge

Exploring Pathways to Joining our International Community


The University of Lethbridge values strong international collaborations with leading universities, research institutes, and industry partners around the world, in addition to providing enriching and meaningful international opportunities to students.

Whether you are a hiring manager wishing to recruit an international employee or a foreign national seeking to work at ULethbridge, the first step is planning. For hiring managers and university leaders, planning is required when reaching out to host international colleagues, researchers, expert knowledge holders, students or visitors to your department, lab or office. For foreign nationals, there is planning for working with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to ensure all the correct documents and permits are acquired so that they are eligible for working in Canada. 


Important Note:

This webpage is intended as a general information source. Immigration regulations and processes are subject to change. Please refer to the  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for the most up-to-date information.


Important Note for Hiring Managers and Campus Leaders

Prior to making any decisions or moving forward with any immigration related matter, you must seek specific advice from:

Angela Rosenau - Manager, Postdoctoral Affairs and Immigration Services
Telephone: (403) 329-2480

Important Note for Foreign Nationals

It is your responsibility to obtain up-to-date immigration information and advice for your individual situation. Comprehensive immigration information can be found on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. 


Immigration for Employees

Employees who come to ULethbridge as foreign nationals require work permits under Canadian immigration law and must otherwise be eligible to work in Canada. Please see below for more information on the types of documentation you may need and the pathways to obtaining them.

Immigration Documents

See below to learn more about what immigration documents you may need to work in Canada and how to obtain them. Please note that each individual's situation is unique and the documentation you require to be eligible to work in Canada relies on several factors.


For more information:  Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada


Most people need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) OR an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada, but not both. A TRV or eTA allows entry into Canada only and does not replace the need for a study permit or a work permit. Please note that processing times vary and are subject to change.

If a TRV has not reached its expiry date, it can be used to enter (or re-enter) Canada an unlimited number of times. The validity of a TRV or permit of any kind will never extend beyond the expiry date of the foreign national's passport. eTA's are valid for either five years or to the expiry date of the foreign national's passport, whichever comes first. If an eTA has not reached its expiry date, it can be used to enter (or re-enter) Canada an unlimited number of times.


Find out if you need a TRV or an eTA 

Information on TRV Applications

Information on eTA Applications

Check Processing Times 

If you live outside of Canada, you can apply online from your country of citizenship or your country of residence. If you currently live in Canada, you can apply for your work permit online from within Canada open in a new tab . If you are visa-exempt, you may be eligible to apply at the port of entry.

Depending on which country you are from and what type of application you are applying for, processing times will vary. If the processing timeline has passed on the website, you can submit a webform to inquire about the status of your application


Applying for a Work Permit Outside Canada

Applying for a Work Permit Inside Canada 

Applying for a Work Permit at a Port of Entry

Check Processing Times

Your work permit renewal application must be submitted prior to the expiry of your current permit in order to gain maintained status to legally continue working. It is recommended to apply for your extension 90 days prior to the expiry of your current work permit.


Extend or Change Your Work Permit

Temporary Residents: Maintained Status 

Spousal Open Work Permits

A spouse (husband, wife, spouse, or common-law partner) of a foreign national may be eligible to apply for a Spousal Open Work Permit.

They can apply either at the same time or after the foreign national applies for a work permit. For a spousal work permit to be issued, the primary foreign national must have more than six months' left on their work permit.


Spousal Open Work Permit


Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

A Post-Graduation Work Permit allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) to obtain an open work permit to be able to work in Canada. 


Post-graduation Work Permit


Biometrics are an entry requirement where foreign nationals provide their fingerprints and a photo when applying for a visitor visa, study or work permit (except U.S. nationals).


Information on Biometrics

Working at ULethbridge

See below for information to help you prepare to work at ULethbridge as a foreign national.


For more information: Postdoctoral Fellows, Visiting Researchers, and Foreign Nationals


  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) - You will need to provide the University proof of your Social Insurance Number (SIN) number so we can set you up in the University’s payroll system. 

Please Note: If you are new to Canada, you will need to visit the Service Canada Centre in Lethbridge, where you will be provided with a paper copy of your SIN. You will need to fill out an application. Make sure that you have your work permit and passport with you.

Lethbridge Service Canada Centre

Location: Crowsnest Trail Plaza - Unit 101, 920 2A Avenue North, Lethbridge, Alberta. 

  • Banking Information - You will need to provide the University with a Direct Deposit form from your bank so that we can process your payroll. 
  • Work Permit - If you are new to working in Canada.

Please see the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services webpages for helpful information on getting your Alberta Healthcare Card set up. Benefits-eligible employees are required to provide an Alberta Health Card as part of their benefits enrollment.


Alberta Health Care: Temporary Residents

Alberta Health Care: How to Apply



Other Helpful Resources:

811 Health Link  (health advice and information) 

My Health Alberta (information on health services)



Please see the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)  webpage for more information on accessing healthcare as a temporary resident.

Permanent Residence

See below to learn more about the application process for those seeking permanent resident status in Canada.


For more information:  Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada


Immigration Canada has announced a category-based selection process for Express Entry for 2024.  Visit the Government of Canada webpage for more information. 

Express Entry is a points-based permanent residence application process. Profiles are ranked using the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Calculate your score through the CRS calculator tool and use the Come to Canada tool to determine if you are eligible and record the reference number.


Prior to submitting a profile under Express Entry, you are required to:

  • Take a language test by International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
  • Get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). While not mandatory, if you have a minimum of one year of recent work experience in Canada you may want/need an ECA to increase your CRS score. Visit IRCC for further details.


Immigrate through Express Entry   

Create an Express Entry Profile

Comprehensive Ranking System Criteria   

CRS Calculator Tool

Language Testing

 Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)


Once you have submitted your eligibility profile, you may receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). ITA's are sent at unspecified times to candidates with top-ranked scores. Once you receive an ITA, you will have 60 days to apply for permanent residence. Note: failure to comply with the timelines will render your ITA invalid, and you will be required to submit a new profile.


Respond to an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

Apply for Permanent Residence

When you receive an ITA, a personal document checklist will be provided. You must provide all the required supporting documents.

  • Police clearances
  • Medical exam by a panel physician
  • Employment reference letters from previous employers and your current employer(s) -- see section below
  • Travel history for the last 10 years
  • Employment history for the last 10 years
  • Personal history for the last 10 years
  • Bank statement
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate(s), if applicable


Required Documents


Employment Verification Letters

An Employment Verification Letter is a letter generated by your employer confirming that you are/were employed by them and included details of your employment. This letter may be required for renewing a work permit or applying for permanent residence.


Click here to learn more about how to request an Employment Verification Letter



Immigration for Students

To study in Canada for any period longer than six months, you will need a study permit. A study permit is an official document issued by the government of Canada which grants you temporary resident status and allows you to study at a designated learning institution, such as the University of Lethbridge.

For more information for international students: 

ULethbridge International Centre