Working in Canada and Moving to Montreal

Click for other pages in the NTSASG: Guide Front Page | Introduction | Your Appointment | Working in Canada and Moving to Montreal | Relocation Service | Getting Settled in Your New Home | Starting Up at the University | Language Instruction for Academic Staff | University Support Services | Teaching Support | Research | Student Life & Learning | Campus Life ||

On this Page:

Faculty Relocation Services | Moving to Montreal | Permanent Residence | Repatriated Canadians (with International Spouses/Partners) | International Academics | All Non-Canadian Staff |Quebec Tax Holiday ||

Faculty Relocation Services

Your relocation to McGill and Montreal is coordinated by representatives from Relocation Services in the Academic Personnel Office. Their expertise centres on moving, travel, temporary accommodation, temporary work permits and other relocation issues that may arise. The Advisor for Faculty Relocation will meet with you and/or your partner to help with your transition to Montreal by providing information and guidance about many aspects of daily life, such as real estate, schools and career transition counseling for partners. Contact us at any point with questions you may have about relocating to Montreal.

Faculty Relocation Advisor Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Immigration Lawyer Relocation Administrator
Michelle Cubano-Guzmán
++1 (514) 398-1339
michelle.cubano [at] (email)
Oscar Castillo
++1 (514) 398-1407
oscar.castillo [at] (email)
Salima Djerroud
++1 (514) 398-8029
salima.djerroud [at] (email)
Randa Awad
++1 (514) 398-4205
randa.awad [at] (email)

Moving to Montreal

Relocation Service

New tenure-track and tenured academic staff, hired under the Regulations Relating to the Employment of Tenure-Track Academic Staff or the Regulations Relating to the Employment of Librarian Staff and appointed for a period of no less than three years are eligible for this service. In order to be eligible, a staff member must also be moving at least 40 kilometres closer to his or her workplace at McGill University to take up his/her position.

This service covers relocation expenses for the new appointee and his/her immediate family (spouse/partner and dependent children) from their current residence at the time of appointment to Montreal and the University. Please allow at least 6-8 weeks time to coordinate your move.

See the Relocation Service page on this site for more information.

Importing A Vehicle into Canada

Visit Importing a Vehicle Into Canada Section of the Relocation Service page for more information.

Vehicle Deposit

For newly-recruited non-Canadian staff, for the period during which you are considered a temporary worker with a temporary work permit, you may have to pay a deposit guaranteeing that your car will not be sold or otherwise disposed of while in Canada. Once the temporary status of the person entering the vehicle into the country changes, the vehicle will have to be permanently imported, if it qualifies, or exported. Once your status in Canada changes, you must permanently import the car, or export it.

Registering a Vehicle from another Country

Staff members who enter Quebec with their automobile have 90 days to register it. Registration involves two steps:

Step 1 Step 2

Obtain a mechanical inspection certificate

Contact the Montreal branch of the:
Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)
Vehicle Inspection Centre
2380 Notre Dame West
Tel: (514) 937-5341 for an appointment, or call
Tel: 1-800-361-7620 from within Quebec

OR contact the:
Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)
Tel: 1-888-848-8240


Register with the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ)

Call the SAAQ at (514) 873-7620 or consult the following website for the location nearest you:

Documents needed:
• title of ownership (you cannot register a car leased outside Canada)
• mechanical inspection certificate issued in Quebec
• insurance policy covering property damage issued by an insurance company based in Quebec
• two pieces of identification: temporary work permit, driver’s licence, passport, birth certificate (officially translated into either French or English)
• existing vehicle registration
• vehicle import permit obtained from Canadian customs, 400 Place d’Youville, Montreal

Permanent Residency

Upon arrival, all tenure-track staff on work permits are strongly encouraged to start procedures to obtain permanent resident status as soon as possible. Please contact McGill's Immigration and Relocation Services at telephone (514) 398-1407 for further information. Also be advised that French proficiency will likely be required, so we advise you to consult the French Lanaguage Training page of this site.

Repatriated Canadians (with International Spouses/Partners)

Working in Canada

International partners of Canadian citizens are not eligible to apply for an open work permit (unless they have been determined eligible as members of certain in-Canada permanent residence classes) and will therefore usually enter Canada on a visitors visa. Partners seeking employment must have a job offer before they apply for a temporary work permit.

Apply for Permanent Residency We strongly advise that you begin the process for sponsorship to obtain Permanent Resident status for your partner as soon as possible in order to avoid the inconvenience of your partner having visitor status in Canada.
Health Insurance

Since international partners are considered visitors, they cannot obtain Quebec Health Insurance (unless they have individual status that makes them eligible) and should therefore make arrangements for private health coverage before entering Canada.

Provincial Plan Replacement Coverage

McGill provides provincial plan replacement coverage for international partners of returning Canadians for the first three months of the new academic staff member’s appointment. Subsequently, this coverage must be applied for and purchased every three months until the partner becomes eligible for Medicare.

International Academics

Procedures to Obtain a Temporary Work Permit

Our Immigration Consultant and/or Lawyer works with you and your department to obtain the necessary approvals from Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC) and Immigration Québec to hire a non-Canadian. A confirmation letter signed by both government departments is issued as your "Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)". A "Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ)" is issued by Immigration Québec.

Our Immigration Consultant and/or Lawyer will send you two copies of your CAQ as well as the LMIA (also known as "employment confirmation" or "job validation") letter from Service Canada and Immigration Québec. You will need all of these documents to apply for a temporary work permit.

Your Responsibility

You must then contact the Visa Office in your country of residence to request your temporary work permit. You must include a copy of the LMIA and the copy of your CAQ marked "IMMIGRATION CANADA" with your temporary work permit application. The Visa Office will advise you of any additional requirements, such as advance medical clearance or other pre-requisites for travel to Canada. Your temporary work permit will be issued upon entering Canada. Read your temporary work permit carefully to ensure that there are no errors on it.

Where to find the full Guide on Immigration Procedures The complete guide on immigration procedures can be found at Immigration Procedures for Academic Staff.


Citizens of the USA Citizens of Mexico
Citizens of the USA must have a temporary work permit to work and be paid in Canada, but may not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) nor a "Certificat d’acceptation du Québec" (CAQ). The International Mobility Program (IMP) allows for facilitated entry into Canada using the following procedure:

US citizens may obtain a temporary work permit at the port of entry without prior consular approval provided you have the following documents:
  1. Offer of employment number generated by CIC employer portal
  2. valid passport, valid for at least three (3) years
  3. letter of offer for your position at McGill, which includes:
    • the nature of the position offered
    • the arrangements for remuneration (amount per annum)
    • duration of appointment
  4. your letter of acceptance (copy)
  5. educational qualifications or appropriate credentials (original diplomas)
  6. appropriate licensing qualifications, if applicable (e.g., MDs)
  7. curriculum vitae (CV)
  8. marriage certificate or statutory declaration of common-law union, if applicable
  9. children’s birth certificate(s), if applicable
Under NAFTA, Mexican citizens must obtain a visa to enter Canada. Please consult the following website for entry visa requirements.


All Non-Canadian Staff

Late Arrivals If your spouse/partner and/or dependent child/children are arriving at a later time please contact Oscar Castillo, our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant immediately at telephone (514) 398-1407 or by oscar.castillo [at] (email).
Temporary Work Permit Fees There is a fee for applying for a temporary work permit. See Citizenship & Immigration Canada Fee List for current rates.
Accompanying Family Members It is essential that you request the immigration officer issuing your temporary work permit to include the names of all accompanying family members (spouse/common-law partner, dependent children) on your temporary work permit. If this is not done, their status in Canada will not entitle them to medicare coverage. Please ensure that you provide the officer with your marriage certificate and the birth certificates of your children, if applicable.
Spousal Work Permits Open work permits may be granted with little delay to spouses of non-Canadian staff to allow them to look for and take up employment. Spouses need to fill out a separate application form and may submit their application at the same time as the staff member.

NOTE: Spouses of Canadian Citizens.
The foreign national spouse of a returning Canadian is not entitled to an Open Work Permit. The sponsorship process must start without delay. A foreign national spouse of a returning Canadian must apply for their own insurance.
Study Permits for your Children

Non-Canadian children of school age, under 18, attending primary or secondary school, do NOT require individual CAQ's or study permits in order to enter Canada as students and to attend school in Canada.

The procedure to obtain a study permit as of age 18 or to attend CEGEP is as follows:

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4
Complete the Application for Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for Studies. You may complete an online application or download the application at Immigration Quebec's website.
Note that additional documents may be required. Excluding postal delays, a minimum of four weeks is required to process an application for a CAQ, provided your file is complete (including all duly completed forms and required supporting documents).
IMPORTANT: Identify yourself as a McGill Academic Staff Member at the time of applying for your child’s CAQ for studies. This will facilitate processing both your child’s study CAQ and your work CAQ.
EXEMPTIONS: Citizens of the USA, Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon may apply directly at a Canadian Port of Entry for a study permit once the CAQ has been issued.
Once the CAQ for Studies has been issued you must contact a Canadian Visa Office and apply for a study permit. The steps are outlined at Canada Immigration
The processing time for an application varies at different Visa Offices.
The Visa Office will issue a letter authorizing the student to obtain a study permit at a Canadian Port of Entry. You must activate the study permit at the Canadian Port of Entry.

Quebec Tax Holiday

NOTE: applies ONLY to certain non-Canadians or repatriated Canadians who are considered non-resident by Revenue Quebec

Revenue Quebec provides a tax exemption measure for new recruits in the areas of science, engineering, finance, health science and new information and communication technologies. If you are deemed eligible by Revenue Quebec, this tax holiday will allow you to be exempt from provincial income tax on part of your salary for five years, according to the guidelines and rates established by the Quebec Government.

Eligibility An international hire (or a returning Canadian or permanent resident of Canada) appointed to a professorial position in a Quebec university may be eligible for a provincial tax exemption for five years from the Government of Quebec, provided that the eligibility criteria set out by the Government are met.

The individual must hold the required specialization (as determined by the Government of Quebec) in the fields of science and engineering, finance, health or new information and communications technologies, and holds a doctoral degree in such a field.
McGill University Deadline McGill's submission deadline is February 1st in the year following the initial appointment.

Please contact the academic.personnel [at] (Tax Holiday Administrator) by email, or by telephone: ++1 (514) 398-4205, for the application form and further assistance.
NOTE: if the request is submitted after this deadline, the applicant may be eligible from the beginning of the taxation year in which the request was submitted.
Procedures Upon Receipt of the Certificate Candidates should anticipate a minimum of 2 months response time by the Ministère de l'Éducation, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche (MEESR) upon receipt of the application.

On receipt of your certificate, the Tax Holiday Administrator submits a copy to the Payroll Department. This authorizes Payroll to stop making provincial tax deductions.

Each year, the recipients of the eligibility certificate must submit the certificate when filing their personal Quebec Income Tax Return.

The certificate must be renewed annually. Renewal deadlines are the same as first-time application deadlines. The Tax Holiday Administrator submits the renewal requests by the application deadline. Upon receipt of the renewal certificate, the Tax Holiday Administrator forwards it to the candidate, who must submit the certificate when filing their personal Quebec Income Tax Return.
Determining Non-Resident Status If you are a returning Canadian and are unsure about your non-resident status, please consult an accountant, or fill out the “Determination of Residency Status” form available from Canada Revenue Agency and submit it to the address on the form. This form takes 3 to 6 weeks to be processed.
Translations & Certified True Copies All official documents issued in a language other than English, French, Spanish or Latin, and requested by Quebec authorities (e.g. for Tax Holiday purposes) must be translated by a member of OTTIAQ (Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec). Existing certified translations need to be re-certified by an OTTIAQ member.

If you need documents to be certified as true copies, one of the Quebec Commissioner for Oaths listed on this page: Commissioner of Oaths at McGill may be able to provide this service to you. Call in advance to ensure this service can be provided to you, as some restrictions may apply. Be sure to bring your original documents.
Note that there may be a fee.