Work Permits, Travel Documents and Biometrics


Faculty supervisors/hosts at the University of Manitoba will be the contact point for the visitor or worker until they arrive. The faculty supervisor/host may liaise directly with experts in Human Resources in order to understand all the travel and status documents needed for the visit if they are uncertain of the process. When a faculty supervisor/host at the University of Manitoba invites a non-Canadian academic, researcher or student to visit Canada for a fixed term, they must issue the correct invitation letters to the visitor/worker. In some cases, additional documents will need to be obtained for the faculty supervisor/host from sources in the Central Administration Building. The Government of Canada’s International Mobility Program may need the U of M to process a Labour Market Impact Assessment exemption through the Employer Portal. Details about the International Mobility Program can be found here.

Note: These website pages are intended for temporary workers, researchers and students visiting the University of Manitoba from outside Canada. People who are enrolling as students at the University of Manitoba should follow the relevant guidance given by the International Centre here.


Non-Canadians will usually need to obtain travel documents before they can make their journey to Canada to work, study or visit. Travel documents allow people to land in Canada include Temporary Resident Visa’s (TRV’s) or electronic Travel Authorizations (eTA’s), depending on the passport held when people apply.

It is the responsibility of non-Canadian visitors, students or workers to find out which travel documents that they will need and obtain them well in advance of travel. For people who need to get a visa, the application will include a requirement for them to submit their passport to the visa office so that the visa can be sealed into the passport. Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) provides a useful online tool to help people work out the travel documents that they will need to obtain for their unique situation: VISA's and eTA's & Biometrics.

Citizens from countries that require a visa (TRV) to travel to Canada can find out information and apply for Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). For people who hold a passport where a visa is not required, it is very easy to apply for an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) online, and an eTA lasts for five years for multiple visits (or until the passport expires) and costs just $7: eTA. American citizens visiting Canada do not need to obtain any travel documents - they can enter Canada with their US passports. A few other exemptions from the need to obtain travel documents can be found here: exempt category

In many cases ‘biometric’ tests (digital photographs and fingerprints) must also be submitted, upon request and in person, at a Visa Application Centre in the visa applicant’s current country of residence. When an application for a visa is submitted, the applicant will be notified where to make an appointment to get their biometrics done, at a cost of $85.  Biometrics will be valid for ten years. Information on Biometrics.

The average processing times for issuing travel documents can vary by country, and even by visa office, and should be planned at least four months in advance. The average processing times can be found here.


The other main type of document that people need to apply for, often before they travel to Canada, are known as ‘status’ documents. Status documents permit non-Canadians to stay in Canada for a fixed time and purpose, and can include study permits, work permits, visitor records (with fixed end dates stated) or even a simple stamp in the passport allowing tourists or business visitors to visit Canada for up to six months.

For people who are coming to work or visit Canada, it is important to obtain the correct status documents.  These legal documents allow people to work or study and get Social Insurance numbers from a Service Canada office in Canada, so that they can open a bank or be paid by the U of M if that is part of their plan. Some people, armed with the correct travel documents on their passports, can apply for their work permit or visitor stamps/records when they enter Canada: Temporary Foreign Worker Program and International Mobility Program: Persons who may apply at a port of entry.

Visiting professors and Research Award Recipients (students enrolled abroad) can apply for a work permit online but must have an LMIA exemption processed by the University of Manitoba before they can do so. Apply for a work permit.