Working in Canada as a Professor, Research Assistant, and Teaching Assistant
Updated: May 13
We often receive questions about immigration eligibility based off work experience as an academic. Today, we explain how to identify valid work experience as a foreign academic and which programs you may be eligible for. Academic positions include professors, research assistants, and teaching assistants.
Does Teaching Assistant work count for Express Entry?
Foreign Work Experience
Teaching Assistant work may count for Express Entry depending on the individual. If you work as a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant outside of Canada, this work experience counts as foreign work experience. Foreign work experience does count for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Program.
We should note that it is also important to make note of how many hours you worked and whether you can prove that you were paid for that experience. You must have pay stubs available to prove that you met the full-time work equivalent and show that you were paid for that experience.
Canadian Work Experience
If you work as a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant in Canada, that work experience does not count because it was likely performed while you were on a study permit. Work performed on a study permit is not valid work experience for Express Entry. In this case, we often suggest that our clients apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit upon completing school. The Post-Graduate Work Permit allows you to accumulate some work experience in Canada and become eligible for other Canadian immigration programs.
Does the LMIA-exempt work permit for professors count towards work experience?
There is a Labour Market Impact Assessment exempt work permit for visiting professors who come to Canada on a sabbatical from their home university. This work permit allows foreign academics to work in Canada for up to two years. Work experience accumulated in Canada on this work permit does count as work experience. It doesn’t matter whether you are paid by the foreign school or the Canadian school; as long as you were paid for the hours you spent working in Canada, this counts as Canadian work experience.
Pathways for foreign academics vary depending on where they accrued working experience (abroad or inside Canada). Those working as a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant inside Canada must apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit to obtain some full-time work experience.
Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.
We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.