International Mobility Program: Work related to a research, educational or training program [R205(c)(i), (i.1) and (i.2) – Codes C31, C32 and C33]

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Note: On June 15, 2014, the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption code C30 was replaced by the codes C31, C32 and C33.

A work permit may be issued under subparagraphs 205(c)(i), (i.1) and (i.2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) (LMIA exemption codes C31, C32 and C33) to foreign nationals who meet the eligibility requirements outlined below.

Eligibility for exemption code C31 (research)

Exemption code C31 (research) is intended for foreign nationals who are

  • coming to Canada to work temporarily for the International Development Research Centre of Canada;
  • sponsored by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. as distinguished scientists or post-doctoral fellows;
  • sponsored by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) or Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and associated departments participating in NRCan’s programs for distinguished scientists or scholars coming to participate in research for these departments (other government departments and agencies that have joined NRCan’s program and that will issue their own letters to candidates include Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada [AAFC], the Canadian Food Inspection Agency [CFIA] and Defence Research and Development Canada [DRDC]; other science departments may join the program and will provide documentation to this effect); or
  • holders of research chair positions at a Canadian university, nominated for their research excellence and partially or wholly funded by federal or provincial governments.

Eligibility for exemption code C32 (post-secondary co-op)

Exemption code C32 (co-op for post-secondary international students) is intended for foreign nationals who intend to perform work that is an essential part of a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program offered by a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. The work cannot form more than 50% of the total program of study.

The acceptance letter provided by the DLI should clearly establish that the work is an essential part of the academic, vocational or professional training program that all participants enrolled in the program are required to complete in order to receive their degree, diploma or certificate. The most common example is undergraduate co-op programs at universities and colleges.

An open work permit should be issued with the academic institution listed as the employer. In cases where several work periods are necessary throughout the academic course (e.g., five work terms and eight study terms for a degree), the work permit should be valid for the same period as the study permit.

Note: This provision applies only to work that is required for a program offered by a Canadian institution. If the employment is a requirement of an academic, vocational or professional training program offered by a foreign institution, exemption code C32 does not apply.

Eligibility for exemption code C33 (secondary school co-op)

Exemption code C33 (co-op for international secondary school students) is intended for study permit holders who intend to perform work that is an essential part of a Canadian program at the secondary school level. This includes vocational training programs offered by a DLI in Quebec and programs that require students to work in order to obtain their secondary or high school diploma or certificate of graduation.

Note: For the purpose of subparagraphs R205(c)(i.1) and (i.2) (exemption codes C32 and C33), students are not eligible if they undertake any of the following:

  • general interest courses;
  • preparatory courses;
  • work-study programs offered by institutions that primarily offer English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) courses;
  • business-type programs containing primarily ESL/FSL courses. Officers may request more information regarding the curriculum directly from the school before finalizing the application.

Applicants under exemption code C31, C32 or C33 are exempt from the work permit processing fee [R296(2)(i)] and the open work permit fee [R303.2(2)(a)].

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