Academic award recipients for research work – [R205(c)(ii) – C52] – Canadian interest – International Mobility Program

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

In these instructions, “officer” refers to employees of both Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the Canada Border Services Agency.

The instructions on this page should be reviewed in conjunction with

The Minister has designated the work performed by foreign nationals who have received a reward for academic excellence as necessary for public policy reasons related to the competitiveness of Canada’s academic institutions, or economy, under subparagraph 205(c)(ii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

On this page

For the purposes of the administrative code C52, IRCC defines “academic award” as an award that involves research work, including remuneration, offered by a Canadian academic institution. An academic award is granted strictly on the basis of academic excellence.


To be eligible for a work permit issued under administrative code C52, a foreign national must

Note: Credibility of the employer may be assessed by examining the mandate and capacity of the institution or agency. Is its primary function to engage in research activities or advance education or policy? Does it possess the capacity (for example, resources, expertise, network) to conduct or support research activities? What is its source of funds (for example, government, commercial enterprise)? What kind of reputation does the institution or agency have?

Documentary evidence

The following documents should be submitted with the work permit application:

Global Case Management System (GCMS) fields to review in the offer of employment

Field Considerations
LMIA Exemption Code

C52 – the employer should have selected this code

Ensure that the exemption code matches the description in ‘Requirements Exemptions met’

Requirements Exemptions Met

Information in this field should outline

  • what the academic award is
  • how the foreign national meets the award criteria
  • how the foreign national will contribute to the research project
  • the academic or educational institution the foreign national is affiliated with if the employer is not themselves, such an institution

Please note that the information regarding how the employer and applicant meet the LMIA-exemption category requirements may be in an attachment to the offer.



The National Occupational Classification (NOC) code should be for the occupation that matches the foreign national’s prospective duties


These are the activities that the foreign national will be performing. Do they align with the occupation and what is described in the National Occupational Classification?

Job Requirements

Are there specific requirements that align with the exemption? For example, they must hold a specific degree or they must have specific experience.

Awards funded by Canadian institutions

Awards funded by foreign institutions

Academic research award recipients who are supported by their own country or institution, and are invited by Canadian institutions to conduct research activities in Canada, may also be eligible for this exemption.

Self-funded research

In addition, certain foreign nationals seeking to carry out self-funded research may meet the definition of a business visitor and thus be eligible to work without obtaining a work permit. For foreign nationals doing self-funded research to be considered business visitors, officers must be satisfied that they meet the criteria for the business visitor category.

Refer to Study permits: Off-campus work for guidance.

Previous updates

July 12, 2016 - Update to instructions related to post-doctoral fellows awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy and award recipients [C44]

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