Skip to main content

Do a Laboratory Research Internship in Québec

Equipped with specialized technologies such as drones, 3D printers, flight simulators and a clustered supercomputer, the ÉTS labs and chairs will enable you to carry out your research project. Our renowned professors working in emerging areas such as artificial intelligence, health technologies, aerospace and transport electrification will support you throughout your research internship.

Do a Laboratory Research Internship at ÉTS

Research internships, which are supervised by a professor from one of our Chairs or research units, usually last from three to 12 months.

They will allow you to acquire unique experience in your field of study and work on leading-edge issues.

Ready to take action? Follow these steps!

Step 1: Immigration work authorizations

Possible immigration work authorizations for international interns

In Canada, internships are considered to be work, whether or not they are paid and regardless of their duration.

Short-term (120-day) work permit exemption for researchers

LMIA-exempt work permits

This program offers undergraduate and graduate students from countries having signed an agreement with Canada the possibility to obtain an international co-op work permit. 

For any questions regarding laboratory internships, please contact the Service des relations internationales (Office of International Relations) at

Step 2: Check your eligibility

Check your eligibility

To be eligible for a laboratory research internship at ÉTS, you must be registered as a student at a university institution abroad.

ÉTS will give admission preference to students who attend one of its partner institutions, signatories of a bilateral agreement for the reception of interns. If your institution does not appear on this list, you can nevertheless submit a spontaneous application to do a research internship at ÉTS.

More specifically, to be eligible for a research internship you must:

  • Be enrolled in a program leading to the diploma of Engineer, to carry out an internship at the end of first, second or third year of undergraduate studies (level L3, M1 or end-of-studies internship);
  • Be enrolled in a university program, to carry out an internship at the end of Master studies (M2) or a Ph.D. internship;
  • Be selected by an ÉTS professor who accepts to act as supervisor of your internship; 
  • Possess a sufficient level of linguistic competence in French or in English;
  • Have the necessary financial resources for the duration of the internship (plane tickets, accommodation, living expenses and insurance, if applicable).
Step 3: Identify a research director and a topic

Identify a research director and the topic of your internship

You must conclude an agreement with an ÉTS professor who will supervise your internship. You should communicate directly with faculty members to submit your application, accompanied by a CV, a letter of interest and transcripts of your recent grades, clearly specifying your areas of interest, your aspirations and your periods of availability.

ÉTS does not have a formal display portal for internship offers. You must investigate the research work of the school and solicit professors connected with your areas of interest.

To assist with the process, you may consult various sections of the ÉTS website: 

Step 4: Get a letter of invitation

Get a letter of invitation

Once you have reached an agreement with an ÉTS professor, please create an account on our online portal to submit your official Internship Application for Admission and receive your letter of invitation. This letter will be used to receive your immigration documents and register for an internship with our Registrar’s Office.

Internship Application for Admission

Choice of program


  • Select Summer if the start date of your internship is between May and August.
  • Select Fall if the start date of your internship is between September to December.
  • Select Winter if the start date of your internship is between January to April.

If the desired semester is not available, please select the following semester. This information will be corrected on your invitation letter if applicable.


  • Undergraduate and graduate students must select the graduate level. 
  • PhD students must select the post graduate level. 


  • Undergraduate and graduate students must select program 361B.
  • Post graduate students must select program 361C.

Regime of studies

Select ''Full-Time''.

Legal Statut in Canada

Select ''Study Permit'', but please note that you must obtain the necessary work authorizations to complete your internship. This information will be indicated on your invitation letter. If you do not obtain the required work permit or visitor record with a work permit exemption of less than 120 days—you will not be legally authorized to work and therefore to complete your internship in Canada.

What happens next?

Your file will be analyzed to confirm your eligibility (you must allow a period of two weeks). A letter of invitation will be sent to you by email.


The letter of invitation from the Registrar’s Office of ÉTS is the only official document that you can use for the process of obtaining the official (immigration) documents required for your stay in Canada. Any other document, or written or verbal confirmation from the professor, will not be considered as an official document of admission.

Step 5: Official documents and immigration

Official documents and immigration

You will be welcomed at ÉTS as a visiting research student. In Canada, your activity is considered as work, regardless of the internship duration and the amount of your scholarship, if applicable.

In other words, you will not come to Canada as a student, but as a worker, so you must make arrangements before your arrival. As employer, the Office of International Relations will issue the official letter of invitation from ÉTS required for the work visa application to Immigration Canada, and they will sign the internship agreement for the home institution abroad, if applicable.

Eligibility and timeline

Based on the information you will have provided to ÉTS, your letter of invitation will indicate the category of temporary worker that is most likely to apply to your situation and the procedure to be followed (e.g. work permit – C52, C21 or Exemption – 120 days). It is your responsibility to validate your eligibility for the program, and to make the necessary arrangements with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Allow a minimum of two months for processing – check processing times here – between receiving your invitation letter from ÉTS and confirmation of your work permit.

Immigration procedures in a nutshell 

At each step listed below, please check the personal information on your documents:  valid date, spelling of your name, date of birth, restrictions, etc. If you have any questions regarding your internship agreement or the conditions of your stay, please do not hesitate to ask the relevant contact person.

Caution – Do not make any commitment and do not attempt to enter Canada until you have confirmation that your work permit application, if applicable, and your visa or eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) have been approved.

  • If your letter of invitation indicates that you are eligible for a work permit, contact the team in the Office of International Relations at to get your job offer number and payment receipt. This information is required in order to apply for a work permit with the IRCC.

Please note: If you are eligible for a work permit under the C21 category, you must attach a copy of the invitation you received from the IRCC - Immigration Canada (IMM5946) in order to obtain your job offer number.

Make sure you have a valid passport that covers your entire stay. The expiration date of a work permit or visa cannot exceed the passport validity date.

  • Work permit
    • Complete your application online. If approved, you will receive a letter of introduction for the port of entry (source).
    • Visa or eTA: you do not have to apply separately or pay additional fees to obtain an electronic Travel Authorization or Temporary Resident Visa. This document will be issued to you at the same time as your work permit (source).
  • Exemption – 120 days

Upon your arrival at Canadian customs, be prepared to show your documents – for example: passport, letter of internship/invitation from ÉTS, letter of introduction, letter of support from supervisor, etc.

  • Work permit
    • Submit your letter of introduction to the border agent who will then give you your work permit. 
  • Exemption – 120 days
    • Submit your ÉTS letter.
    • Ask explicitely that the border agent provide you with a visitor record (IMM1097). This is required to obtain a Social Insurance Number in order to be paid (if applicable).
Step 6: Pre-departure and administrative procedures

Pre-departure and administrative procedures

In addition to your immigration procedures, a series of other actions are to be taken before your departure or upon arrival. The key points are listed below.

Adaptation and Integration

Even for a short stay, you could encounter some challenges, and the experience will be all the better if you manage to build a network. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you integrate. To stay on top of things, check your @ets email regularly. Also get into the habit of reading Interface, the student life newsletter, updated each Monday. You can attend the Language Café, which brings together several dozen students each week, or follow the activities of the ÉTS Student Association and the ETSperanto, which organizes various activities and cultural visits.

Enjoy your stay with us, and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions or needs related to your stay at ÉTS –

Finalizing your registration at ÉTS

  • At the Registrar’s Office, on the first day of your internship: 
    • Submit your official letter of invitation 
    • Submit your passport and work permit (if applicable)
    • Pay your Desjardins insurance fees OR submit your proof of eligibility to the RAMQ
  • Update your file
    • Go to MonÉTS, under the SIGNETS (bookmark) tab, and update your contact information with your new address in Quebec.

IMPORTANT - The SRI must immediately be notified of any changes to the conditions of the internship, change of dates, interruption, off-campus work, etc.

  • Obtaining a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
    • A SIN is required in order to collect income in Canada. It is required by the government and by employers in order to identify you. Visit the Social Insurance Nymber - Apply page for full details about the SIN.
  • Submit your file to the Finance Department
    • Go to the Finance Department (B-1300) to file the following documents: Social Insurance Number and visitor record OR work permit.
  • Open a banque account
    • Since banks are highly regulated in Canada, your choice of banks often depends on its geographical proximity to your home. Contact them directly for an appointment  to open an account and bring the required documents (e.g. passport, ID, work permit if applicable, etc.).

The Government of Québec requires that all laboratory interns have insurance coverage for the duration of their stay. The only exception to the Desjardins insurance is proof of eligibility with the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec which must be filed with the Registrar's Office as soon as possible after your arrival.

Find all the information on our Insurance and health care for international students page.

You will find detailed information concerning the various housing options on our Living in Montréal page.

Please note that laboratory interns are eligible to live in the ÉTS residences. If you are interested in living on campus, fill out the Request for rental form (in French) as soon as possible. Your name will be added to a waiting list, and if a room becomes available, you will be contacted and invited to confirm your place by making a first payment.

Subject to certain conditions, laboratory interns can take advantage of the reduced fare for students offered by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). To be eligible to request an OPUS card online via your MonÉTS portal, you must be considered to be registered as full time for a given session. Based on the date of your arrival, it is possible that you may not be considered to be full time, in which case, you will not be able to submit the request online. Contact us to verify your eligibility, if necessary.

International Students at ÉTS
Greater Montréal is home to more than 30,000 international students at the
post-secondary level, nearly 80% of the
Québec total
At ÉTS, 25% of graduate students are women
More than 60% of ÉTS graduate students come from outside Canada