Do a Laboratory Research Internship in Québec

Would you like to come to Québec to carry out an internship as part of your studies? Located in the heart of Montréal, the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) can help you make your plan become reality.

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: Status report

Status report

For several months now, we have been going through an unprecedented global health pandemic and this has had a major impact on the ability to host research interns from abroad. The situation continues to evolve. 

Key Points to Remember:

It is important to note that new measures pertaining to the arrival of international travellers have been in effect since February 15, 2021. More details will be provided, but these measures may involve a mandatory 3-day quarantine at a federally approved hotel with associated costs of up to $2000. It is not yet clear whether these new mandatory quarantine conditions will be applied to all travellers or only to travel deemed non-essential.

It must also be noted that it takes longer to obtain immigration documents than usual, with the filing of biometric information suspended in some regions of the world due to the closure of Visa Application Centres (VAC)/IRCC.

Visit the Government of Canada pages listing average processing times for immigration document applications and all other information on visa application reception centres.
 

  • Because of the uncertainties related to these circumstances, we encourage you to identify whether the internship project can feasibly be completed remotely, taking potential time differences into consideration.
  • If your intern is a PhD student or holds a Global Affairs Canada (GAC) fellowship, he or she may apply for a work permit under the research award recipients program (C44). Long delays in obtaining immigration documents are to be expected.
  • Unfortunately, the International Experience Canada (C21) program is currently not available to our laboratory interns, but we are looking forward to a reopening of the program in 2021.
  • The Short-term (120-day) work permit exemption for researchers is also not available to our interns. Under this exemption, their status from an immigration viewpoint is that of a tourist on non-essential travel and they are therefore prohibited from entering Canada. For more details, please view this page from the Government of Canada.
     

Status Report per Category:

Remote or virtual internships from the home country are options to consider, if possible, within the framework of your laboratory projects. It is important to note that even if the internship is conducted remotely, professors must take the usual steps with the SRI (Service des relations internationales) before the start of the internship. Also, paying interns will not be possible a this requires that they have a Canadian bank account and a social insurance number, both of which require a valid Canadian immigration document.

Post-doctoral fellows and internship award recipients from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) (C44)
is important to make sure that the fellowship programs are maintained in the present circumstances. If they are, interns can apply for work permits and come to Canada to complete their internship in the laboratory. It is advisable to foresee delays in immigration procedures and to be flexible in the event of changes.

International Experience Canada (C21)
This program usually offers undergraduate and graduate students from countries having signed an agreement with Canada the possibility to obtain an international co-op work permit. It is currently not possible for interns to file for work permit applications under this program. It is preferable not to consider hosting interns under this exemption before the opening of the internship program in 2021.

Short-term (120-day) work permit exemption for researchers
Under normal circumstances, all interns may avail themselves of this work permit exemption if they respect the prescribed duration. In the context of the pandemic, this exemption is no longer an option for our laboratory interns.

For any questions regarding laboratory internships, please contact the Service des relations internationales (International Relations Department) at international@etsmtl.ca.

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);
    OR 
  • Be enrolled in a university program, to carry out an internship at the end of Master studies (M2) or a Ph.D. internship;
    AND
  • 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 the topic of your internship

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 confirmation of admission to the internship

Get a confirmation of admission to the internship

To get a confirmation of admission to the intership, you must provide the professor with the following required elements and items: 

Your curriculum vitae

  • Attach your current CV.

Personal information

  • Family name;
  • Given name(s);
  • Permanent address;
  • Email address;
  • Phone number;
  • Country of citizenship (nationality);
  • Date of birth;
  • Country of birth;
  • Passport number.

Proof of (current year) full-time enrolment at the home institution

  • Attach a photocopy of your student card or other certification of official registration.

Letter of interest in carrying out a laboratory internship at ÉTS

  • Attach a letter of interest.

Contact information for your home institution

  • Full name;
  • Postal address;
  • Website address;
  • Contact person (and how to reach them).

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.

TAKE NOTE!

The letter of invitation from the Office of the Registrar 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 an independent 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 International Relations Service (IRS) 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 – C44, 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 IRS team at international@etsmtl.ca 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.

Administrative Procedures upon Arrival

A series of administrative procedures await you in the days following your arrival in Montréal. 

1. 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.

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

2. Financial Procedures (for paid internships only)

  • 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 following 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.

3. Get your Student ID Card

The student ID card is your main identification on campus, and it will give you access to the various ÉTS facilities (library, sports centre, etc.). Visit the "Student card" tab on our website for detailed procedures.

Arrangements for access to specific premises pertaining to your internship (office, laboratory, etc.) will be handled by your supervising professor and your host department.

4. Opening a Bank Account

For stays of less than 6 months, it can be complicated to open a bank account. Plan alternative solutions to access your money from your home bank account.

For longer stays, opening a bank account will be a must. 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 ask questions and open an account.

Health and Hospital Insurance

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.  

Find all the details on insurance at the following link and a summary below.

Desjardins Insurance 
Offered by ÉTS, individual coverage only, covers medical and hospital expenses, prescription drugs, repatriation guarantee in case of death or disability. However, it excludes dental and vision care.

Cost: $78/month (full billing for the current month upon enrollment) OR $300/term
Fee payment is made at the Registrar’s Office. 

Please note: When seeing a doctor, be aware that you may have to pay for the care you receive, and then make a claim with the insurance company.

Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ)
If you reside in one of these countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden, you are eligible for Quebec’s public insurance, the RAMQ. It covers medical and hospital expenses, and prescription drugs (for residents of France and Belgium only). The RAMQ does not include dental and vision care, travel insurance outside Quebec, or repatriation insurance.

Before your departure, you must obtain the SE 401-Q-104—proof of insurance or proof of affiliation to the health and social security plan of your home institution—have it completed, and bring it to Quebec in order to register with the RAMQ. 

If you are on an unpaid internship or if the amount of your monthly compensation is less than $1,000 CA, you can benefit from coverage against risks associated with illness, maternity, work-related accidents and occupational diseases, and drug insurance, in accordance with the France-Québec agreement.

Lodging 

University residences
Several apartment options are available and rooms are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. If you wish to live in a residence, please fill out the rental application form as soon as possible. There is no obligation on your part. If space becomes available, you may then decide if you wish to rent it, and make a deposit to confirm. For more information, visit the ÉTS university residences web page.

Off-campus housing
Don’t have housing yet? Your spot is not yet available in one of the ÉTS university residences? You need to find temporary accommodations? If you are in Montréal for less than 6 months, it may be simpler and more cost-effective to sublet an apartment or find a roommate. Visit the section “Student housing in Montréal” to access all the links to room, apartment or temporary housing rental sites.

BEWARE OF FRAUD! – Make sure you sign a lease or contract. Never pay cash (deposit or monthly rent) without a receipt, either to the landlord or to a friend! Take care of your unit/room, you are responsible for damages. To avoid unpleasant surprises (e.g. non refund of a deposit), make an assessment of the unit upon your arrival.

Transportation

OPUS card (bus, metro) is a rechargeable transit card that will give you access to public transit on the entire island of Montréal and its outskirts. There are different passes available: four-month, monthly, weekly, daily or single pass.

To get the student discount, you must be considered as enrolled full-time for a specific term. It is possible to apply through your MonÉTS student portal. If you are unable to apply online, please contact accueilbdr@etsmtl.ca to validate your eligibility and visit the STM website for any other information. You can also get discounts on your transportation tickets at the ÉTS Coop.

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 AÉÉTS 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 – etudiantsetrangers@etsmtl.ca.
 

International Students in Montréal and at ETS
Greater Montréal is home to more than 30,000 foreign 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