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Interns: Guidance for Bilateral Missions

Circular Note No. XDC-0300 of April 15, 2013

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol) presents its compliments to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missionsand notified Chargés d’affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada and has the honour to clarify the requirements that must be fulfilled by foreign nationals seeking entry into Canada for the purpose of participating in an internship program in a bilateral mission.

1.    No Eligibility for Accreditation 

While the Department does not object to diplomatic missions and consular posts running an internship program, it has determined that the interns themselves do not qualify for accreditation at any level, nor do they enjoy special status, privileges and immunities under Canada’s Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act. It follows that Diplomatic Missions are not under any duty to notify the names of interns to the Department’s Office of Protocole.

How to Plan the Intern’s Arrival to Canada

A foreign national coming to Canada as an intern in a bilateral mission is considered as a “foreign temporary worker”. As such, each individual is responsible for applying for a work permit prior to arrival in Canada through an Office of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) abroad before participating in the internship program.The work permit application should be supported by a document from the diplomatic mission or the ministry of foreign affairs concerned regarding the internship program.

2.    Work Permit Application Packages and Processing Time

3.    Extending the Work Permit

 Interns are not only subject to regular work permit requirements set by CIC, but must renew their temporary foreign worker status on a regular basis.

4.    Additional Relevant Information and Contacts

Further information on visas, work permits and CIC rules can be found via the Department’s Circular Note number XDC-0337 of April 3, 2013. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol) avails itself of this opportunity to renew to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and notified Chargés d’affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada the assurances of its highest consideration.

OTTAWA, April 15, 2013

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Date Modified:
2013-04-12