WX-1 is enough for a visiting scholar?

Hello David,

As part of a collaboration program between Canadian fund agencies for science and my Institution, several Cuban researchers have been invited to work in different Canadian Universities. These are short-term visits (no more than 3 months) with clear research objectives, mutually beneficial, that are not going to be paid by any Canadian organization. The fund agencies will provide daily living allowances to these researches that is not a wage, commission or any type of remuneration for the work that is intended to be done in the Universities. The embassy granted visitor visas without a problem and they say they can also grant WX-1 visas since this is a specific, unpaid, reciprocal employment that will not compete with Canadian citizens.
However, the Universities are requiring the visiting scholars to apply for a work permit in order to carry out their activities. We have explicitly asked if the WX-1 is enough for that and they dont seem to know the difference between a work permit and a worker visa. Do you know if these are internal regulations from the Universities or if this type of worker visa is enough for doing this kind of job?
I understand that the issue here can be due to Universities' internal regulations that has nothing to do with the immigration authorities, but it seems more complicated and longer to get the work permits instead of the WX-1 visas.

There are sometimes multiple provisions that may allow for admission and work in Canada. The case you describe in one such example. There would be at least two arguments available here: one that the participants in this program are admissible to engage in work in Canada without a work permit; and the other that they are eligible for work permits under provisions, which may include creation or maintenance of reciprocal employment opportunities for Canadians abroad. As a meeting with the Embassy yielded WX1 (business visitor) visas, the government of Canada would appear to concur that this work is possible without a work permit.

If the universities continue to object to engaging in this work without a work permit or if the logistical issues of residing in Canada for a prolonged period without a work permit create too much trouble, then there remains the option of pursuing the work permit. However, this will mean that delays will be incurred while such an application is processed.

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