Work Permit Exemptions

Work Permit Exemptions

Canada mandates a work permit for most foreign nationals willing to work for a Canadian employer for compensation. You can also work without a work permit in exceptional situations. However, an individual working without a work permit needs to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization to enter Canada for a temporary period.

You can improve your chances of entering Canada by submitting documents like an invitation letter from a Canadian organization or a supporting letter from a parent organization. An established immigration counselor can help you find the right avenue to seek employment in Canada with no work permit.

Foreign Representatives and members of their families

Work permit exemption extends to foreign representatives, their staff, and members of families. It also covers representatives to UN offices in Canada. The representatives must have the approval of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Business visitors

Any foreign national visiting Canada to engage in business activities without entering the Canadian labor market may not require a work permit in Canada. Business visitors come to Canada for a short stay to complete specific business activities.

  • After-sales services – Service personnel like engineers, technicians, and maintenance staff providing after-sales service can work in Canada provided the sales contract mentions details of such services. Installation of machines or equipment requires expert technicians who can work in Canada to train Canadian staff of the prospective user about the necessary technical steps.
  • A personal employee of short-term temporary residents – Live-in caregivers, personal assistants, and house assistants are business visitors. Extension of stay beyond six months will possibly require LMIA and a proper work permit.

Sometimes foreign organizations may send their employees to work for Canadian companies on a contractual basis. These workers will have to remain on the payroll of parent companies. The foreign companies must have their principal business outside Canada, and the worker’s efforts should ultimately benefit the parent company. Visitors in this category can live in Canada for a maximum of two years.

Foreign government employees

Foreign government officers who come to Canada as per the international exchange agreements do not require work permits. Family members of foreign government employees may not require a work permit.

Performing artists

Foreign nationals can work in Canada as performing artists without obtaining a work permit. Following are some requirements to work without a work permit:

  • You are a performing artist
  • You are the support staff of the artist
  • The Canadian group that has an agreement with you will not employ you
  • No permission to create or involve in the creation of a film, a broadcast, or a television show
  • On-campus work authorization

Any one of the following eligibility criteria need to be met by the student to work on campus:
1. Has valid study permit
2. Is a full-time student at:

  • Canadian private institution with the authority of conferring degrees
  • Public post-secondary institution
  • A college-level private institution in Quebec

The validity of on-campus work authorization is for the duration of a study permit. The student can only work on campus within the municipal limits even though the institution may be having multiple campuses.

Media personnel

News reporters or media crew can come to Canada for news coverage without obtaining a work permit. The media personnel should not be working for any Canadian company.

Healthcare students

Medical students studying nursing, medicine, physical therapy, or medical technology can work on a short-term basis in a clinical clerkship with no work permit. They will also not receive any remuneration for the same.

Emergency aid workers

Providers of emergency services during natural disasters and emergencies may not require a work permit.

These are only a few categories of workers who may not require work permits while working in Canada. Contacting a knowledgeable immigration consultant is the right approach to understand various options. Trust Dev Immigration Services Inc to seek solutions to all types of immigration concerns. Contact us today if you are in pursuit of a reliable immigration consultant.


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