Work In Canada without a Permit

Rameh Law > Work In Canada without a Permit

Work In Canada without a Permit

The Canadian government sometimes allows foreigners to work in the country without a work permit in some occupations and under certain circumstances. However, a foreigner may be allowed to work in Canada without a work permit but still need to acquire an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or a temporary resident visa before gaining access to the country for quick work. Get in touch with the Rameh law to confirm whether the nature of your work in Canada will call for a work permit.

Additionally, a foreigner should be ready to submit to IRCC documents that support the status they have applied for in Canada. The documents needed vary on an individual-to-individual case basis. Usually, factors that can increase your chances of acceptance into Canada may include an invitation letter from a Canadian employer and a parent company’s letter of support.

You may not require a work permit if you are coming to Canada to work in occupations that include:

  • Foreign government offices
  • Aviation incident or accident inspector
  • Clergy
  • Evaluators and examiners
  • Healthcare students
  • Military personnel
  • Public speakers
  • Business visitors
  • Media crews and news reporters
  • Foreign representatives and their family members
  • Civil aviation inspector
  • Convention organizers
  • On-campus and off-campus employment
  • Implied status
  • Performing artists

Athletes and team members

An athlete (whether amateur or professional) may enter Canada to participate in sporting events or activities either as part of a team or as an individual. This category can also include:

  • Team coaches
  • Trainers
  • The team’s medical staff
  • Other essential team members

The IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) list of team members and Athletes who may be in Canada shortly without a work permit include:

  • Racecar drivers
  • Part-time or full-time trainers and coaches
  • Team members from other countries competing in an event and Canada
  • An owner of a pet from another country entering their animal in a show held in Canada
  • An amateur player on a Canadian team
  • A jockey participating in a horse race from a foreign-based stable

If you are a professional athlete’s spouse, you do not need a  Labour Market Impact Assessment for your time in Canada.

Aviation accidents (or incidents) inspectors

An accredited advisor and representative in Canada to investigate airplane crashes or incidents does not need a work permit in Canada. However, the investigation should are there to the guiding principles in the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act.

Business visitors

A business visitor may wish to come to Canada for various reasons, including:

  • To attend a convention, business fair, a conference, a business meeting, among others.
  • Taking orders for goods manufactured in Canada
  • to buy goods produced in Canada on behalf of foreign entities
  • To offer after-sales services
  • To train a company’s Canadian-based employees

The business visitor category aims at facilitating entry to Canada for businesspersons who want to transact a highly perishable business deal but won’t enter the labor market in Canada.

You must have a Temporary Work permit if you’re looking to enter the Labor Market in Canada. However, the business visitor’s temporary stay in Canada may not exempt them from obtaining an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) or a Temporary Resident Visa.

Although the business visitor’s category has several subdivisions, the general eligibility criteria include:

The business visitor must not be aiming at entering the Canadian Labor Market.

The scope of the business activities should be international.

If the visitor is representing a foreign company, Canada assumes the following criteria:

  • The person’s primary compensation comes from outside of Canada.
  • The person is employed in a foreign country.
  • The company that the business visitor is representing in Canada accrues its profit from outside of Canada.

A business visitor may need to furnish IRCC with documents that support the nature of their stay in Canada. While the required papers vary from case to case, if the person has an invitation letter from a company based in Canada or an introductory letter from their parent company, it can increase their chances of being accepted in Canada as a business visitor.

Business visitor subcategories

  • After-sales service
  • Board of directors meetings
  • Compliance of short-term temporary residents
  • Workers of a foreign company that has contracted a Canadian company

After-sale Service providers

An after-sales service provider does not need a work permit to come to Canada to supervise installation, repair, service, test, or set up industrial or commercial equipment. However, the agreement of the sale of the commercial or industrial equipment must stipulate such services. This category can also include persons entering Canada to train the maintenance staff or prospective equipment users.

A meeting of the board of directors

Canada considers a member of the board of directors who wants to come to Canada to attend director’s meetings as a business visitor. While such persons receive payment for their stay in Canada, the country doesn’t consider such remunerations as ports of entry into the Labor Market.

Temporary resident’s short-term workers

If you are a full-time employee of a temporary resident in Canada and working in a personal capacity, you may fall under the business visitors category. Persons that may not need a temporary work permit under this category may include:

  • Live-in caregivers
  • Personal assistants
  • Domestic workers

An employee of a foreign company that has contracted a Canadian firm

a foreign company may hire a Canadian company to execute a contract in Canada on its behalf. If the Canadian company lacks a skilled (or sufficient number of) staff for the job, the foreign company may send some foreigners to Canada to ensure it provides data services.

IRCC will only consider a foreign employee send Canada  a business visitor if they fulfilled conditions that include:

  • Remaining employees of the foreign employer
  • the foreign company is the one that will pay them for the work done in Canada
  • The principal place of operation of the foreign company remains to be abroad

If you are in Canada working for a foreign company that has contracted a Canadian company, you can stay in Canada for a maximum of two years.

Convention organizers

This occupation category includes persons entering Canada to organize a conference or a convention. If the organizing committee has administrative support staff, they would be covered under this category. Examples of these events are:

  • corporate meetings
  • trade shows
  • exhibitions

However, this category doesn’t include hands-on workers, for example,  audio-visual specialists.

If the convention in question is a Canadian event, its organizers must apply for a work permit before organizing it. According to IRCC, Canadian events are organized by companies or organizations whose primary business area is Canada.

IRCC considers a foreign national who attends a conference or meeting as a Canadian business visitor hence is exempt from the temporary work permit requirement.

Civil aviation inspectors

There’s no need for a work permit for cabin safety inspectors and a flight operator inspecting commercial international flights. However, these inspectors should have valid documents to support what they do and be working for an aeronautical authority that Canada recognizes.

Members of the clergy

Persons who oversee religious functions, preach, or offer spiritual counseling services may not need to apply for a temporary work permit to provide their services in Canada.

However, religious leaders seeking to enter Canada to do temporary spiritual work can only be exempted from the requirements of a work permit if they fulfill certain conditions, including:

  • Proving that their employment offer in Canada is genuine
  • Demonstrating that they can minister to a congregation( a clergy may reproduce evidence of past employment, credentials, among other things, to attest to this fact)

While it is mandatory to have a work permit if you are a foreigner conducting long-term religious or charitable work in Canada, you don’t need to have a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment to get the permit.


A cabin crewmember is exempt from a Canadian work permit if:

  • The means of transport they’re working on is foreign-owned
  • The means of transportation concerned are foreign registered.
  • The means are mainly involved in international transportation.

The crew may work in passenger service, operation, maintenance, or capacity.

Laws governing work conducted by crews on different modes of transportation vary greatly. The rules applicable for the job crewmembers do on other transport modes change from one means to another. Thus, a foreigner wishing to get a work permit exemption should ensure they confirm whether they’re eligible for an exemption before entering Canada.

Emergency Service Providers

​Entering Canada to offer emergency services does not require you to apply for a work permit. Examples of scenarios that may call for international emergency services include commercial accidents and natural disasters. IRCC exempts emergency service providers from the requirement for a work permit if the nature of their work is to preserve life and property.

Specifically, the Canadian government has signed pacts with the US to expedite emergency aid workers’ cross-border movement when the need arises. Such aid may be in the form of physicians or specialized medical teams, insurance adjusters, and appraisers.

Examiners and Evaluators

A researcher, lecturer, or professor, entering Canada to evaluate students’ projects or theses may not need a work permit to enter the country.

Investigators and expert witnesses

An expert who needs to enter Canada to conduct an analysis or surveys that will form a crucial part of the court or regulatory body evidence is exempt from a Canadian work permit.

Foreign Government Officers

Canadian is a signatory to various pacts with other nations that involve exchanging employees with other governments. Under these agreements, provincial governments and the federal government allows other countries to send their foreign workers to work for Canadian government departments or agencies. These persons don’t work for foreign organizations or missions and don’t need accreditation by the DFAIT (Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade). Here are some factors about these you many need to know:

  • Foreigners in executive roles must sign a contract with the PSC (Public Service Commission) in Canada.
  • Foreign government officers working below an executive-level don’t need a contract from the PSC.
  • Any assignment lasting longer than 90 days must include an agreement letter with the official Canadian employer.

If you are a family member of a foreign government official in Canada, this category may cover you, hence you may be exempt from the work permit requirement, or you may need to apply for an open work permit.

Foreign Representatives ​

​The DFAIT-Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade-accredits representatives of foreign countries and their family members (including their personal staff) who need to be in Canada without a work permit. This category also covers foreign workers representing their countries to UN offices in Canada.

Health Care Students

if you are a healthcare student at a non-Canadian institution and are looking to participate in a short-term practicum or clinical clerkship in Canada. Commonly applicable disciplines include:

  • medicine
  • nursing
  • medical technology
  • occupational and physical therapy

However, such services mustn’t’ be unpaid for and should last for less than 120 days; otherwise, the healthcare student must apply for a work permit.

Referees, Judges, and related occupations

A referee, judge, and other similar occupations may not warrant a work permit if they come to Canada to participate in amateur sports, agricultural events, art exhibitions, and cultural events, among other related competitions.

An international amateur sports competition (a free-to-compete international sporting event) that a Canadian organization has hosted may not require a judge or referee at the even to apply for a work permit. However, a work permit and a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment is a must-have requirement for judges, referees, and similar specialists who will participate in Canada’s professional sporting competitions.

Military Personnel

Foreigners working in accordance with the Visiting Forces Act (including Military and civilian personnel) may study and work in Canada without permits. The Visiting Forces Act also exempts families of these military persons from having to apply for a work permit.

Furthermore, foreign military personnel may not need to have:

  • a passport,
  • a temporary resident visa
  • a medical examinations

Nevertheless, it’s sometimes still necessary for a civilian and family member of a military officer to obtain these documents.

Media Crews reporters

People working for media companies and who are in Canada to do their journalistic work don’t need a work permit. However, the exemption doesn’t include clerical workers and managerial o personnel unless they report on special events that won’t last for more than half a year.

Performing Artists

Performing artists from other countries may perform in Canada without a work permit. Nonetheless, some kinds of performances call for an LMIA and Work Permit.

Public Speakers

At an event, a foreign guest speaker, a seminar leader, and a commercial speaker may be exempt from a Canadian work permit. In Canada, a seminar is an intensive study course or a small class lasting for no more than five days.

A commercial speaker at an even, according to this provision, is a foreigner with stakes in it. Typically, it means that the person will, among other things:

  • rent a commercial space
  • promote for the event
  • charge admission

if a Canadian entity has hired you to perform a commercial speaker’s role at their event, you must secure a work permit and have a Labor Market Impact Assessment.