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Work Without Work Permit

Although it is important to have a valid work permit for the foreign nationals to work in Canada. However, there are certain circumstances where a foreign national is exempted from having a Canadian Work Permit and still can engage in employment in Canada.

Canadian Immigration enlists the following types of jobs that do not require a Canadian work permit.

Categories of Jobs that do not require Candian Work Permit

Athlete or Coach

Foreign nationals who are members of an international athletic team and are participating in a competition in Canada, fall under this category. This class covers athletes, coaches, and other different international team members. They do not require a Canadian work permit.

Aviation Accident or Incident Investigator

If you are an authorized agent or advisor, who is assigned a task to investigate aviation accidents and/or other incidents then you might not need a work permit to execute such a task in Canada. To be entitled to the exemption, the Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act must approve of the investigation.

Business Visitor

Under this category, the business visitors who are foreign nationals and are travelling to Canada to perform business activities other than being a part of the Canadian labour market are exempted from having a work permit for Canada.

Also, ensure there is a substantial difference between a business visitor and a businessperson. So, to qualify for the exemption you must meet the standards of a business visitor as defined by the IRCC.

Civil Aviation Inspector

If you are an employee engaged in determining the flight operations and cabin safety of the international flights travelling through Canada, you are entitled to be exempted for the work permit.

Convention Organizer

You qualify for exemption of work permit if you are an organizer for international conventions or meetings. Please ensure that the exemption is applicable only to the authorized organizers who provide services such as audio-visual services and many more during the convention.

Crew Member

If you are an international truck driver, bus driver, shipping or airline worker, you might be entitled to a work permit exemption. However, your employer must meet the following two conditions:

  • You must be using the automobiles that are owned and managed by the registered international enterprises, that are employed for transporting cargo and/or passengers internationally.
  • Your job duties must be with reference to the vehicle operations and/or serving of the passengers.

Emergency Service Provider

Foreign nationals who travel to Canada to serve the country during emergencies such as natural disasters and industrial accidents that are threatening to the environment, people and property, qualify for a work permit exemption.

Examiner and Evaluator

In certain cases, international professors or academic experts are exempted for Canadian Work Permit to execute special activities in Canada. Here, activities refer to evaluation and/or supervision of academic projects, research proposals and thesis. Provided the foreign national must be employed by a Canadian educational organization or a research group.

Expert Witness or Investigator

If you are a foreign national working in Canada to present evidence before a regulatory body, a tribunal or a court of law, you might not require a work permit.

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Family Member of Foreign Representative

The spouse or child of a foreign representative might qualify for a Canadian work permit exemption under this category. However, they must fulfil the following conditions:

  • Must be recognized by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) that includes a counterfoil from GAC in the passport.
  • Most hold a no objection letter issued by GAC.

Foreign Government Officer or Representative

If you are a foreign national who:

  • Is employed by a foreign government body that is operating under an exchange agreement that enables officials to work in the home country’s government agency and in Canada
  • Is a foreign diplomat or official representative of some other country
  • Is a foreign diplomat or official representative of the UN.

Health Care Student

This category allows international health care students pursuing their education at a foreign institute to participate in clinical clerkships or short-term practicums in Canada without having a Canadian work permit. Students pursuing studies in streams such as medicine, nursing, medical technology, and occupational and physical therapy fall under this job type. However, these internships or practices should be unpaid and should last not more than four months.

Judge, referee, or similar official

Judges, referees, and other officials travelling to Canada to participate in international amateur competitions such as sports, arts, agriculture or cultural are exempted from having Canadian work permits.

Military Personnel

If you hold the membership of any of the armed forces of any country you do not require a Canadian work permit, provided you should be in receipt of movement orders declaring that you are travelling to Canada under the Visiting Forces Act.

News Reporter or Film Media

Work Permit Exemption under this category is applicable to news reporters and crew members travelling to Canada to cover on the events in the country. This category comprises of journalists ensuring their employer is not a Canadian company. Moreover, this type does not include clerks or managers unless they are reporting on special events that would last for six months or less.

Producer or staff member working on advertisements

If you are a foreign national travelling to Canada to shoot for an internationally financed commercial/advertising shoot for television, magazine or other media then you may be entitled to work permit exemption. Also, you must be either film producer, actor, director, technician or other essential personnel.

Performing Artist

Some of the performing artists are qualified to work in Canada without a work permit. To be one of these performing artists, the foreign national must fulfil the following conditions:

  • Is the artist or the main support staff to the artist
  • Will perform in Canada for a limited time
  • No plans to be employed for current Canadian employment that he/she is in contract with
  • No engagement in producing any media broadcast

Public Speaker

A guest or commercial speaker or a seminar leader, being from a foreign land may be eligible for a work permit exemption. The events lasting no longer than 5 days can only be considered for the speakers to be exempted.

Religious Leader

Here, a religious leader refers to a foreign national who is an appointed minister or a member of a religious order. He/She might be eligible for work permit exemption to carry out religious activities in Canada. Their duties may include preaching, leading worship and/or spiritual counselling.

Short-term highly-skilled worker

Under this category, the highly-skilled workers are allowed to work in Canada for a specific period of time without the work permit. This includes the foreign nationals working under the jobs enlisted under NOC 0 r A category by IRCC.

Also, the person is allowed to work for:

  • up to 15 consecutive days once every six months or
  • up to 30 consecutive days once every year

Short-term researcher

The Canadian work permit exemption under this job type is applicable to only those foreign nationals who meet the following requirements:

  • Must be conducting research at a public degree-granting institution or affiliated research institution
  • Must work for only maximum consecutive days
  • Must not have worked in Canada under this exemption in the last 12 months

Students Working Off-campus

Full-time international students are exempted from having a work permit to work in Canada. However, they are allowed to work for only 20 hours per week during their study periods and can work full-time during their scheduled academic breaks and holidays.

Students Working On-Campus

A Full-time international student is exempted from having a work permit to work on-campus in Canada. However, he/she is allowed to work for only 20 hours per week during their study periods and can work full-time during their scheduled academic breaks and holidays.

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