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Trace

Work Permit Exemptions

Work Permit Exemptions

A foreign national may be eligible to work in Canada without a work permit in limited circumstances.

If a foreign national requires a temporary resident visa (TRV), to enter Canada, they must apply for a TRV and a work permit exemption at a Canadian visa office abroad prior to travelling to Canada.  If their application is approved, they will be issued a TRV authorizing them to enter Canada as a worker. 

If a foreign national does not require a TRV to enter Canada, they may apply for a work permit exemption at a Canadian port-of-entry (e.g. international airport, land crossing, etc.). If their application is approved, they should request a visitor record to evidence their work permit exemption. 

Short Term Work Permit Exemption


Highly-Skilled Workers

If a foreign national is “highly-skilled” and they are coming to Canada to work for a short period of time, they may be eligible for a work permit exemption under the Global Skills Strategy. To qualify for this work permit exemption, the foreign national must demonstrate that: 

  • They will be working in Canada in an occupation which is most appropriately classified as National Occupational Classification (NOC) Skill Level “0” (management positions) or “A” (professional positions); 
  • They will be working in Canada for up to 15 consecutive days within a 6 month period or 30 consecutive days within a 12 month period; and
  • They have not relied upon the 15 day work permit exemption within the past 6 months or the 30 day work permit exemption within the past 12 months. 

Researchers

If a foreign national is a “researcher” and they are coming to Canada to work for a short period of time, they may also be eligible for a work permit exemption under the Global Skills Strategy. To qualify for this work permit exemption, the foreign national must demonstrate that: 

  • They will be performing research at a Canadian institution which is publicly funded and grants degrees or an affiliated research institution; 
  • They will be working in Canada for 120 calendar days or less within a 12 month period; and
  • They have not relied upon this work permit exemption within the past 12 months.

Emergency Service Providers
 

If a foreign national is coming to Canada to provide services aimed at preserving life, property, or the environment, they may be eligible to work in Canada without a work permit. The emergency may be the result of a natural disaster (e.g. flood, fire, etc.) or an industrial or commercial accident (e.g. oil spill). 


Public Speakers

If a foreign national is coming to Canada as a guest speaker or commercial speaker to present for five days or less (not including travel time), they may be eligible to work in Canada without a work permit.  However, if they are hired by a Canadian entity as a guest instructor or to provide training activities, they will not be eligible to work in Canada without a work permit.  


Clergy
 

If a foreign national is coming to Canada to preach doctrine, preside at liturgical functions, or provide spiritual counselling, they may be eligible to work in Canada without a work permit. To qualify for a work permit exemption as clergy, a foreign national must demonstrate that they:

  • Have a genuine offer of employment from a religious denomination; and
  • Have the ability to minister a congregation under the auspices of that religious denomination.