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Work in Canada without a Canada work permit

Typically, any foreigner wanting to work in Canada shall have to get a Canada work permit. Canada work permit is a document that allows any foreigner to work in Canada and get paid from the employer. Meanwhile, there are certain exceptions to this general rule. This means some foreigners may be allowed to work in Canada even without a work permit.

So, let us see which categories of jobs don’t need a work permit-

Any foreigner does not need a work permit to do the following categories of employment. However, you need to bear in mind that the following categories do not guarantee that any foreigner has eligibility for exemption from a work permit.

Moreover, the job for which the foreigner wants to work in Canada needs to be present on this list—

  • Coach or athlete—A coach or an athlete having membership of a foreign athletic team may get an exemption from needing a work permit provided he or she is competing in Canada. However, you shall need a work permit in case you are a member of a Canadian team.
  • Incident investigator or an aviation accident manager—Aviation accident manager or incident investigator is given exemption from needing a work permit to work in Canada. So, you have to be under Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act for getting qualified for such an exemption.
  • Clergy or a religious order member—Any foreigner who is clergy or a member of a religious order can seek exemption for getting a work permit.
  • Crew member—A foreigner who is an airline or shipping worker, a bus or a truck driver can be qualified for an exemption to the requirement of a Canada work permit. However, they must fulfil the following conditions—
  • As a foreigner, your work needs to be associated with operating vehicles or serving the passengers;
  • You have to be operating vehicles registered and owned by firms or enterprises outside Canada. These shall be involved in the transportation of travellers and/or cargo globally.
  • Convention organizer—You can get an exemption from a work permit provided you are involved in organizing or running global meetings or conventions. Only organizers can be exempted from work permit.
  • Civil aviation inspector—Those involved in flight operations checking for ensuring cabin safety of global flights running through Canada are exempted from getting a work permit.
  • Business visitor—Foreigners who are business visitors and who are required to come to Canada for performing their business duties but are not entering the labour market of Canada may be exempted from a work permit to work in Canada.
  • Investigator or expert witness—Those who work to furnish proof before any court of law, any tribunal, or a regulatory body might be eligible for exemption from a work permit.
  • Emergency service provider—Any foreigner who shall work in Canada for providing emergency services can get qualified for exemption from a work permit. It is necessary that the services to be provided should aid life as well as property in Canada. Emergency services are during natural emergencies like floods, fires or other accidents posing a threat to the environment.
  • Evaluator and examiner—A foreigner who is an academic expert, an evaluator or an examiner, or a professor can be exempted from the requirement of a work permit for some services in Canada. These can be the supervision of research or academic projects/thesis or evaluation of the same. For this, you have to be hired by any Canada research organization or any Canada education institute.
  • A Foreign government official or a representative—You must fulfil the following to get qualified for an exemption from a Canada work permit—
  • You happen to be a foreign diplomat or an official representative of any other nation;
  • You happen to be either a foreign diplomat or an official representative of the UN.
  • You happen to be an employee of any foreign government engaged under some exchange agreement allowing officials to work in Canada governments and your respective home nation.
  • Family of any foreign representative—A family member of a foreign representative (spouse, child) can have eligibility for exemptions from Canada work permit subject to following—
  • You need to possess a ‘no objection letter’ issued by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Such a letter gets issued in case of an employment contract/agreement between Canada and any other nation.
  • You have to get accreditation by GAC and also have a GAC counterfoil present in your passport. 
  • Health Care Student—Any foreigner who is pursuing studies in any Canada healthcare field and is interested in working in Canada for the training, can be exempted from getting a work permit. You have to satisfy the following conditions –
  • You need to have an approval in writing from the regulatory body of the province regulating your job;
  • The total training duration should be less than four months;
  • You should be taking part in clinical clerkships; and
  • The basic aim of your job ought to be for the purpose of training.
  • Referee, judge or any such official—Any foreigner going to Canada for judging any international competition for amateurs or is an official for such a competition can get exempted from a work permit requirement. Kinds of events having eligibility for exemption are—
  • Agricultural contests;
  • Dance and music festivals;
  • Animal shows.
  • Military person—Any foreigner who is a military or army member of any other nation might have eligibility for exemption from Canada work permit. Meanwhile, you need to possess movement orders showing your aim of coming to Canada is under the Visiting Forces Act.
  • Media crew, film crew, or a news reporter—A foreigner who works as a news reporter, a film crew or a media crew can get qualified for exemption from work permit. However, he or she must satisfy the following conditions—
  • You have to be a member of a media or film crew who shall not make an entry into the labour market of Canada;
  • You have to be either a member of any news reporter crew or a news reporter itself;
  • You have to be a journalist working for a non-Canadian television/radio/web-based/print publication;
  • You have to be a resident correspondent;
  • You have to be a clerical staff or manager of any short-term (less than six months) duration event.
  • Public speaker—Any foreigner working as a seminar leader, commercial or guest speaker can get qualified for exemption from a work permit. Meanwhile, the condition is that such events should be of not more than five days duration if any public speaker or seminar leader wishes to become eligible for such an exemption.
  • Performing artist—Canada gives exemption to some foreigners who are performing artists to be eligible for work permit exemption for working in Canada subject to the following conditions—
  • Your performance period will be for a limited time;
  • You are either an important support staff of a foreign artist or a foreign artist yourself;
  • Your job shall not be in the creation of broadcast for a film, television, or radio;
  • You shall not be recruited for any ongoing employment in Canada by the group who contracted you.
  • Staff of any producer or producer working on ads—Any foreigner wanting to work for any advertising/commercial campaign financed by a foreign nation for media like magazines or television can get qualified for getting exempted from a work permit. Following may be exempted—
  • Actor;
  • Film producer;
  • Film director;
  • Technician staff;
  • Other mandatory staff.

Meanwhile, you have to keep in mind that such an exemption is applicable for the employment of maximum of 2 weeks.

  • Students working on-campus—To work on-campus(where you are pursuing a study course) while being a full-time international student in Canada, you do not need any work permit. Canada allows full-time international students to work for a maximum of up to 20 hours a week during the periods of study. However, during regular academic breaks and holidays, they are allowed to work full-time.
  • Off-campus work for students—For working off-campus during their study period, full-time foreign students do not need any work permit. They can work for a maximum period of up to 20 hours a week during the study period. During the regular academic breaks and holidays, they are allowed to work full-time.
  • Short-term high-skilled workers—High-skilled workers may have eligibility to undertake short-term work in Canada, but a condition is that there must be some time between every work permit exemption.

Foreigners working at NOC Skill Level O or A can get exempted from the need for a work permit for short-term work in Canada. This exemption is under the conditions for a short-term work permit exemption.

Meanwhile, the foreign worker under the short-term work permit exemption is governed by the following conditions—

 –To work for 15 calendar days consecutively or less and a period of six months should have passed since the initial day of work under the earlier use of such an exemption; or

–To work for 30 calendar days or less and a period of 12 months should have elapsed since the initial day of work under the earlier use of such an exemption.

Foreign nationals living outside of Canada can get the facility of short-term work permit exemption. Anyone residing in Canada cannot apply for such an exemption.

  • Short-term Researcher—Foreigners who travel to Canada for short-term research work get eligibility for exemption from a work permit. Such an exemption is applicable subject to the following terms—
  • Such a foreigner should be conducting research at an affiliated research institute or any institute that is public degree-granting.
  • The concerned foreigner should be for not more than 120 days;
  • He or she should not have used this exemption within the last 12 months.

Are you interested to know more about how to work in Canada even without a Canada work permit? Contact Straight Visas to brighten your work scenario in Canada!!!

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