If your job category is listed below, you do not need a work permit. However, you may need to meet other requirements. Read the information carefully.
If your job category is not listed below, you need a work permit. You should find out if you need a Labour Market Opinion.
Jobs that do not require a work permit
If your job category is listed below, you do not need a work permit. However, you many need to meet other requirements. Read the information carefully.
Athletes and coaches
Foreign teams, athletes and coaches can compete in Canada without a work permit.
Aviation accident or incident investigators
Accredited representatives or advisers coming to Canada to work on an aviation accident or incident investigation conducted under the authority of the Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act do not need a work permit.
Business visitors do not need a work permit.
A business visitor is someone who comes to Canada to engage in international business activities without directly entering the Canadian labour market. Find out more information on entering Canada as a business visitor.
Important: “Business people” is a different category with different requirements.
Civil aviation inspectors
Inspectors coming to Canada to inspect the flight operations or cabin safety of commercial airlines during international flights do not need a work permit.
People coming to Canada to work as ordained ministers, lay persons or members of a religious order do not need a work permit to perform their religious duties or assist a religious group. These religious duties may include preaching doctrine, presiding at liturgical functions or providing spiritual counselling.
Organizers and administrative staff of international meetings or conventions being held in Canada do not need a work permit.
Note: People providing “hands- on” services at these events must have a work permit. For example: audiovisual services, show decorating, building, installing and dismantling.
Foreign crew members, such as truck drivers, bus drivers, shipping and airline personnel, do not need work permits when:
- they are working on vehicles of foreign ownership and registry that are engaged primarily in the international transport of cargo and passengers.
- their work is related to the operation of vehicles or the provision of services to passengers.
Emergency service providers
People coming to Canada to help out in an emergency do not need a work permit if they are coming to this country to help preserve life or property. Examples of emergencies would be natural disasters, such as floods or earthquakes, or industrial accidents threatening the environment.
Examiners and evaluators
Professors and academic experts coming to Canada to evaluate or supervise academic projects, research proposals or university theses do not need a work permit. This applies to Canadian research organizations as well as to academic institutions.
Expert witnesses or investigators
Experts coming to Canada to give evidence before a regulatory body, tribunalor court of law do not need a work permit.
Family members of foreign representatives
To work in Canada without a permit, a foreign representative’s spouse, son or daughter must:
obtain an accreditation (counterfoil in their passport) from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). Should a person not be accredited, DFAIT will refer that person to immigration officials.
Family members who are not accredited may qualify for a student or a work permit under regular immigration requirements.
- have a letter of no-objection from DFAIT (normally only issued if there is reciprocal employment arrangement with that country). To know where to obtain the letter of no-objection, search for the contact information of diplomatic missions, consular posts and International organizations on the Foreign Representatives in Canada page of the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website.
Foreign government officers
Canada has exchange agreements with some countries for officials to work in each other’s government departments. Government officials coming to work in Canada do not need a work permit, but they must bring a formal letter of agreement if they will be working in Canada here for longer than three months.
Diplomats and official representatives of other countries or the United Nations and their staff can work in Canada without a work permit.
Health care students
Foreign students in residency, extern or fellowship positions in Canadian clinical settings need a work permit.
Foreign health care students can do their clinical clerkships or work in Canada short-term without a work permit if:
- the main purpose of the work is to acquire training,
- they have a written approval from the Canadian regulatory board responsible for their occupation (note that certain provinces do not require written approval). For further details, please refer to Section 5.17. Work without a work permit R186(p) — Health care students in the Foreign Worker Manual (PDF, 1.25 MB).
- their normal training practicum does not exceed four months.
Foreign health care students also need to:
- undergo a Canadian immigration medical examination before coming to Canada.
Judges, referees and similar officials
Officials at international amateur competitions can come to Canada to judge or officiate without a work permit. This includes judges or adjudicators of artistic or cultural events such as music and dance festivals, judges of animal shows and judges of agricultural competitions.
Members of an armed force from another country can work in Canada without a work permit if they have movement orders stating that they are entering Canada under the terms of the Visiting Forces Act.
News reporters, film and media crews
An employee of a foreign news company does not need a work permit to report on events in Canada. This applies to:
- news reporters and their crews.
- film or media crews who are not entering the Canadian labour market.
- journalists working for a print, broadcast or an internet news service provider (journals, newspapers, magazines, television shows, etc.,) if the company they work for is not Canadian.
- resident correspondents.
- managerial and clerical personnel provided that the event is short-term (6 months or less).
Foreign artists and their essential support staff, the people that are integral to the performance, can work in Canada without a permit only under these conditions:
- They are only performing in Canada for a limited period of time.
- They will not be performing in a bar or restaurant. If they will do so, performers and their staff each need a work permit.
- They are not entering into an employment relationship with the Canadian group that has contracted for their services.
- They are not performing in the production of a movie, television or radio broadcast.
Examples of performing artists who can come to Canada without a work permit:
- foreign-based band or theatre group and their essential crew not performing in a bar or restaurant
- street performers (buskers), disc jockeys
- foreign or traveling circus
- guest artists within a Canadian performance group for a time-limited engagement
- World Wrestling Entertainment wrestlers (and similar groups)
- persons performing at a private event, such as a wedding
- air show performers,
- rodeo contestants
- artists attending or working at a showcase
- film producers (business visitors)
- film and recording studio users (limited to small groups renting studios who are not entering the labour market and business visitors)
- persons doing guest spots on Canadian television and radio broadcasts (guest speakers)
Guest speakers, commercial speakers or seminar leaders can speak or deliver training in Canada without a work permit as long as the event is no longer than five days.
Students working on campus
Full-time foreign students can work without a work permit on the campus of the institution where they are studying. For more information, see Studying in Canada: Work permits for students — Working on campus.
To study in Canada, foreign students may need a study permit.
Working in Canada
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