International Mobility Program – Unique work situations – Camp counsellors [R205(b)] (exemption code C20)

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

As of March 1, 2017, camp counsellors going to residential camps during the summer season are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement pursuant to paragraph 205(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (reciprocal LMIA exemption C20). Canadians are given the opportunity to work as camp counsellors in various countries around the world. Given the existence of opportunities for Canadians, proof of reciprocity is not required for individual applications.

All residential camp counsellor applications should be processed under exemption code C20, even for applicants going to faith-based camps. The normal work of a camp counsellor (whose primary duties consist of supervising children and leading sports, crafts, games and other recreational activities) is not considered religious in nature. Therefore, LMIA exemption code C50 (Canadian interests: charitable or religious work) should not be used.

Exemption code C20 normally requires the payment of fees (employer compliance fee and work permit fee). Camps are not exempt from the employer compliance fee, unless the foreign national is fee-exempt.

In the case of a counsellor who is unpaid and who works for a charitable or religious organization, a fee exemption may apply [R299(2)(f)] (code E02). To be fee-exempt, the foreign national cannot receive remuneration other than a stipend for living expenses, which, if monetary, should be below the prevailing minimum wage. Otherwise, the foreign national should receive only non-monetary benefits (e.g., accommodation and health care). It is the responsibility of the organization to prove that they are charitable or religious. For further guidance, consult the program delivery instructions for the C50 LMIA exemption. Camp counsellors do not require a high school diploma.

Counsellors at day camps require an LMIA for a work permit and must pay all applicable fees.

Note: A residential camp is one where the campers and the camp counsellors are staying overnight at the camp.

A day camp is one where the campers are going back home every day.

Medical examinations for camp counsellors

Potential camp counsellors will be required to undergo an immigration medical examination only if they have resided or stayed in a designated country for six consecutive months at any time during the one-year period immediately preceding the date they seek entry to Canada or submit their application.

Work permit duration

Officers may issue an LMIA-exempt work permit that is valid for the duration of the offer of employment or until the expiry of the travel document, whichever is earlier.

Work permit issuance in the Global Case Management System (GCMS)

Under the Application screen, officers should enter the following:

  • Case Type: 52

Under the Application screen, officers should enter the following based on fields in the Offer of Employment:

  • Province of Destination: address of physical job location

If there is more than one location, officers should enter the primary location in the Province of Destination field and the secondary location in the Remarks field.

  • City of Destination: address of physical job location

If there is more than one location, officers should enter the primary location in the City of Destination field and the secondary location in the Remarks field.

Documentation requirements

The onus is on the applicant to provide evidence that they meet the requirements of the work being sought. Documentary evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • a letter from the employer in Canada outlining the applicant’s status with the company and the purpose of the foreign national’s visit to Canada;
  • evidence demonstrating that they have knowledge and skills that will support their intended position as a camp counsellor (i.e., curriculum vitae).
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