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Work Permit Exemptions

Work Permit Exemptions

Work Permit Exemptions

Most foreign workers looking for a job in Canada must acquire a work permit. It is a legal document issued by the immigration authorities permitting a foreign national to get employed legally and receive the deserving remuneration from their Canadian employer. However, there are some situations where foreign nationals may get to work in Canada without a work permit.

Types of Work That Do Not Require a Work Permit

The following types of work do not require the employee to apply for and obtain a work permit. To qualify for a work permit exemption, your job must be on this list and also meet the specific additional exemption criteria for that job.


You may be exempt from a work permit if you are part of a foreign athletic team competing in Canada. This exemption is applicable for athletes, coaches, and other members of foreign groups visiting Canada.

Aviation Accident Investigator

If you are part of a team visiting Canada to investigate aviation accidents or similar incidents, you may not need a work permit. To qualify, the investigation must be done under the Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act.

Visiting for Business Reasons

Foreign nationals visiting Canada for business purposes are exempted from a Canadian work permit if they do not participate in its labor market.

Civil Aviation Inspection

Foreign professionals qualified and employed to check various aspects of civil aviation, such as cabin safety and flight operations in Canada, can enter the country without a work permit.

Religious Leaders

Foreign nationals who form part of any religious order can be exempt from a work permit to undertake religious work in Canada.

Organizers of Conventions 

Foreign nationals planning to visit Canada to host conventions are not required to apply for work permits.

Crew Members

Foreign nationals who work on vehicles registered with companies outside of Canada and employed as drivers or service passengers can qualify for a work permit exemption.

Emergency Service Providers

Foreign nationals planning to enter Canada as an emergency service provider need not apply for a work permit. The work may involve assisting in rescue operations during natural disasters, fires, floods, and accidents affecting the environment.

Examiners and Evaluators

Academic professionals, who want to visit Canada to supervise, examine and evaluate various academic activities, projects, and proposals are exempt from work permits.

Investigator or Witness

Individuals visiting Canada as an investigator or a witness related to a case may be eligible for a work permit exemption.

Family Member Of Foreign Representative

An immediate family member of a foreign representative may not need a Canadian work permit if they are accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) or have a GAC counterfoil in their passport. They are also exempt if they carry a No Objection letter from the GAC.

Foreign Government Officer or Representative

A foreign government representative can get a work permit exemption from visiting Canada if they are part of an exchange agreement or a foreign diplomat/official representation of a country or the United Nations.

Health Care Students

Foreign students from the field of healthcare and wanting to be part of a training program can be eligible for a work permit exemption. They must be part of clinical clerkships and have written approval from the relevant provincial regulatory body. The training program must be for four months or less.

Judge, Referee, and Similar

You may qualify for a work permit exemption for foreign nationals traveling to Canada as a judge or an official at an international amateur competition.

Others who may not need a work permit while traveling to Canada are:

  • Military Personnel
  • News Reporters/Crew of movies or media
  • Performing Artists
  • Public Speakers
  • Short-term highly-skilled worker
  • Short-term researchers
  • Students working on and off-campus

If you are from any category mentioned above and looking to visit Canada on a temporary basis, contact us. As one of the leading immigration consultants in Canada, ASI Immigration can help you make a smooth and hassle-free entry into Canada. As every visitor from different fields and professions may have to fulfill specific terms and conditions, it is better to consult an immigration expert. Call us now to know more.

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