Oshawa Office

Calver and Associates

Immigration Services

71 Albert St., Suite 6, Oshawa

ON L1H 4R1

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Cobourg Office

Calver and Associates

Immigration Services

278 George St., Cobourg

ON K9A 3L8

Direct Line: 289-677-0108

admin@calverandassociates.com

Appointments available: Monday to Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm

  • Calver & Associates

WORK IN CANADA WITHOUT A TEMPORARY WORK PERMIT

Updated: Oct 9, 2019

A number of situations may occur when an individual can perform work in Canada without needing to secure a Temporary Work Permit. An individual who is eligible to work without a work permit may still require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada on a temporary basis.

The following scenarios have been identified as instances where foreign nationals may perform work in Canada without a work permit:


BUSINESS VISITORS


This broad category facilitates entry for individuals who engage in business or trade activities in Canada but will not enter the Canadian labour market. There are a number of subdivisions under this category, but all business visitors must meet the following general criteria:

There must be no intent to enter the Canadian labour market (there will be no gainful employment in the country);

  • The worker’s activity in Canada must be international in scope (it is assumed that a business visitor will engage in a cross-border activity of some sort);

  • For business visitors in Canada working for a foreign employer, the following criteria are assumed:

  • The primary source of the worker’s compensation is outside of CanadaThe principal place of employment is located outside of CanadaThe employer’s profits are accrued outside of CanadaWhen travelling to Canada, business visitors should be prepared to present immigration officials with documentation that attests to their desired status in Canada. This documentation will vary on a case-by-case basis. Often, items such as a letter of support from a parent company or letter of invitation from a Canadian company can help to bolster one’s likelihood of acceptance as a business visitor.

Business visitors may fall into the following sub-categories:

  • After Sales Service: After-sales service providers may come to Canada to repair, service, supervise installers, and set up and test commercial or industrial equipment. Such services must be detailed in the contract of sale for the equipment in Canada. Individuals coming to Canada to train prospective users or maintenance staff in the operation of specialized equipment may also fall under this category.

  • Board of Directors Meetings: Members of a board of directors who must enter Canada to attend a meeting are eligible to do so as business visitors. Though these individuals may be remunerated for their time in Canada, this does not constitute entry into the Canadian labour market.

EMPLOYEES OF SHORT-TERM TEMPORARY RESIDENTS


Individuals who are employed in a personal capacity, on a full-time basis, by temporary residents in Canada may be considered business visitors. An example of professions that may be eligible under this category includes domestic servants, personal assistants or live-in caregivers. If the short-term temporary resident, and subsequently their employee(s), extends their stay past 6 months, a Labour Market Opinion and Work Permit may need to be secured for the employee(s).


EMPLOYEES OF FOREIGN COMPANIES CONTRACTING CANADIAN COMPANIES


Situations arise in which foreign companies contract Canadian companies to provide services in Canada. In such a situation, the foreign company may wish to send one or more employees to Canada to ensure that the work is being carried out in a way that pleases the foreign company. If an employee of a foreign company is sent to Canada for this purpose, they may be considered a business visitor provided they fulfill the following criteria:

  • They remain an employee of the foreign company;

  • They remain on the payroll of the foreign company;

  • The foreign company remains the beneficiary of the employee’s efforts;

  • and The foreign company’s principal place of business remains outside of Canada.

  • A business visitor in this category may remain in Canada for up to two years.


CONTRACTING CANADIAN COMPANIES

Situations arise in which foreign companies contract Canadian companies to provide services in Canada. In such a situation, the foreign company may wish to send one or more employees to Canada to ensure that the work is being carried out in a way that pleases the foreign company. If an employee of a foreign company is sent to Canada for this purpose, they may be considered a business visitor provided they fulfill the following criteria:

  • They remain an employee of the foreign company;

  • They remain on the payroll of the foreign company;

  • The foreign company remains the beneficiary of the employee’s efforts; and

  • The foreign company’s principal place of business remains outside of Canada.

  • A business visitor in this category may remain in Canada for up to two years.


FOREIGN REPRESENTATIVES AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS

Foreign representatives, as well as their personal staff and family members, may work in Canada without a work permit. Foreign representatives should be accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). Diplomatic representatives o United Nations offices in Canada are also covered by this exception. Family members of foreign representatives must receive a ‘no objection letter’ by the Protocol Department of DFAIT in order to work without a work permit.


MILITARY PERSONNEL

Military and civilian personnel in Canada under the auspices of the Visiting Forces Act may work and study without permits. The families of these individuals are also covered by these exemptions. In addition, military personnel are exempt from requirements for a passport, from a temporary resident visa, and from foreign national medical examinations. Civilians and family members are still required to obtain these documents, if necessary.


FOREIGN GOVERNMENT OFFICERS

Canada is a party to agreements with other countries that call for an international exchange of government employees. Through such agreements, foreign workers may be brought to Canada to work for a department or agency in either the federal or provincial government(s). These individuals do not work for a foreign mission or organization and are not accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). Officers working in this capacity at an executive level require a contract from Canada’s Public Service Commission (PSC). Officers working below an executive capacity do not require a contract, though assignments lasting longer than three months should include a formal letter of agreement between the officer and their Canadian employer. Family members of officers covered under this exemption will generally be issued an open work permit or be exempted from the requirement for a permit while in Canada.


AMERICAN CROSS-BORDER MARITIME LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

Some cross-border law enforcement vessels are staffed by joint Canadian and American crews. These individuals work on both sides of the US/Canada border. When in Canadian territory, American crew members may fulfill their job duties without the need to secure further work authorization.


IN-FLIGHT SECURITY OFFICERS

Foreign IFSOs are designated by foreign governments to enforce safety on foreign aircrafts. Because they are designated by a foreign government, they may work in Canada without a work permit provided that their duties do not extend beyond providing security on board a foreign aircraft. IFSOs from countries that require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada must secure this visa in order to perform their duties in Canadian airspace.


ON-CAMPUS EMPLOYMENT

On-campus work authorization is valid for the duration of the study permit, provided the student remains in full-time studies. Employment may cover a range of standard jobs on campus. For institutions with multiple campuses, students may consider their work ‘on-campus’ if it takes place at a campus within the same municipality. An individual attending an institution with campuses in different cities is restricted to working on-campus in their city of residence. A student is eligible to work on-campus at their institution of study if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • They hold a valid study permit; and

  • They are a full-time student at one of the following types of schools: A public post-secondary institution (i.e. college or university) or a collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP)A college-level private institution in Quebec

  • A Canadian private institution authorized to confer degrees

Individuals working as research or teaching assistants off-campus as part of a research grant may be considered on-campus workers. The student must also fulfill the following additional criteria:

  • Be recommended by their academic department;

  • The work to be performed must be directed by a department head or faculty member; and

  • The work must take place in a research institute or program in an affiliated hospital or other research location.


PERFORMING ARTISTS

Many foreign performing artists may work in Canada without a work permit. However, some types of performers/performances require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and Work Permit.


ATHLETES AND TEAM MEMBERS

Professional or amateur athletes may travel to Canada to participate in sports activities or events in Canada either individually or as part of a team. Likewise, foreign coaches and trainers of foreign athletes, as well as other essential team members, may travel to Canada to participate in events.


NEWS REPORTERS, MEDIA CREWS

News reporters and their crews who come to Canada in order to report on events in the country may do so without a work permit. These can include journalists, provided the company they work for is not Canadian. However, this does not include managerial or clerical personnel unless these individuals are covering special events that will last for six months or less. Generally speaking, media crews who come to Canada to produce travelogues, documentaries, etc are required to secure work permits. However, such decisions are left to the discretion of the Canadian Visa Officer reviewing their application.


PUBLIC SPEAKERS

Guest speakers at events, commercial speakers and seminar leaders can present in Canada without needing a work permit. For the purposes of this exemption, ‘seminar’ is defined as a small class or intensive course of study no longer than five days. Commercial speakers in this category will have a vested interest in the event in which they are speaking. Usually, this means that they will rent a commercial space, advertise for the event, charge admission, etc. Commercial speakers who are hired by a Canadian entity must secure an LMIA and work permit for their time in Canada.


CONVENTION ORGANIZERS

This category covers individuals who come to Canada to organize a convention or conference, as well as the administrative support staff of the organizing committee. These events may be corporate meetings, trade shows, exhibitions, etc. Hands-on service providers, such as audio-visual specialists, are not included in this category. Convention organizers who have been hired to perform work for a Canadian event are not eligible to work without a work permit. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) define a ‘Canadian event’ as one that is held by an organization located and actively doing business in Canada. Individuals attending conferences and meetings are considered business visitors and are exempt from the requirement for a work permit.


CLERGY

An individual who preaches, oversees religious services or provides spiritual counselling as a profession may work in Canada without a work permit. Individuals may be ordained ministers, laypeople, or members of a religious order. It is not mandatory that the temporary worker be part of or share the beliefs of the particular religious community where they will work. The primary duties of the temporary worker should reflect a particular religious objective, such as providing religious instruction or promoting a particular faith. Persons who will be conducting charitable or religious work in Canada require a work permit; however, that permit is exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. Individuals seeking entry to Canada under this exemption should provide documentation attesting to the following:

  • The genuineness of the offer of employment; and

  • Their ability to minister to a congregation (credentials, past employment, etc.)


JUDGES, REFEREES, AND SIMILAR OFFICIALS

Judges, referees, etc may come to Canada to participate in international amateur sports, artistic, agricultural or cultural events and competitions. Amateur sports competitions should be organized by an international amateur sports organization and should be hosted by a Canadian organization. In this case, amateur is defined as a competition in which athletes are not paid to compete. Judges, referees and similar officials who will participate in professional sports competitions must receive a positive LMIA and work permit.


EXAMINERS AND EVALUATORS

Foreign professors and researchers may need to enter Canada in order to evaluate theses and projects conducted by their students. In this case, they may do so without obtaining a work permit.


EXPERT WITNESSES AND INVESTIGATORS

Experts who must enter Canada in order to conduct surveys or analyses that will be used as evidence, or who will testify as expert witnesses before a regulatory body or court of law, may do so without requiring a work permit.


HEALTH CARE STUDENTS

Foreign health care students studying at foreign institutions may participate in clinical clerkships or short-term practicums in Canada without obtaining work permits. Students may be studying in fields such as medicine, nursing, medical technology and occupational and physical therapy. Such practicums should be unpaid and last no more than four months. Foreign health care students who will be remunerated for their work, or who will spend more than four months in Canada, will require a work permit.


CIVIL AVIATION INSPECTORS

Flight operations and cabin safety inspectors may inspect commercial international flights without needing a work permit. Inspectors should be employed by a recognized aeronautical authority and hold valid documentation attesting to this fact.


AVIATION OR ACCIDENT INVESTIGATORS

Accredited representatives and advisors who are assisting in the investigation of an aviation accident or incident may do so without securing a work permit. The investigation should be conducted under the authority of the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act.


CREW

Crew members do not need a work permit if they are working on a means of transportation that is foreign-owned, not registered in Canada, and engaged primarily in international transportation. They may work in an operation, maintenance, or passenger service capacity. Laws governing work conducted by crews on different modes of transportation vary greatly. As such, it is important to make sure that one’s work will, in fact, be eligible for a work permit exemption before coming to Canada.


EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDERS

Workers who will enter Canada to provide services in times of emergency may do so without a work permit. The purpose of their work should be preserving life and property in the face of natural disasters or commercial accidents. Canada has specifically entered into agreements with the United States to facilitate the movement of emergency aid workers across the border between the two countries. These workers may be doctors or medical teams as well as appraisers and foreign insurance adjusters.


IMPLIED STATUS

Individuals may continue working under the conditions of an expired work permit (without an interim work permit), provided that they applied for a new work permit before the original expired. While waiting for a response on their application, they must remain in Canada to ensure implied status. Once a decision has been made, the applicant may either continue working under the conditions of their new permit, or they must leave Canada.


CONTACT CALVER & ASSOCIATES TODAY FOR HELP WITH ACHIEVING YOUR IMMIGRATION GOALS.

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