When Foreign Nationals Can Work Without A Work Permit in Canada?

Foreign nationals planning to work in some jobs do not need a work permit. Read about jobs and programs when a work permit is not required to work in Canada.

Work Permit Is Not Required For Some Jobs Or Programs In Canada

A work permit is not needed to perform jobs from the below list.  Still,  a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization to enter Canada would be required to enter Canada.

Athlete Or Coach

Foreign athletes, coaches or members of a foreign team competing in Canada do not need a work permit. However, if you will work for a Canadian team, you need a work permit.

Aviation Accident Or Incident Investigator

An accredited agent or adviser working on an aviation accident or incident investigation being done under the Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act do not need a work permit.

Business Visitor

A business visitor who comes to Canada to take part in international business activities do not need a work permit. A business visitor is not a part of the Canadian labour market. Business visitors usually stay in Canada for a few days or a few weeks but are able to stay for up to six months.

However, business people – professionals, intra-company transferees, and traders and investors – do need a work permit!

Civil Aviation Inspector

Civil aviation inspectors who check the flight operations or cabin safety of commercial airlines during international flights do not need a work permit.


You do not need a work permit if you are planning to work in Canada as a member of the clergy, an ordained minister, layperson or member of a religious order. Your duties, in that case, may include preaching doctrine, leading worship or giving spiritual counselling.

Convention Organizer

You do not need a work permit if you organize or run international meetings or conventions. However, you must have a work permit if you are providing audiovisual services, doing show decorating, and building, setting up and taking down displays.

Crew Member

You do not need a work permit if you are working on foreign-owned and registered vehicles that are used mainly to transport cargo and passengers internationally.

For example, you may be a truck driver, bus driver, or shipping or airline worker and your job duties are related to operating vehicles or serving passengers.

Emergency Service Provider You do not need a work permit if you will be in Canada to help preserve life or property in an emergency. Emergencies include natural disasters, such as floods or earthquakes, or industrial accidents that threaten the environment.

Examiner And Evaluator

You do not need a work permit if you are a professor or academic expert who evaluates or supervises academic projects, research proposals or university theses. You may work for Canadian research groups or schools.

Expert Witness Or Investigator

You do not need a work permit if will give evidence before a regulatory body, tribunal or court of law in Canada.

Family Member Of A Foreign Representative

You do not need a work permit if you will work in Canada as a family member (i.e., spouse or child) of a foreign representative. You must be accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and have a letter of no objection from GAC.

Foreign Government Officer Or Representative

You do not need a work permit if you’re an employee of another government who is working under an exchange agreement, a diplomat or official representative of another country, or of the United Nations and its staff.

Health Care Student

You do not need a work permit if you’re doing clinical clerkships, the main goal of your work is training, you have written approval from the board that regulates your job (note that certain provinces do not need written approval), and your training will last less than 4 months.

Judge, Referee Or Similar Official

You do not need a work permit if you are an official at an international amateur competition and you will judge or be an official for an artistic or cultural event. Cultural events include music and dance festivals, an animal show, or an agricultural contest.

Military Personnel

You do not need a work permit if you are a member of an armed force of another country. You must have movement orders stating that you’re entering Canada under the terms of the Visiting Forces Act.

News Reporter Or Film And Media Crew

You do not need a work permit if you are:

  • a news reporter or member of a reporter’s crew,
  • a member of a film or media crew who will not enter the Canadian labour market,
  • a journalist who works for a print, broadcast or Internet news service (journal, newspaper, magazine, television show, etc.) and your company is not Canadian,
  • a resident correspondent, or
  • a manager and or member of clerical staff, as long as the event is short term (six months or less).

Producer Or Staff Member Working On Advertisements

You do not need a work permit if you’re working on a foreign-financed commercial/advertising shoot for television, magazines or other media and you are a film producer, an actor, a director, a technician, or other essential personnel. You must be entering Canada for a short period of time, usually no more than 2 weeks.

Performing Artist

You do not need a work permit if you are a foreign artist or the artist’s key support staff vital to the performance in Canada for a limited period of time. This means you are not being hired for ongoing employment by the Canadian group that has contracted you, and you’re not involved in making a movie, television or radio broadcast.

For example, a foreign-based band or theatre group and their key crew, street performers (buskers), disc jockeys, members of a foreign or travelling circus, guest artists working within a Canadian performance group for a limited time, World Wrestling Entertainment wrestlers (and members of similar groups), people who will perform 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 will not enter the labour market, and to business visitors) and people doing guest spots on Canadian television and radio broadcasts (guest speakers), such as news programs.

Public Speaker

You do not need a work permit if you’re a guest speaker, commercial speaker or seminar leader who is speaking at specific events, provided the event is no longer than 5 days.

Short-Term Highly-Skilled Worker

You do not need a work permit if you will come to Canada as a high-skilled worker and your job is under the NOC skill type 0 (managerial) or A (professional) and you will only work for up to 15 consecutive days once every six months or up to 30 consecutive days once every year.

Short-Term Researcher

You do not need a work permit if you will come to Canada as a researcher at a public degree-granting institution or affiliated research institution.

You will work for 120 or fewer consecutive days and has not worked in Canada under this exemption in the last 12 months.

Student Working Off-Campus

Full-time international students can work off-campus without a work permit up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions, and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.

Student Working On-Campus

You do not need a work permit if you if you’re a full-time international student to work on the campus of the university or college where you study.

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