Undoubtedly, most foreign nationals who wish to work in Canada require a work permit, which is a legal document that authorizes a foreign national to legally work in Canada and receive compensation from a Canadian employer. However, in a few certain circumstances, a foreign national may work in Canada without a work permit. Every year, Canada welcomes hundreds of thousands of temporary workers. There have been several situations that may occur when an individual can perform work in Canada without a requirement to secure a Temporary Work Permit.
International workers do require a Canadian work permit, however, there are a few exceptions. Below mentioned are a few scenarios that have been identified as instances where foreign workers may work in Canada without a work permit:
This is a broad category that facilitates the entry of applicants who involve in business or trade activities in Canada but will not enter the Canadian labour market. There are various subdivisions mentioned under this category, but all business visitors must meet the following criteria:
• There must be no intent to enter the Canadian labour market
• The worker’s activity in Canada must be international in scope
For business visitors in Canada working for a foreign employer, the following criteria are required:
- The primary source of the worker’s compensation is outside of Canada
- The principal place of employment is located outside of Canada
- The employer’s profits are accrued outside of Canada
While traveling to Canada, business visitors must be prepared to prove to immigration officials with required documentation that attests to their stay in Canada. This documentation is different on a case-by-case basis. Frequently, documents such as a letter of support from a parent company or a letter of invitation from a Canadian company help to strengthen one’s chances of acceptance as a business visitor. Business visitors can fall into the following sub-categories:
After Sales Service
After-Sales Service providers can visit Canada to repair, service, supervise installers, and set up and test commercial or industrial equipment. These services must be mentioned in detail in the contract of sale for the equipment in Canada. Visitors to Canada can train prospective users or maintenance staff under this category.
Board of Directors Meetings
Members of a board of directors who are required to enter Canada can attend a meeting and are eligible to do as business visitors. However, these individuals may be remunerated for their stay in Canada, this does not involve entry into the Canadian labour market.
Employees of Short-Term Temporary Residents
People who are employed in a personal capacity, on a full-time basis, by temporary residents in Canada must be considered business visitors. Professions such as domestic servants, personal assistants, or live-in caregivers are considered eligible under this category. In case, the stay exceeds more than 6 months, a Labour Market Impact Assessment and Work Permit are required for the employees.
Employees of Foreign Companies Contracting Canadian Companies
This happens when an international company contract Canadian companies to offer services in Canada. In this situation, the foreign company may wish to offer one or more employees to Canada to make sure that the work is being fulfilled in a way that gratifies the foreign company.
Foreign Representatives and their Family Members
Foreign representatives and their personal staff and family members may work in Canada without a work permit. Foreign representatives must be attributed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). Diplomatic representatives to United Nations offices in Canada are also included in this exception. Family members of the foreign representative must have a ‘no objection letter’ by DFAIT to work in Canada without a work permit.
Military and civilian personnel in Canada under the Visiting Forces Act may work and study without permits. The families of these individuals are also covered by these exemptions.
Foreign Government Officers
Canada is a party to agreements with other countries that allows the international exchange of government employees. Through such agreements, international workers may work for a department or agency in either the federal or provincial government.
American Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Officers
Few cross-border law enforcement is employed by joint Canadian and American crews. These workers may work on both sides of the US/Canada border. When in Canadian territory, American crew members may perform their job duties without a work permit.
In-Flight Security Officers
Foreign IFSOs are usually nominated by foreign governments to administer safety on foreign aircraft. As they are elected by a foreign government, they can work in Canada without a work permit.
There are numerous other scenarios wherein a foreign worker may work in Canada without a work permit, here’s a list of
– On-Campus Employment
– Performing Artists
– Athletes and Team Members
– News Reporters, Media Crews
– Public Speakers
– Convention Organizers
– Judges, Referees, and Similar Officials
– Examiners and Evaluators
– Expert Witnesses and Investigators
– Health Care Students
– Civil Aviation Inspectors
– Aviation or Accident Investigators
– Emergency Service Providers
– Maintained Status