Work Permit Exceptions - Immigration Law Firm
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Work Permit Exceptions

Work Permit Exceptions

Exceptions to Canadian Work Permits

There are many individuals from all over the world who wish to contribute to an economy that is prosperous and progressive. In a lot of cases, foreign nationals desire to come to Canada to work and contribute to the Canadian economy. Of course, applying for a work permit and meeting the requirements is essential prior to coming to Canada to work. However, there are some exceptions for certain individuals who would like to come to Canada, who do not require a work permit to legally work. Therefore, in this article, I will address what a work permit is, who needs one and who doesn’t, and important information pertaining to work permits in Canada.

What is a Work Permit

A work permit is a permit that is authorized and provided to a foreign national that wishes to work in Canada and contribute to the Canadian economy. There are many steps that must be taken prior to applying for a work permit. For instance, the potential employer of the foreign national must first apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Additionally, once and if they receive a positive decision on their LMIA, then this will indicate that the hiring of a foreign worker for the specific company will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market. It will also show that the Canadian employer was not able to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the intended job. However, in some circumstances, an LMIA is not required before applying for the work permit.

Once the Canadian government authorizes a work permit for the foreign national to work in Canada, they will only be authorized to work for a specific time period which will ultimately be the validity time of the work permit. Keep in mind, work permits in Canada can be either issued as an open-work permit or an employer-specific work permit. In this article, I will be focusing on the employer-specific work permit. An employer-specific work permit means that the foreign national will only be authorized to work for the employer listed on the work permit. Moreover, Canada also has exceptions to who does not need to apply for a work permit prior to working in Canada.

Who Needs a Work Permit and Who Does Not

In Canada, there are specific circumstances that do not require a foreign national to obtain a work permit prior to working in Canada. For instance, Business Visitors do not require a valid work permit to work in Canada. Below is a detailed list of occupations that do not require a work permit.

  • Athlete / coach
  • Aviation accident / incident investigator
  • Business visitor
  • Civil aviation inspector
  • Clergy
  • Convention organizer
  • Crew member
  • Emergency service provider
  • Examiner & evaluator
  • Expert witness / investigator
  • Family member of foreign representative
  • Foreign government officer / representative
  • Health care student
  • Judge, referee or similar official
  • Military personnel
  • News reporter / film & media crew
  • Producer / staff member working on advertisements
  • Performing artist
  • Public speaker
  • Short-term highly-skilled worker
  • Short-term researcher
  • Student working off-campus
  • Student working on-campus

For each of these specific occupations, there are certain conditions that must be met and are required in order for the foreign national not to need a work permit. If, by any chance, the foreign national does not abide by the requirements of the occupation, they will then require a work permit to work in Canada.

An example of one of the occupations that do not require a work permit to work in Canada is the Business Visitor. Therefore, I will explain in more detail why these individuals do not require a work permit. These individuals do not contribute to the Canadian labour market as they usually come to Canada for business reasons for a company that is primarily situated outside of Canada. These companies also must make all of their profits and revenue outside of Canada. Canada identifies the following tasks as examples that could qualify as a business visitor:

  • The purchase of Canadian products and/or services on behalf of a business or a foreign government
  • Processing orders for purchases of Canadian products and/or services
  • Attending conferences, conventions, business meetings and/or trade fairs
  • Facilitating and assisting in after-sales service agreements (supervision, not labour)
  • Receiving training from a Canadian branch of a parent company from outside of Canada
  • Training for an employee within the Canadian subsidiary of a parent company from outside of Canada
  • On-site training from a Canadian company that you purchased products and/or services from

With all of the aforementioned information about exceptions to work permits in Canada in mind, it is important to always remember that the Canadian government interprets and analyzes these exceptions very narrowly. Immigration Canada will always look for a temporary resident visa or an ETA from any foreign national who is coming to Canada to work that is exempt from obtaining a work permit. Although they may be exempt from a work permit, they would not be exempt from having proper authorization to enter Canada. It is best to research what is needed from you if you are coming to Canada to work and you are unsure if you need a work permit or not.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned important information in consideration prior to applying for a Work Permit. Additionally, if you are unsure whether you need a work permit, it is always best to research beforehand. Applying for work permits in Canada is a difficult task to do on your own; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients apply and receive a valid work permit to work in Canada; we have also helped many clients determine whether or not they need a work permit. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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