Working without a Work Permit in Canada

If you initially secure an offer from a business who can sponsor you, your prospects of locating work in Canada without a work permit will be significantly increased. If no jobs are available, your sole choice is to obtain a work visa by engaging in one of the following alternative activities: working illegally, working undercover, or engaging in unpaid work experience. Let's examine the issues and hazards associated with each choice.

Working without a Work Permit in Canada

Ever wished you could work in Canada? Do you possess expertise that could be beneficial to one of our cities? If so, you might be curious as to whether any work permits exist that would enable visitors to this country to find jobs. Unfortunately, this work visa is not currently permitted by Canadian immigration laws. But even without one, finding work in Canada is still feasible! I have for you here how to go about it.

Most foreign people who want to work in Canada need a work permit and a legal document allowing them to work and be paid by Canadian employers. A foreign national may occasionally work in Canada without work authorization.

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Basic Requirements

All employees, including those working without a work permit, are subject to specific duties and privileges. Regardless of your work type, your employer must pay you at least the minimum wage and offer a secure workplace. It is crucial to understand that your employer can fire you if you work without a work permit. The threat made by your employer to contact the police or the immigration authorities is untrue and won't hold up in court, so they can't do it. If you work without a work visa, you do not require a contract of employment or an offer letter as evidence of occupation. Could you report it to the Ministry of Labour if you have received unfair treatment from your employer or superiors, such as getting paid less than the minimum wage or not receiving enough time off for rest?

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Residency

To work in Canada, foreign nationals and permanent residents must have a work permit. When you are on vacation or visiting family, this rule does not apply. Also, you should know that an electronic travel authorization is required if your stay lasts for six months or fewer (ETA). Before departing your home country, you must apply for an open work permit with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada if you intend to stay longer than six months. You can use the Government of Canada website to apply for a co-op/internship or job authorization once you've arrived in Canada. So as you know, there is a $150 cost for each application.

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Students visas

If you are an international student, you may work up to 20 hours a week on or off campus with the permission of your study permit. You must be a full-time student with enough money to support yourself throughout your studies. It is unlawful for you to work in Canada if you are not qualified for this work permit. You have two options in these situations: either you apply for an Off-Campus Work Permit (OCWP), which only permits you to work while attending a Canadian institution, or you apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), which allows you to live and work in Canada.

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Graduate Student Work Permits

You may be eligible for Postgraduate Work Permits if you are a Canadian who has completed your education but does not meet the requirements for Permanent Residency (PR). With these permissions, international students can work for three years following graduation. To qualify for this permit, applicants must meet the following requirements: -Graduate from a program at an accredited university after completing at least two academic years of full-time study there; -Maintain full-time enrollment throughout their program of study; -Obtain employment verification from a company within four months of receiving their degree or certificate; -Apply for their work permit within 90 days of completing their degree or certificate program.

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International Experience Class (IEC)

The International Experience Class is for international students who want to work temporarily and explore the Canadian job market. There are two categories of IEC: open work permits and employer-specific work permits. With a real work permit, you can apply to any Canadian employer; with an employer-specific work permit, you can only apply to the employer that has sponsored you. You will need to show evidence of adequate funds (e.g., bank statements) or proof that your company has arranged to fund your stay in Canada (e.g., a letter from HR). For more information, contact Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

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 Types of jobs in Canada that DO NOT require a Work Permit

The following jobs may not require a work permit for foreign nationals to engage in Canadian employment. Just to let you know, simple inclusion on this list does not mean a person will be eligible for a work permit exemption. To qualify for a work permit exemption, a person’s job must be on this list and meet the additional exemption criteria for their specific job as outlined on the International Mobility Program webpage.

  •     Athlete oCoachch
  •     Aviation accident or incident investigator
  •     Business visitor
  •     Civil aviation inspector
  •     Clergy
  •     Convention organizer
  •     Crew member
  •     Emergency service provider
  •     Examiner and evaluator
  •     Expert witness or investigator
  •     Family member of a foreign representative
  •     Foreign government officer or representative
  •     Healthcare, student
  •     Judge, referee, or similar official
  •     Military personnel
  •     News reporter or film and media crew
  •     Producer or 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

If a foreign national is employed in one of the positions or scenarios listed above, they may be eligible for a work permit exemption.

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Athlete or Coach

You might not need a work permit if you are a foreign national competing in Canada as a member of a foreign athletic team. This clause covers athletes, coaches, and other teammates on international teams. You need a work permit if you are a member of a Canadian team.

Aviation accident or incident investigator

Suppose you are accredited as an agent or adviser to investigate aviation accidents/or other incidents. In that case, you may be exempt from requiring a work permit to carry out such investigative work in Canada. To qualify for the exemption, the investigation must be under Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act.

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Business visitor

Business Visitors are foreign nationals who travel to Canada to undertake business activities but do not enter the Canadian labor market. If you meet the definition of a business visitor, you may be exempt from requiring a Canadian work permit.

So that you know, there is a significant difference between a business visitor and a business person; please ensure that you meet the definition to qualify for the exemption.

Civil aviation inspector

If you are employed to check the flight operations and cabin safety of international flights through Canada, you may qualify for a work permit exemption.

Clergy

Suppose you are a foreign national who is an ordained minister, a layperson, or a member of a religious order. In that case, you may qualify for a work permit exemption to undertake pastoral work in Canada. Your duties in Canada may include the following: preaching doctrine, leading worship, and giving spiritual counseling.

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Convention organizer

If you organize or run international conventions or international meetings, you may qualify for a work permit exemption. Just so you know, this exemption only applies to organizers, those providing hands-on services (audio-visual services, for example) during these conventions must have the appropriate work authorization.

Crew member

You may qualify for a work permit exemption if you are a foreign national truck driver, bus driver, shipping, or airline worker. To be eligible for the exemption, your employment must meet two conditions:

  • You must be working on vehicles that are owned and registered by enterprises outside of Canada which are used to transport cargo and passengers internationally; and
  • Your work must be related to the operation of the vehicles and serving passengers.

Emergency service provider

You may qualify for a work permit exemption if you are a foreign national working in Canada to provide services during an emergency. Your services must be to help preserve life and property in Canada. Emergencies include natural disasters, like fires or floods, and industrial accidents, that threaten the environment.

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Examiner and evaluator

If you are a foreign national professor or academic expert, you may be eligible for a work permit exemption to undertake certain activities in Canada. These activities include evaluating and supervising academic projects, research proposals, and theses. You may be employed by a Canadian educational institution or research group.

Expert witness or investigator

If you work in Canada to provide evidence before a regulatory body, a tribunal, or a court of law, you may be eligible for a work permit exemption.

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A family member of a foreign representative

If you are a spouse, child, or foreign representative, you may be eligible for Canadian work permit exemptions. To qualify, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must be accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), including a GAC counterfoil in your passport.
  • You must have a letter of no objection issued by GAC. This letter usually is only issued if a reciprocal employment agreement exists between Canada and another country.

Foreign government officer or representative

You may qualify for a work permit exemption if you meet any of the three following conditions:

  • You are an employee of a foreign government working under an exchange agreement allowing officials to work in governments in your country and Canada.
  • You are a foreign diplomat or official representative of another country.
  • You are a foreign diplomat or official representative of the United Nations.

Employees of other governments must obtain an official letter if they are employed in Canada for longer than three months.

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Health care student

Suppose you are a foreign national studying in a healthcare field in Canada and wish to undertake employment as part of a training program. In that case, you may be eligible for a work permit exemption. To qualify for the exemption, you must meet the four following conditions:

  • You must be participating in clinical clerkships.
  • The main goal of your employment is for training purposes.
  • You must have written approval from the local regulatory body which regulates your profession (please note that not all provinces require this).
  • Your training must last less than four months.

You will require a work permit if you do not meet these conditions.

Judge, referee, or similar official

If you are a foreign national traveling to Canada to judge or be an official at an international amateur competition, you may qualify for a work permit exemption. The following  types of events are eligible for this exemption:

  • Music and dance festivals.
  • Animal shows.
  • Agricultural contests.

Military personnel

If you are a member of another country's armed forces, you may be eligible for a work permit exemption in Canada. To qualify for this exemption, you must have movement orders stating that you are entering Canada under the Visiting Forces Act.

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News reporter or film and media crew

You may qualify for a work permit exemption if you are a foreign national working in Canada as a news reporter or on a film and media crew. To qualify, you must meet one of the following conditions:

  • You must be a news reporter or a member of a news reporter’s crew.
  • You must be a film or media crew member who will not enter the Canadian labor market.
  • You must be a journalist who works for a print, radio, television or web-based publication which is not Canadian.
  • You must be a resident correspondent.
  • You must be a manager or clerical staff member of an event of fewer than six months.

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Producer or staff member working on advertisements

If you enter Canada to work on a foreign-financed commercial/advertising shoot for television, magazines, or other media, you may qualify for a work permit exemption. To be eligible, you must have one of the following roles:

  • Film producer
  • Actor
  • Director
  • Technician
  • Other essential personnel

This exemption only applies to short-term employment, usually lasting no more than two weeks.

Performing artist

Foreign performing artists are eligible to work in Canada without a work permit. To qualify for this exemption, the foreign national must meet several requirements:

  • You are the foreign artist or the artist’s key support staff.
  • You will perform in Canada for a limited period.
  • You will not be hired for ongoing Canadian employment by the group which contracted you.
  • You will not be involved in creating a television, radio, or film broadcast.

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Public speaker

If you are a foreign national, a guest speaker, a commercial speaker, or a seminar leader, you may qualify for a work permit exemption. Only speakers at events lasting no longer than five days are eligible for this exemption.

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Final thought

There you have it, then. Living in Canada as an international student has several advantages, of which work permits are only one. You can work both on and off campus without a work permit. But you'll need one if you wish to go into business or work for yourself. Keep this knowledge in mind when considering what kind of employment to take while in Canada.