Work in Canada Without a Work Permit

Every year, thousands of skilled professionals make the move to Canada to pursue new and better opportunities to work in Canada.

Most will immigrate through economic immigration programs and systems such as the Express Entry System and its popularity seems to grow year after year. But did you know that having a certain occupation will allow you to work in Canada without a work visa?

In fact, there are over 20 jobs in Canada and multiple instances where a visa holder doesn’t require having a Canadian work permit

Some of these occupations fall within the aviation, religious, athletic, transportation, emergency response, events, and media sectors, to name a few.

Other instances such as traveling to Canada for business for a short stay or studying in Canada also do not require a working visa.

There are also various ways to move to Canada permanently which won't require having to apply for a temporary work permit, which may be a better option for you depending on your personal circumstances.

The opportunities to live and work in Canada are endless but finding the best way to get there isn't often as simple, which is why in this article we've outlined whether or not you need a work visa as well as some of the top pathways to take if you do.

But before we take a look at some of the popular immigration routes to Canada, let's take a look at whether or not you qualify for this fast-tracked route to working in Canada without a work permit. 

Temporary Jobs in Canada That Don’t Require a Work Visa

Multi-ethnic-group-of-forensic-examiners-at-office-table-studying-aircraft-wreckage | Canada work permit

So you aren’t quite sure if you’re quite ready to immigrate to Canada quite yet or you may simply be interested in finding work in Canada without the hassle of getting a work permit for Canada. Whatever your reasons are, it makes sense to check to see if your occupation or visa status is on this list before applying for a Canadian work permit.   

Below are some of the types of jobs in Canada that don’t require a work permit:   

Occupations that Don’t Need a Work Permit
Athlete or coach A foreign athlete, coach, or member of a foreign team competing in Canada
Aviation accident or incident investigatorAn accredited agent or adviser working on an aviation accident or incident investigation being done under the
Business VisitorA business professional coming to Canada to do business activities (will not be part of the Canadian labour market)
Civil aviation inspectorCheck the flight operations or cabin safety of commercial airlines during international flights
ClergyAssisting your congregations to reach spiritual goals
  • preaching doctrine
  • leading worship, or
  • providing spiritual counseling
eg. missionaries, monks, pastoral animators, archbishops, bishops
Convention OrganizerOrganize or run international meetings or conventions.
Crew MemberTruck driver, bus driver, or shipping or airline worker who:
  • works on foreign-owned and registered vehicles that are used mainly to transport cargo and passengers internationally, and
  • work is related to operating vehicles or serving passengers
Emergency service providerComing to Canada to help out in an emergency, preserve life or property. Emergencies include natural disasters, such as floods or earthquakes, or industrial accidents that threaten the environment
Examiner and evaluatorA 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 investigatorComing to Canada to give evidence before a regulatory body, tribunal, or court of law
A family member of a foreign representativeIf you:
  • You’re the spouse or child of a foreign representative;
  • You’re accredited (with a counterfoil in your passport) by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), or
  • You have a letter of no objection from GAC (normally issued only if there is a reciprocal employment arrangement with your home country).
Foreign Government officer or representative
  • an employee of another government who is working under an exchange agreement that lets officials work in government departments in Canada and your country;
  • a diplomat or official representative of another country, or
  • a diplomat or official representative of the United Nations and its staff
Health care student
  • 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 four months
Judge, referee or similar officialAn official at an international amateur competition who will judge or be an official for an artistic or cultural event, such as:
  • A music and dance festival,
  • An animal show, or
  • An agricultural contest
Military personnela member of an armed force of another country. You have movement orders stating that you’re entering Canada under the terms of the Visiting Forces Act
News reporter or film and media crew
  • 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 advertisementWorking on a foreign-financed commercial/advertising shoot for television, magazines, or other media and you’re:
  • a film producer,
  • an actor,
  • a director,
  • a technician, or
  • other essential personnel
Performing artist
  • you’re a foreign artist or the artist’s key support staff (people vital to the performance)
  • you will perform in Canada for a limited period of time
  • you’re 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.
Public speakerA guest speaker, commercial speaker, or seminar leader who is speaking at specific events, provided the event is no longer than five days
A short-term highly skilled workerCome to Canada as a high-skilled worker and
  • your job is under the NOC skill type 0 (managerial) or A (professional)
  • 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 researcherCome to Canada as a researcher
  • at a public degree-granting institution or affiliated research institution
  • who will work for 120 or fewer consecutive days
  • who has not worked in Canada under this exemption in the last 12 months
Student working off-campusYou can work for up to 20 hours per week during your semester and full-time over scheduled breaks
Student working on campusIf you work on your university campus or college where you study in Canada

Immigration Pathways to Canada That Don’t Require a Work Visa

arabian-businessman-shaking-hands-of-european-business-consultant | Canada work permit

If your occupation was not on the list and you’re looking for a way to get to Canada without having to apply for a work permit, then your next option is to immigrate to Canada. Below are two of the most popular Canadian immigration options with quick turn around times.  

Express Entry

In 2019, Canada's Express Entry system issued 332,331 invitations for Canadian permanent residency which is 20 percent more than the previous year.

Although this is not a temporary route to work in Canada, many are unaware that by becoming a permanent resident of Canada you do not need a work permit.    

You will be able to work in Canada legally for as long as you want, granted you meet your chosen immigration program’s requirements

There are 3 main programs under the Express Entry System:

  • the Federal Skilled Worker Program;
  • the Federal Skilled Trade Program; and
  • the Canada Experience Class

The great part about the Federal Skilled Worker Program is that you don’t need a job to qualify as with the Federal Skilled Trade Program or the Canada Experience Class.   

Although these programs do not require a work permit, what you can do while waiting on your permanent residency status is apply for a work permit if you have a job that urgently requires you to start as soon as possible.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is another great option to work in Canada without a work permit however you will need a job offer to qualify. 

The quickest way to apply is through an Express Entry linked program, which will take more or less 6 months to process.  

The other alternative is to apply directly to your province of choice however this could take up to 18 months to process unless you’re applying to one of the following provinces:

Provinces with Quick Direct Application Processing Times

  • British Columbia (2 -3 months)
  • Alberta (6 months)

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

Fancy yourself living on the coast and want to enjoy cool temperate climates with beautiful scenic views and live in Canada at a fraction of the cost. Why not try one of Canada’s maritime provinces. British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador, all offer great opportunities for skilled workers or local graduates who want to live and work in Canada. By applying to the AIP you will become a permanent resident which means you won’t need a work permit.

For more information on The Atlantic Immigration Pilot visit our website here.

Canadian Visa Applications Can Be Simpler Than You Think

happy-african-american-businessman-relaxing-having-coffee-behind-laptop-at-desk |  Canadian Work Permit

Applying for a Canadian work visa can be time-consuming and confusing. With strict deadlines, procedures, and requirements to adhere to, it can be easy to make a mistake that could cost you your chance to work in Canada. But with the guidance and assistance of one of our knowledgeable Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC’s), the process will be stress-free. 

When you choose to use our expert and government trusted services, you will receive:

  • An in-depth eligibility assessment
  • Guidance on which of 100+ immigration programs and visas to choose from;
  • An immigration plan tailored to your individual needs;
  • A review and submission of all application forms and documentation; as well as
  • Support through every step of the application process.

All you have to do is fill out our application form to receive your eligibility assessment and let us take care of the rest. It’s just that simple! Your Canadian journey starts here.

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