What is a work permit?

Work permit is a legal document that grants authorization to foreigners so as to prove that they have met certain conditions, and are permitted to work for an employer in the foreign country. In Canada, work permit is often required by foreign nationals who intend to work for a Canadian employer. Depending on the type of job and your reason to perform some occupational duties in Canada, you may not need a work permit in all cases. Additionally, Canadian work permit is provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to foreign nationals. There are two types of work permits, which includes open work permit and employer-specific work permit. If you need an employer-specific work permit, your employer will have to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) on your behalf. Besides, if you prefer to work for any employer in Canada, you can apply and extend your work permit in Canada without LMIA by a Canadian employer.

Working without work permit in Canada

Based on particular conditions and circumstances, some foreign nationals do not require a work permit to legally work in Canada. Working without a work permit in Canada could be disastrous. Certain types of occupations offer you an exemption to work permit in Canada. Thus, you will be able to do your job in Canada while not requiring or holding a work permit. With regards to people’s inquiries on “can I work without work permit in Canada?”, the answer is YES, with consideration to some factors.

Here are some job instances and criterion that can make you not to need a work permit to work in Canada.

  1. If you are an athlete or coach for an international team that intends to play against a team in Canada. If you are under this condition, you do not need a Canada work permit to perform your duties;
  1. If you’re coming to Canada for business, and you do not have anything to do with her labour market;
  1. If you’re an academician, examiner or professor who intends to come to Canada for project supervision, academic research and theses, you are permitted to work with Canadian research groups or institutions without applying for a work permit;
  1. If you are a religious leader like a missionary, bishop or archbishop, you don’t need a work permit to offer spiritual counsels, lead worships, and preach about your belief in Canada;
  1. If you are a full-time international student that wants to work outside the campus (off-campus). Your study permit must still be valid. Also, you must be studying at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Under this condition, you’ll be granted the authorization to work for 20 hours on a weekly basis when routine activities are still in place in your institution. During scheduled breaks, you are allowed to work full time;
  1. If you are a full-time foreign student who is willing to work within the campus (on-campus). Basically, international students do not need a work permit to take jobs within the institution where they are studying;
  1. As a foreign national in Canada, you are also allowed to volunteer for a work without requiring a work permit. This exemption is offered to foreign holders of a tourist visa that are willing to volunteer for non-commercial farm works;
  1. If you are a medical or healthcare student on internship with a duration of 4 months;
  1. If you are a referee or judge for a cultural event between your home country and Canada;
  1. If you are a performing artist like a DJ, street performer, keyboardist, guitar player, WWE wrestler, or movie producer, work permits is not mandatory to you;
  1. If you are the organizer of an international conference, which is scheduled to be held in Canada;
  1. If you are a public speaker or a seminar leader with a purpose to fulfill in Canada, you do not need a Canadian work permit as long as your stay won’t exceed 5 days;
  1. If you are a military personnel who intends to perform his/her duties under Visiting Forces Act;
  1. If you work as a emergency service provider who protects people’s lives and property in several situations, including earthquake, tsunamis, hurricane, etc;
  1. If you are investigating an aviation accident, you are not obliged to obtain a work permit in order to carry out your job in Canada. However, the investigation must be executed under the Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act;
  1. You don’t need a work permit as a high-skilled worker that wants to execute a job in Canada for a short period of time. However, your job must be listed under National Occupational Classification skill type 0 or A. This enables you to be eligible to work in Canada for about 15 days without gaps in a period of 6 months. On the long run, you’ll be permitted to work without a work permit in Canada for about 30 days in each year;
  1. Working without work permit is applied to you if you’re a news reporter, member of a news crew, movie crew, etc. This doesn’t permit you to work for any Canadian employer. Journalists are also allowed to benefit from this exemption of work permit;
  1. Canadian work permit is not necessary for you if your spouse or close relation is a foreign representative. Moreover, you need accreditation by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and must have a gotten a letter of no objection from them. Hence, if you are on the lookout for how to work in Canada without a work permit, you can visit The Government of Canada’s immigration website to check whether your job requires a work permit or not. You can utilize this website as an online tool to find a job in Canada without a work permit.

Applying for a work permit in Canada without a job offer

If you’ve been asking yourself or other people that, “can I get a work permit without a job offer in Canada?, we are glad to inform you of its possibilities through open work permits and Canada Express Entry. Express Entry is ideal to skilled foreign nationals or tradesperson that wants to reside and work permanently in Canada. It requires the vast experience of the foreign national. Application for Canada Express Entry makes a letter of job offer to become an optional document for you. Thus, to be able to apply for Canada work permit without job offer, foreign nationals are required to select from any of these programs;

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FTWP)
  • A portion of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
  • The Canadian Experience Class

Documents required in applying for a work permit in Canada without a job offer

  1. A valid passport
  2. Proof of funds
  3. Proof of Canadian education or an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

Canada work permit without IELTS

As a foreign national who wants to get a Canadian work permit, you should note that you are not mandated to partake in any language proficiency test like International English Language Testing System (IELTS), TEF Canada (Test d’Evaluation de Français), or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP). However, you are permitted to procure a Canada work permit without partaking in IELTS. Language proficiency tests are are more required by foreign nationals who wants to become permanent residents of Canada.

Can you volunteer in Canada without a work permit?

Yes, but not always. This is possible if you are volunteering to work in a non-commercial farm without it being your major purpose of visit to Canada. This implies that you must have a different reason for coming to Canada, which does not involve volunteering. Thus, if your visit relates with tourism or to visit your family or friends, you may be eligible to get a volunteering job without work permit in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Working in Canada without Work Permit

  1. How to make money in Canada without a Work Permit?

Due to some unique reasons, you can be prompted to travel to Canada in order to offer your services within its environs. You should be careful not to violate any of Canada’s rules and regulations on work permit. If your job involves any of the listed occupations below, you may not need work permit to make money in Canada. Besides, some conditions can also exempt you from requiring a Canadian work permit.

  • Foreign government officials
  • News reporters
  • Athletes, coaches and sportsmen
  • Business visitors
  • Performing artists
  • Public speakers
  • Military personnel
  • Film crew members
  • Expert witness or investigators
  • Religious leaders like missionaries
  • Foreign full-time students with valid study permit
  • Official or representative of a foreign government
  • Volunteers of non-commercial farm works, etc.
  1. What happens if you work in Canada without a work permit?
  • It is considered as an illegitimate act for a foreign national to work in Canada without obtaining a work permit or holding a valid work permit. Offenders of this act are usually deported to their home country by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
  1. Can I apply for a work permit in Canada without a job offer?
  • Yes, via Canada Express Entry
  1. Can a US citizen work in Canada without a work permit?

Citizens of the United States of America (USA) also need to obtain a valid work permit in order to be authorized to work in Canada. Available types of Canada work permits for USA citizens includes The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) work permit, employer-specific work permit, as well as Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP).