Who is Eligible to Work in Canada Without a Work Permit?

Who is Eligible to Work in Canada Without a Work Permit?

Manmeet Kaur Manmeet Kaur
[Published 15 Apr, 2024 | 12:03 PM]
About Author - 10 min read

You can work in Canada without a work permit!

You heard that right!

Canada allows certain groups of people to work in Canada without a proper work visa. Though it is true that to work for in-demand occupations in Canada, you need to apply for a work permit from India - but there are exceptions.

There are 22 groups that the Canadian government has allowed to explore promising work opportunities and work in the country.

Apply for Work in Canada from India

Who is exempt from obtaining a work permit in Canada?

Before we dive into the list, one thing you should keep in mind is that simply being listed on this list does not mean you are eligible for this exemption. You only qualify for this exemption if:

  • Your job is on this list.
  • You meet the additional exemption criteria on your specific job, outlined on the International Mobility Program webpage.
If you are employed in one of the below-listed jobs or scenarios, you may be eligible to work without a permit:

1. Athlete or Coach

Indian athletes and coaches, both professional and amateur can travel to Canada for individual or team-based sports events. Similarly, coaches, trainers, or other members of the team also qualify to come to Canada and partake in these events. The spouses of professional athletes are qualified for an LMIA-exempt work permit for their time in Canada.

2. Business visitors

Business owners and entrepreneurs in India can travel to Canada and work without a work permit - if they do not enter the Canadian labour market. Your intention as a business visitor from India should be clear and not to get involved in Canada’s labour market. Also, your activity in Canada should be international in scope. Provide proper documentation to the visa officer - your intended status and a support letter from the parent company or an invitation letter from the company in Canada.

3. Aviation accident or incident investigator

If you are a qualified agent or adviser who investigates aviation accidents and/or other incidents, you do not require a work permit in Canada. However, to be eligible, the investigation must be carried out under the Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act.

4. Civil aviation inspector

You do not need a work permit to work in Canada, if you are hired to ensure the flight operations and cabin safety of international flights through Canada.

Who is exempt from obtaining a work permit in Canada?

5. Crew member

Indian crew members working on vehicles owned by companies outside of Canada, which are not registered in Canada and are mainly engaged in international transportation - do not need work permits. To qualify, your work should be related to operations, maintenance, or passenger service roles.

6. Emergency service provider

You may not require a work permit if you are working to provide emergency services in Canada. The services should include helping preserve lives and/or property in Canada in times of natural disasters like fires or floors or industrial accidents.

7. Clergy

Individuals in India who are in the profession of overseeing religious services, preaching, or providing spiritual counselling - are allowed to work in Canada with a work permit. This applies to ordained ministers, laypeople, or members of a religious order. For this, provide documents that confirm the authenticity of the job offer and their capacity to minister to a congregation.

8. Convention organizer

Those who are organizing or running international conventions or meetings can work in Canada easily. Note that not needing a work permit for this job applies to organizers - provide hands-on services at such conventions and have proper work authorization.

9. Examiner and evaluator

Professors or academic experts in India are eligible to work in the Great White North without a permit. While you work in a Canadian educational institution or a research group, your work must include evaluating or supervising academic projects, research proposals, and theses.

10. Expert witness or investigator

If you are employed in Canada to provide proof before a regulatory body, court of law, or tribunal, you may be allowed a work permit exemption.

11. Foreign government officer or representative

To work in Canada as a foreign government officer or representative, you must be employed by a foreign government working under an exchange agreement and must be a diplomat or an official representative of India. Indians employed in Canada for more than 3 months must obtain an official letter if they are employees of other governments.

12. Family member of a foreign representative

For family members of foreign representatives to work without a work permit, they must obtain a 'no objection letter' from the Protocol Department of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).

13. Healthcare students

International students enrolled in healthcare programs are eligible to work in clinical clerkships or short-term practicums in Canada without a work permit. Medicine, medical technology, nursing, and occupational and physical therapy are fields they can work in. Note that these practicums have to be unpaid and only for four months.

14. Judges, referees, and similar officials

Indians can travel to Canada to judge or be an official at an international amateur competition without a work permit. They cannot participate in these amateur sports competitions. However, if they intend to partake, they have to undergo a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and obtain a Canada work permit.

15. Military personnel

If you are a part of the Indian armed forces, stationed in Canada, you do not need a work permit for Canada. Families also qualify for this exemption. However, to be eligible for this exemption, you should have movement orders mentioning that you are entering Canada under the Visiting Forces Act.

16. Performing artist

You can work in Canada without a work permit as a performing artist from India but you need to meet certain conditions. First of all, you have to be an artist or the artist’s main support staff. Second, you have to perform in Canada for a limited time. Third, you will not be employed for any ongoing employment in Canada by the group who contacted you. Lastly, you cannot be a part of creating a broadcast for television, radio, or film.

Talk to an Expert

17. Public speaker

Indian nationals who are guest speakers, commercial speakers, or seminar leaders are allowed by the Canadian government to immigrate to Canada from India and be employed in Canada without a work permit. Note that you can only be eligible if are speaking at an event that lasts no longer than five days.

18. News reporter or film and media crew

If you are working in Canada as a new reporter or on a movie set or media crew, you can qualify for this exemption. However, you have to be a news reporter or a member of the crew. You must be a member of a film or media crew and don’t intend to enter the labour market of Canada. Also, you should be a journalist who is employed for print, radio, television, or web-based publications which is not Canadian. You must be a resident correspondent and a manager or clerical staff member of an event of less than six months duration.

19. Producer or staff member working on advertisements

Indians who are coming to Canada to work on a foreign-financed commercial or advertising shoot for TV, magazines, or other types of media platforms, can be eligible for a work permit exemption. To qualify, you must be either a film producer, director, actor, technician or other essential personnel. One more thing, this exemption is only applied to those on a short-term job, not more than two weeks.

20. Short-term highly skilled worker

If you have skilled work experience and live outside of Canada, you may be eligible to work in Canada without a work permit - for a short period. Just make sure a certain time passes between each exemption. Under the conditions for this, if you are working for a job under NOC Skill Level 0 or A, you may be exempt from requiring a work permit for a short amount of work in Canada.

Also, you have to work for 15 consecutive calendar days or less and six months have passed since the first day of work under the previous use of this exemption. Otherwise, you have to work for 30 consecutive calendar days or less and 12 months must have passed since the first day of work under the prior use of this exemption.

21. Short-term researcher

Some Indian nationals coming to Canada for short-term research may qualify to work without a permit. This condition only applies if they are undertaking research at a public degree-granting institution or affiliated research institution. They must be working for 120 or fewer repeated days. Lastly, they must not have used this work permit exemption within the last 12 months.

22. Students working on and off-campus

If you are a full-time student from India in Canada, you do not need a work permit to get employed off-campus during your studies. You will be allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during study sessions and full-time during regularly scheduled academic holidays and breaks. Similarly, you can work on-campus without a work permit for up to 20 hours per week during study periods and full-time during scheduled breaks.

Finding a job in Canada | Things to do, process, and tips from experts!

If you fall under any of the listed categories and meet the requirements, you can immigrate to Canada - without a work permit.

Need help?

If you are in search of better work opportunities and want professional growth, connect with Nationwide Visas, the best immigration consultants in India who have 17 years of experience in successfully assisting thousands of Indians to achieve their dream of settling abroad.

Start your process today!

Read More on Quora:- Has anyone found a job in Canada from India?


Surendra Kumar Singh

I am M.Sc.Chemistry and Deploma in textile chemistry.I have 28yrs experience in production and quality sector.I have confident and beleive on my skill and experience to lead me in success in my smooth working.

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