Work permits

Working in Canada

Authorization to work

Work is any activity that:

  • you are paid to do, or
  • you are not paid to do but is a job that:
    • you would usually be paid for, or
    • would be a valuable work experience for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident (for example, an unpaid intern).


Pay includes money or commission:

  • an employer gives you,
  • you receive for a service, or
  • you receive for any other activity

You usually need a work permit to work in Canada

What is a Work Permit?


A work permit is

  • a written authorization to work in Canada
  • issued by an officer
  • to a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada
  • It is required if the employment location is in Canada, whether or not the employer is in Canada


There are different kinds of work permits:

An open work permit allows you to work for any Canadian employer in any occupation, providing flexibility and the ability to work experience

A closed work permit allows you to work only for a specific employer at a specific location at a specific role.

These work permits may be based on positive LMIA, LMIA exempt or issued under bilateral treaties like NAFTA.

Following foreign nationals may work in Canada without a work permit :

  • Athlete or Coach
  • Aviation Accident or Incident Investigator
  • Business Visitors
  • Civil Aviation Inspector
  • Convention Organizer
  • Crew Member
  • Emergency Service Provider
  • Examiner and Evaluator
  • Expert Witness or Investigator
  • 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
  • Religious Leader
  • Short-term work and 120-day work for researchers

Contact us today to assess your eligibility!