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Friday, August 19, 2022

Can I Find Jobs in Canada Without a Work Permit?

by Kouthar Sambo, May 20th, 2022

5 mins

Can I Find Jobs in Canada Without a Work Permit?

If you’re a skilled worker who has what it takes to move to Canada, you may ask yourself: can I find jobs in Canada without a work permit?

With over 100 immigration programs to choose from, the Canadian government tries to simplify the immigration process by ensuring that these programs meet various needs and circumstances.

It’s worth mentioning that most applicants would need a work permit to immigrate to Canada. But do not sweat it. We’ll break down some of the immigration programs you can apply to that’ll lead you to getting a work permit in Canada so you can live and work in Canada.

But first, let’s start by looking at what the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRCC) defines “work” as:

“An activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned, or that competes directly with activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labor market.”

Below is a breakdown of the above terms:

Wages or commission:

A payment or remuneration that is being paid by the employer to the foreign national for performing certain tasks or fulfilling a service.

What is meant by “an activity that competes directly”?

The officer will check whether or not it is an activity that a Canadian or permanent resident can do; or if a foreign national will be conducting any business that can be seen as competitive in the Canadian marketplace.

Should the response be ‘yes’, then the applicant’s activities in Canada will be considered work. Depending on the nature or circumstances of the applicant, there are instances where foreign nationals can work in Canada without a work permit.

  • Below are scenarios where foreign nationals can find jobs in Canada without a work permit:
  • Business Visitors
  • Foreign Representatives and their Family Members
  • Military Personnel
  • Foreign Government Officers
  • American Cross-Border Maritime Law Enforcement Officers
  • In-Flight Security Officers
  • On-Campus Employment
  • Performing Artists
  • Athletes and Team Members
  • News Reporters, Media Crews
  • Public Speakers
  • Convention Organizers
  • Clergy
  • Judges, Referees, and Similar Officials
  • Examiners and Evaluators
  • Expert Witnesses and Investigators
  • Health Care Students
  • Civil Aviation Inspectors
  • Aviation or Accident Investigators
  • Crew
  • Emergency Service Providers
  • Maintained Status

For more information about occupations that do not need a work permit, you can visit our website here.

Alternatively, feel free to get in touch with our knowledgeable Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) to guide you through the process of getting a work permit in Canada.

Are There Immigration Pathways That Don’t Require a Work Permit in Canada?

For those asking: Can I Find Jobs in Canada Without a Work Permit? The answer is, yes. If you’re wanting to move to Canada without a work permit, there is a way around this. Is your occupation not on the list of authorized persons who can live and work in Canada without a work permit? If yes, then you can apply to the immigration options below:

Express Entry

Express Entry is an online system driven by points that yields quicker immigration results for those who want to live and work in Canada. The system is designed to filter and manage applications of skilled workers and those seeking permanent residence in Canada. Candidates with the most points will get an invitation to apply (ITA).

  • The system comprises three immigration programs. These are:
  • Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Eligibility Factors For Each Program Under The Express Entry System

Federal Skilled Worker (FSW):

Applicants applying under this program should be skilled workers with the ability to demonstrate their work experience, language ability (English or French) and education. Furthermore, foreign nationals would have to prove that they have a valid job offer in Canada and that they’s able to adapt to the working culture.

Federal Skilled Trades (FST):

If you’re a skilled worker wondering: can I find jobs in Canada without a work permit? Then this program is for you. The program is aimed at skilled workers who wish to gain permanent residency in Canada. Eligible applicants will be selected based on their ability to show that they are qualified in their trade. Applicants will be assessed on their language ability and should be proficient in reading, writing, listening and speaking. When it comes to work experience, candidates should have two years of work experience in the specific trade they are applying for within the five years prior to application.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC):

This program is aimed at skilled workers with Canadian work experience who wish to become a permanent resident of Canada. Skilled workers should have one year skilled work experience and this should be shown in the last three years prior to the application. Candidates are also assessed on their language ability to show proficiency in English or French.

Let’s also take a look at the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) – these are additional immigration options. These programs are aimed at simplifying the immigration process for those looking to immigrate to Canada without a work permit.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

The Provincial Nominee Program is aimed at workers who have the necessary skills, education and work experience so they can add value to the province’s economy. A province or territory will select individuals based on their expertise which locals fall short of in the province. Bear in mind that each province has its own streams that target different groups: for example, a stream would either target students or skilled workers.

Can I find jobs in Canada without a work permit under PNP?

Absolutely. Whether or not you’ll be required to do a paper-based application or online application would depend on the PNP stream you’re applying to. However, all applicants would need to go for a medical exam and provide a police clearance irrespective of the province or territory they are applying to in Canada.

The Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP)

This is a pathway for individuals who want permanent residence in Canada and wish to travel in and around Canada. Do you want to live and work in Canada’s maritime provinces while absorbing the unique culture in different cities? Explore Canada’s Atlantic provinces such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador.

The AIP, which replaced the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), will enable immigrants to fill occupations that local residents of the province were unable to fill.

If you’re interested in knowing more about how you can apply under the AIP, you can get in touch with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC’s) for advice.

Getting a Work Permit In Canada Can Be Simpler Than You Think

We’ve provided you with the necessary information, giving you some direction as to which program will suit your needs so you can begin the immigration process to Canada. With over 100 immigration programs to choose from, tailored for your immigration needs and circumstances, you’re bound to find a program or a visa that works for you and your family.

For a stress-free start, get in touch with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) to advise and guide you through the process.


1. Can I get a job in Canada without a work permit?

It’s not impossible to live and work in Canada without a work permit as there are situations that allow for this. However, most of the time applicants will require a work permit to immigrate to Canada. There are also immigration pathways such as Express Entry, Federal Skilled Worker, Provincial Nominee Program and the Atlantic Immigration Program that enables individuals to immigrate to Canada without a work permit.

2. Can I stay in Canada after my student visa expires?

Students can continue staying in Canada as a temporary resident. The province or territory in which the student is residing in will decide on a new application for a visa. However, students would have to submit their application for an extended visa before the stipulated expiry time. Once this is done, you can continue staying in Canada but you would have to comply with the conditions of your original study permit.

3. How many times can I extend my study permit in Canada?

Candidates who wish to continue studying in Canada can apply for an extended permit 30 days prior to the expiration date. Note that the extension time of your study permit can not go beyond your passport’s expiry date. Should you apply before the expiry date of your permit, the conditions of your current study permit will still apply while you continue to remain in Canada.


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