Short-term (15 or 30 days) work permit exemption
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
Short-term (15 or 30 days) work permit exemptions are for certain high-skilled work and apply to foreign nationals coming to Canada to perform work that complies with the following conditions:
- be of a short duration (15 consecutive calendar days or 30 consecutive calendar days)
- be in an occupation that is listed in skill type 0 (management occupations) or skill level A in the matrix of the National Occupational Classification (NOC)
On June 12, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in coordination with Employment and Social Development Canada, launched the Global Skills Strategy and introduced, among other changes, new work permit exemptions for certain high-skilled work of a short-duration.
The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has established a public policy under section A25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that justifies the granting of a work permit exemption to certain highly skilled foreign nationals coming to Canada for 120 consecutive days to perform work in a publicly funded Canadian degree-granting institution (or its affiliated research institution).
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- Documentary evidence
- Working with multiple employers
- For more information (including implied status and visitor record)
Based on public policy considerations, delegated officers may grant foreign nationals seeking to enter Canada a work permit exemption [from the requirement in paragraph R183(1)(b) and section R196 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations].
The work permit exemption may be for 15 or 30 consecutive days if the foreign national intends to perform work in an occupation that is listed in skill type 0 (management occupations) or skill level A in the matrix of the NOC, as defined in section R2, for up to the following periods:
- 15 consecutive days (and the foreign national has not been granted an exemption under the public policy facilitating entry into Canada for short-term work in the last 6 months)
- 30 consecutive days (and the foreign national has not been granted an exemption under the public policy facilitating entry into Canada for short-term work in the last 12 months)
Persons eligible may also need a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to come to Canada.
Foreign nationals are allowed to exit and re-enter Canada within the prescribed time frame (15 or 30 consecutive days) of work under the exemption. However, the authorized work period begins on the date the exemption is granted and is counted consecutively, regardless of whether the person is actually working in Canada.
Any travel outside Canada after the date the exemption was granted will not extend the length of the exemption period.
Example of travelling during the exemption period: The foreign national was granted a 15-day exemption on August 1, 2017. If they travel outside Canada for 2 days within that 15-day period (August 6 to August 7, 2017), they may resume work activities on August 8 under this exemption until August 15, 2017, only.
Officers at the port of entry should be satisfied that the 15 or 30 consecutive days under the short-term work permit exemption have not elapsed and that the foreign national is admissible to Canada.
Applicants already in Canada are not eligible to make an initial application within Canada for this exemption.
Foreign nationals must provide evidence to satisfy an officer that a short-term exemption applies. Evidence may include documents such as a job offer or contract from the employer attesting to the details of the work, descriptions of the duties, the NOC code of the occupation they will be performing and the period of employment (start date and end date).
Certain foreign nationals who are exempt from the requirement to obtain a TRV are required to apply for an eTA. See the eTA overview page for guidance.
Applicants can benefit from these short-term exemptions only if the necessary amount of time has elapsed since their last short-term exemption was granted. Consecutive uses are not permitted.
Example: If a foreign national entered Canada under the 15-day work permit exemption and is required to work in Canada for another 15 days, they will not be eligible to renew their stay as a temporary worker. Six months must pass before foreign nationals are eligible to use the 15 day exemption again.
Foreign nationals may be able to use either the 15 day exemption or the 30 day exemption as well as the 120 day exemption offered for research activities. However, foreign nationals must ensure the required amount of time has elapsed since their last use of a short-term work permit exemption.
Officers should calculate the eligibility period from the start date of the previous exemption.
Example of how to count the 6-month waiting period: If the foreign national was granted the exemption on January 1, 2017, the 15 consecutive days of work are from January 1, 2017, to January 15, 2017, and the 6 month period is from January 1 to July 1, 2017. The new period of eligibility starts on July 2, 2017.
When foreign nationals can benefit from a 15 day or 30 day short-term work permit exemption
The following cases provide guidance for when foreign nationals can benefit from short-term work permit exemptions if they have already used another short-term exemption.
If foreign nationals have benefitted from the 15-day exemption in the past, they may be granted the following:
- a subsequent 15 day exemption if they have not been granted a short-term work permit exemption in the last 6 months
- a 30-day or 120-day exemption once 12 months have elapsed since the 15-day exemption was granted
If foreign nationals have benefitted from the 30-day exemption in the past, they may they be granted the following:
- a subsequent 30-day exemption if they have not been granted a short-term work permit exemption in the last 12 months
- a 15-day exemption once 6 months have elapsed since the 30-day exemption was granted (they may be granted a 120-day exemption once 12 months have elapsed since the 30-day exemption was granted)
Working with multiple employers
The short term work permit exemption applies to the foreign national and not to the employer. Each foreign national will be authorized to work without a permit under the public policy for a 15-day period every 6 months or for a 30-day period every 12 months.
If the foreign national enters Canada under the 15-day or 30-day work permit exemption and intends to work for more than 1 employer during that period, the foreign national is required to demonstrate that the work they intend to perform during that period is in an occupation listed in skill type 0 (management occupations) or skill level A in the matrix of the NOC.
They may demonstrate this with evidence such as a job offer and/or a letter from each employer attesting to the details of the work and outlining the period of employment (start date and end date). For more information, refer to the Documentary evidence section.
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