International Mobility Program: Foreign government officials not accredited to Canada

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.

Some foreign government officials are stationed in Canada as representatives of semi-official agencies and are not accredited by Canada. These officials are not part of diplomatic or consular missions and do not fall within R186(b). This includes organizations such as the Goethe Institute, IATA, the Alliance française, the Iranian Cultural Centre in Ottawa and the National Tourist Office of Greece, to name a few. Senior officials with these organizations require work permits, but may be eligible for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption pursuant to R205(a) C12, if the criteria are met. Other officials and support staff require an LMIA.

U.S. pre-clearance officers working in Canada are not accredited. Refer to “United States Government Personnel”.

Foreign government officials seeking temporary entry for the purpose of performing duties and providing services for their government in Canada should be dealt with as business visitors under R186(a). There must be no sales to the public, or other entry into the labour market. This includes government officials seeking to meet with foreign partners for meetings.

When seeking entry, business visitors should be prepared to provide to the officer all relevant documents, including letters of invitation or recommendation with an embassy, a foreign government agency, or the inviting Canadian department. A verbal statement that the business of the applicant is being carried on outside Canada can be acceptable; however, alternative indications (business cards, business papers, advertising pamphlets, etc.) may be helpful.

There must be no sales to the public, or other entry into the labour market.

Government officials seeking entry to perform duties with a federal, provincial or territorial agency pursuant to an exchange agreement with Canada should be dealt with as visitors under R186(e).

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