International Mobility Program: Authorization to work without a work permit – Military personnel

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

R186(d) applies to military and civilian personnel in possession of movement orders outlining that they are coming to Canada from countries designated under the terms of the Visiting Forces Act (VFA). Military personnel should not be confused with “military attachés”, who are diplomatic agents in diplomatic missions. The accreditation of military personnel is coordinated by the Department of National Defence.

Military personnel and civilian components coming to Canada under the terms of the VFA as staff or to attend any school or training unit are considered on active duty and are exempt from work or study permits.

Military personnel designated under the VFA are also exempt from requirements for a passport under R52, from a temporary resident visa under R190, and from foreign national medical examinations under R30 and are not required to provide biometric information if they are a national of a biometric-required country or territory. These exemptions do not apply to civilian components or to family members. Civilian components and family members are, however, exempt from the temporary resident visa fee [R296(b)] and the biometric fee [R315.1(2)].

For more information, see Procedures on processing military personnel and their family members.

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