Global Skills Strategy: Work permit exemptions


Under the strategy, 2 types of workers do not need work permits for short term work:

  • highly skilled workers
  • researchers

Highly skilled workers

These workers must meet both of these requirements:

Changes to the NOC

On November 16, 2022, we switched to the 2021 version of the NOC. If you submit an offer on or after that date, you’ll need to use the new version.

  • If your candidate submitted their work permit application before that date, they’ll still be processed under the 2016 version.
  • If they submit their application on or after that date, they need to make sure they’re still eligible under the new version.
  • They will work only for one of the following short periods of time:
    • up to 15 consecutive days once every 6 months
    • up to 30 consecutive days once every 12 months


These workers must meet both of these requirements:

  • They will perform research at a Canadian, publicly funded, degree-granting institution or its affiliated research institution.
  • They will work for 1 period of 120 days in Canada once every 12 months.

Extending the worker’s stay

These workers must stop working when their exemption ends. To work in Canada again, they have 2 options:

  • apply for a work permit from outside the country
  • wait until they are once again eligible to use the short-term work permit exemption

Waiting time between work permit exemptions

The length of the wait between work permit exemptions depends on the length of the next exemption the worker wants to use.

After using any of the short-term exemptions, the worker must wait for

  • six months until they can use a 15-day exemption
  • twelve months until they can use a 30- or 120-day exemption

For example, if the worker entered Canada using the 15-day work permit exemption, they need to wait at least 6 months before they can use the 15-day exemption again.

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