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:

  • Their job is classified under Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) category 0 or 1 in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
  • They will work for only 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.

When the worker arrives in Canada

If they’re eligible under the GSS, the worker doesn’t need a work permit to start working. However, they do need a visitor record to get a social insurance number (SIN) from Service Canada. Their visitor record must list that they are “authorized to work” in the remarks section.

If the worker isn’t issued a visitor record with the correct condition, they cannot be issued a SIN.

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

  • 6 months until they can use a 15-day exemption
  • 12 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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