Overnight camp counsellors: How to apply for a work permit

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Who can apply

To be eligible, you must meet all the requirements below:

If the duties above aren’t your main duties, you’re not an overnight camp counsellor even if that’s your job title.

Type of work permit

As an overnight camp counsellor (including those working at faith-based camps), you can apply for an employer-specific work permit.

You don’t need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) if you’re an overnight camp counsellor working during the summer season.

Any overnight camp counsellor working outside of the summer months needs an LMIA.

Steps your employer must take before you apply

Your employer must do all of the following:

How to work at more than one camp

You need to apply for a work permit for each camp you’ll work for. You need to provide proof that you can work for more than one employer.

Each employer will also need to submit their own offer of employment to IRCC using the Employer Portal.

You and your employers should do this as early as possible to avoid processing delays.

How to apply

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you need

Step 2: Create your online account or sign in

You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to

How to start your application

Once you sign in to your account, you need to

Step 3: Get your document checklist

You must answer some questions to create a personalized document checklist.

Make sure you answer these questions correctly.

If you’re outside Canada
  • When asked I have a job offer and my employer gave me an offer of employment number or LMIA number (or proof of that your employer applied for an LMIA). answer “Yes”
    • This is the 7-digit number your employer received after sending in their offer of employment.
  • When asked What type of work permit do you want to apply for? choose “A work permit with a Labour Market Impact Assessment exemption”
  • If you’re fee exempt, when asked There are fees associated with this application. Will you be paying your fees are you fee exempt? answer “No, I am exempt from paying fees for this application”
If you’re in Canada
  • When asked Which option best describes your work situation? answer “I’m applying for an employer-specific work permit with LMIA-exemption.”
  • If you’re fee exempt, when asked There are fees associated with this application. Will you be paying your fees are you fee exempt? answer “No, I am exempt from paying fees for this application”

Step 4: Fill out the forms

The instruction guide will explain how to fill out each field on the work permit application form.

Read the instruction guide before you fill out the form.

Work experience requirement

The work permit application form asks all applicants about their last 10 years of work experience. This does not mean you need 10 years of work experience. However, you do need to show that you have the skills, qualifications and experience to be a camp counsellor.

Step 5: Upload your documents

Your document checklist will ask you for most of the documents that you must upload. It will also allow you to upload other documents under Client Information.

There’s only 1 Client Information field. You may need to combine more than 1 document in 1 file and upload them together. Find out how to upload multiple documents into 1 field.

Supporting documents section

Your document checklist will ask you for

  • an employment reference letter
  • a letter from your current employer 
  • an employment record
  • a passport
  • a CV/résumé
  • a digital photo
  • proof of medical exam, if you need a medical exam
  • an employment contract
  • proof that you meet the requirements of the job being offered
  • proof of fee exemption, if you’re fee exempt
Client Information section

Use the Client Information section to upload

  • other documents required for your job, such as first aid certification or a school transcript
  • documents required by your local visa office, such as police certificates
    • If there are local instructions to follow, you can find them in the application package.
      • Go to the work permit application
      • Select Apply online
      • Select the country or territory you’re applying from
      • Download the country-specific visa office requirements from the list of documents, if there are any

When you upload your documents

You can upload the same document more than once, if it serves more than one purpose.

Example: An employment reference from your current employer could be uploaded as both an employment reference letter and a letter from your current employer.

If you’re not sure if you have the right document

Ask yourself if this document

Step 6: Pay your fees and submit your application

In most cases, you must pay the work permit processing fee.

You may be exempt from paying the work permit processing fee if

In some cases, you may receive a small payment and non-monetary benefits and still be exempt from paying the work permit processing fee.

Fee exemption

If you’re exempt from paying the work permit processing fee, your employer will also be exempt from paying the employer compliance fee ($230).  

They still need to submit an offer of employment in the Employer Portal.

If your employer does not show how you meet the fee exemption, you and your employer must pay all fees.

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Next steps

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