On February 6, 2018 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) clarified how its short term work permit exemption under the Global Skills Strategy would work. Previously, the IRCC website simply stated:
Now, the IRCC website provides a much more comprehensive explanation of how the short term work permit exemption under the Global Skills strategy works.
The short-term (15 or 30 days) work permit exemptions are for certain high-skilled work and apply to foreign nationals coming to Canada to perform work that is both of a short duration (15 consecutive calendar days or 30 consecutive calendar days) and is in an occupation that is listed in skill type 0 (management occupations) or skill level A in the National Occupational Classification (“NOC”) matrix.
Such individuals may work in Canada without a work permit.
The periods can be as follows:
- 15 consecutive days (if the foreign national has not been granted a work permit exemption under the Global Skills Strategy facilitating entry into Canada for short-term work in the last 6 months); or
- 30 consecutive days (if the foreign national has not been granted a work permit exemption under the Global Skills Strategy facilitating entry into Canada for short-term work in the last 12 months).
The short-term work permit exemptions do not exempt people from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa or an electronic travel authorization, if applicable.
Entering and Exiting Canada
While foreign nationals are allowed to exit and re-enter Canada within the prescribed time frame (15 or 30 consecutive days) of work under the exemption, the authorized work period begins on the date the exemption is granted and is counted consecutively, regardless of whether the person is actually working in Canada.
IRCC is now specifically stating that any travel outside Canada after the date the exemption was granted will not extend the length of the exemption period. They provide the following example:
The foreign national was granted a 15-day exemption on August 1, 2017. If they travel outside Canada for 2 days within that 15-day period (August 6 to August 7, 2017), they may resume work activities on August 8 under this exemption until August 15, 2017, only.
Applicants from Inside Canada
Applicants already in Canada are not eligible to make an initial application within Canada for this exemption.
Applicants can benefit from these short-term exemptions only if the necessary amount of time has elapsed since their last short-term exemption was granted. Consecutive uses are not permitted.
IRCC provides the following example on its website:
If a foreign national entered Canada under the 15-day work permit exemption and is required to work in Canada for another 15 days, they will not be eligible to renew their stay as a temporary worker. Six months must pass before foreign nationals are eligible to use the 15 day exemption again.
Working with Multiple Employers
IRCC on February 6, 2018 also clarified that the short term work permit exemption applies to the foreign national and not to the employer.
As well, if a foreign national enters Canada under the 15-day or 30-day work permit exemption and intends to work for more than one employer during that period, the foreign national is required to demonstrate that the work they intend to perform during that period meets the requirements of the short-term exemptions for all of their employers.