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Applying for Work Permit at Port of Entry

Posted on 17/02/2024

Do you know who can apply for a work permit at their port of entry? In other words, do you know who can apply at the airport or port when they enter Canada? If you find the government webpages a little detailed and confusing, keep reading to get a clear answer.

Most foreign nationals who come to Canada to work have to apply for and obtain their work permit from outside of Canada and before coming to Canada. However, there are some exemptions to this rule.

These exemptions fall under several categories or types of foreign nationals who wish to come to Canada to work:

  • You are exempt from having to get a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) and your job falls within the International Mobility Program (IMP) which means your job does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The following foreign nationals are exempt from needing a TRV:
    • You have a passport from a Schedule 1.1 country as follows exempting you from requiring a TRV:
    • Andorra
    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belgium
    • Brunei Darussalam
    • Bulgaria
    • Chile
    • Croatia
    • Cyprus
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Latvia
    • Lichtenstein
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • Mexico
    • Monaco
    • Netherlands
    • New Zealand
    • Norway
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Republic of Korea
    • Samoa
    • San Marino
    • Singapore
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Solomon Islands
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • United Arab Emirates

The following passport holders are also exempt from requiring a TRV:

  • British citizens
  • British Overseas citizens eligible for re-admission to the UK
  • Citizen of a British Overseas Territory through birth, descent, naturalization, or registration from: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Monserrat, Pitcairn Island, St. Helena, or Turks & Caicos Islands.
  • The following TRV-exempt foreign nationals do not need to fulfill the IMP or LMIA requirements listed above:
    • S. nationals or lawful permanent residents of the U.S.
    • Nationals or permanent residents of Greenland or St. Pierre & Miquelon.
  • Please note: Live-in Caregivers and Seasonal Agricultural workers cannot apply for a work permit at their port of entry.
  • Your passport has a diplomatic, consular, or official acceptance issued by Foreign Affairs and you are a properly accredited diplomatic, consular officer, representative, or official.
  • You hold a Passport issued by the Holy See (Vatican)
  • You hold one of the following types of passports:
    • A national Israeli passport
    • A Hong Kong SAR passport of the People’s Republic of China
    • A UK-issued passport for a British Overseas National as someone born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong
    • A UK-issued passport to a British Subject who has right of abode in the UK
    • A standard Taiwan passport issued by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs with your individual identification number.
    • A machine-readable Romanian passport with a contactless integrated circuit chip issued by Romania
  • Please note: you will also need to have passed an Immigration Medical Examination (IME) and may be required to present a certificate at your port of entry. In other words, you need to take your medical exam and have the results available before you board your flight or travel by other means to Canada. Otherwise, you will not be able to apply for your work permit at your port of entry in Canada.

Persons ineligible for this exemption

The following persons are NOT eligible for this exemption and cannot apply for their work permit at their port of entry but must instead apply from their residence outside of Canada before they travel to Canada:

  • International Youth Exchange participants (e.g. International Experience Canada) unless they are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
  • Seasonal Agricultural workers
  • As mentioned above people without their IME (medical exam)
  • Passport holders from the following countries (these are expansion countries that were admitted to the electronic travel authorization system (eTA) in June 2023 but whose passport holders also need to have been issued a Canadian visa in the last 10 years or currently hold a U.S. non-immigrant visa):
    • Antigua & Barbuda
    • Argentina
    • Brazil
    • Costa Rica
    • Morocco
    • Panama
    • Philippines
    • Seychelles
    • Kitts & Nevis
    • Lucia
    • Vincent & the Grenadines
    • Thailand
    • Trinidad & Tobago
    • Uruguay

Some final reminders

Please note: If your temporary work permit expires while you are outside of Canada, you can apply at your port of entry in Canada as long as your job meets the requirements of the Department of Employment and Social Development (e.g. it’s a genuine job offer that will not impact Canada’s Labour Market negatively etc.). You may be required to provide documentation to support this.

Finally, if your work permit application at the port of entry is successful and you arrived in Canada on an eTA (electronic travel authorization) then you will be automatically issued a new eTA with a new validity date.


  • Apply for and get your eTA before your flight to Canada.
  • If required, take your IME (medical exam) and bring the results with you before your flight to Canada.

It is crucial to understand it you can apply for  work permit at the port of entry. By knowing the eligibility criteria and requirements, you can streamline the process and ensure a smooth transition into the Canadian workforce.


Live-in Caregivers prohibition to apply at port of entry (scroll down more than halfway to: How to Apply – Eligibility to see)

Posted in Tips and tagged Canadian work permit, Port of Entry

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