Can exotic dancers get a work permit in Canada?

Canada is a magnet for temporary foreign workers (TFW). However, the government of Canada does not welcome every TFW. They mainly focus on the labour market to make sure they are protecting Canadians. Nonetheless, they may have other reasons for refusing a work permit. For example, the employer has been noncompliant, or the worker may remain in Canada without authorization. What about erotic dancers? Can exotic dancers get a work permit in Canada? My area of expertise is immigration. Therefore, I only focus on the immigration regulations governing this matter.

Employers may not hire exotic dancers from outside Canada.

A 2012 CBC news article reads, “Exotic dancer no longer eligible job for foreign workers.” However, I could not rely on a news piece, so I looked at the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). The earliest changes to IRPR reflecting such prohibition appear on a Dec 31, 2013, version. The government has made some amendments to the relevant sections. So, I post the latest updates here. According to paragraph 203(2)(a) of IRPR:

The Department of Employment and Social Development must provide the assessment referred to in subsection (1) on the request of an officer or an employer or group of employers, none of whom is an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.

In other words, this group of employers may not hire anyone from outside Canada. Therefore, they may not even hire an accountant, let alone an exotic dancer. Moreover, subsection 196.1(a) emphasizes that foreign nationals must not approach these employers:

A foreign national must not enter into an employment agreement, or extend the term of an employment agreement, with an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.

Consequently, the government prohibits both the employer and the TFW exotic dancers from signing employment agreements.

No work permits for exotic dancers

Paragraph 200(3)(g.1) of IRPR advises the officers not to issue work permits for exotic dancers and similar positions. Moreover, it prohibits work permits for anyone who wishes to work for the adult industry.

An officer shall not issue a work permit to a foreign national if the foreign national intends to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.

Again this rule does not cover exotic dancers only. It covers anyone who wishes to work for this group of employers.

Notes on the permits

Temporary residents in Canada may receive permits at the port of entry or while in Canada. Examples include work permits, study permits, visitor records, and temporary resident permits. However, following paragraph 183(1)(b.1) of IRPR, you may see the following condition on these documents. As you can see, even the permits emphasize that TFW exotic dancers cannot work in Canada.

Condition: Not valid for employment in businesses related to the sex trade such as trip clubs, massage parlours or escort services

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While there is no solution for hiring TFW exotic dancers, we could help you in other areas of visa and immigration. Consequently, please book a consultation session with me, or fill out our assessment form. Of course, if you are facing a problem, you may fill out the following form.

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    Al Parsai, LLM, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.