Can minor children work in Canada?
Canada welcomes hundreds of thousands of international students every year. Some of those students are minor children. Of course, the primary purpose of their presence is studying. However, can minor children also work in Canada?
- Definition of a minor child
- Minimum legal age for working in Canada
- Restrictions on foreign national minors
- Contact us!
A child who has not reached the age of majority is a minor child. Interestingly, the age of the majority varies in different parts of Canada. Look at the following table for more information.
|Age of Majority||Province or Territory of Canada|
|18||Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island|
|19||British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia,
Newfoundland and Labrador
Knowing who a minor child is could be helpful. However, we need to know at which age a person may work in Canada.
The minimum legal age for working depends on the provincial rules. Of course, these rules include some exceptions. Nonetheless, these rules cover both foreign national and local minor children. The following table shows regional regulations. However, I may have omitted some of the exceptions.
|Province||Minimum legal age to work||Remarks|
|Alberta||13 years||Many restrictions apply. Regardless, children who are 12 or younger may do artistic work.|
|British Columbia||15 years||Children between the ages of 12 and 14 may also work. However, they must have written consent from their parents or legal guardians.|
|Manitoba||13 years||However, children between 13 and 15 must complete a Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course before working.|
|New Brunswick||16 years||Nevertheless, the employers may apply to the Director of the Employment Standards Branch for Authorization to employ a child under 16 years.|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||Sixteen years||Hiring under the age of 16 is also possible. However, the Labour Standards Act places some restrictions on the employment of children under 16.|
|Nova Scotia||16 years||Of course, minor children may not take any jobs. Moreover, children 14 and 15 may work in restaurants, subject to some conditions.|
|Ontario||14 years||Regardless, minors may not work during school hours.|
|Prince Edward Island||16 years||Under the Youth Employment Act, employers may hire children under 16. Nevertheless, there are many restrictions.|
|Quebec||No minimum age||However, children under 14 must have their parents’ or guardians’ consent to work.|
|Saskatchewan||16 years||Nonetheless, 14 or 15 may work if they have their parents’ or guardians’ consent. Moreover, they must complete the YWRCC and obtain a Certificate of Completion.|
|Northwest Territories||No minimum age! Nonetheless, youth less than 17 years of age require authorization from the Employment Standards Officer to work between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. or during school time. Moreover, anyone under 16 may not work in specific industries, such as construction and forestry, among others.|
|Nunavut||No minimum age! However, hiring children under the age of 17 is subject to many restrictions. For example, the hours of employment and the nature of the job!|
|Yukon||Just like the other two territories, no minimum age! However, just like other provinces and territories, there are many restrictions for youth workers.|
Note: These tables are not official. Therefore, consult with local authorities for official guidelines.
As mentioned earlier, age restrictions apply to all minor children. Moreover, a foreign national needs authorization to work in Canada. Therefore, a minor child who is a foreign national may only work if they hold a valid work permit. Unfortunately, unlike post-secondary students, minor children may not use their study permit to work. The work permit process for minor children is the same as other foreign nationals. If one of their parents is a high-skilled worker, they may apply for an open work permit under IMP C46. For all other situations, read the following articles:
Some minors who study in Quebec could work without a work permit. I have another article that explains this matter in detail.
If you have a general question about this subject or other subjects, fill out the following form. However, please book an appointment with me for official advice about minor children working in Canada or other immigration subjects. Of course, you may also fill out our free assessment form.
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This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.
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