Work in Canada without authorization | Working illegally
In this article, I explore work in Canada without authorization. I also talk about the scenarios that could result in illegal work in Canada. Moreover, I explain the consequences for the employers and employees.
- Authorized workers
- Unauthorized workers
- Employing an unauthorized worker
- Conditions for work permit holders
- Restrictions on study permit holders
- Let us help!
Generally speaking, Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada may work anywhere in our country. Nonetheless, they may not engage in prohibited jobs and criminal activities. They could face fines and prison time in those situations. Moreover, certain criminal activities could make permanent residents of Canada inadmissible. Consequently, they may lose their PR status.
If you are a foreign national, you may still work in Canada. However, you must meet one of the following conditions:
- You hold a valid work permit.
- Your study permit allows you to work in Canada.
- The nature of your job enables you to work in Canada as a visitor without a work permit.
- You are a business visitor. However, you only can take certain job activities.
If you do not meet the conditions, you work in Canada without authorization. Consequently, you are operating illegally.
As an unauthorized worker, you are in breach of the Immigration Act. The immediate outcome is inadmissibility under subsection 41(a) of IRPA. Consequently, you will receive an Exclusion Order. You have to leave Canada. However, you may return if you receive an ARC or if at least one year passes from your departure. Of course, unless you are a US citizen, you still need a TRV or an eTA to go back to Canada.
Sometimes the situation could get complicated. Thus, you could face other problems such as inadmissibility because of criminality or misrepresentation. Consult with a practitioner for more information.
Employers who hire workers without authorization breach paragraph 124(1)(c) of IRPA. Consequently, they could face up to two years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines. Of course, the final say is by a judge. Moreover, if the employer is a foreign national or a PR, they could face inadmissibility issues.
Work permit holders must obey the conditions imposed on their work permits. Here are some examples:
- You may work for a specific employer only. Moreover, you may only work at a particular branch of the company. The holders of open work permits are exempt from the employer restrictions. However, they may still face geographical or job-type restraints.
- No authorization to work in the healthcare sector or teach children!
- You can only work in a designated region (e.g., only in Halifax).
Of course, it is up to the authorities to impose the restrictions. Regardless, if you do not follow the conditions, you are working without authorization.
- You may only work on the college or university campus if you are studying ESL.
- You may only work up to 20 hours off-campus. However, you may work full-time during regular breaks.
- Stop working if you have finished your studies and have not applied for PGWP or another work permit yet.
If you doubt your options, book a consultation session with me. Alternatively, you may fill out the following form. Of course, to explore your immigration options, please fill out our assessment form.
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Would you please fill out our free assessment form if you wish to visit or move to Canada? We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal immigration advice from a licensed practitioner.
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
Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!
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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