Working in Canada with your eTA

work in canada with eta

Canada welcomed over 20 million foreign visitors in 2018. There are many people who are not just interested in visiting Canada, but want to work in the country. However, is it possible to work in Canada on the eTA?

Short-term (15 or 30 days) work permit exemption with eTA Canada

Certain foreign nationals who are exempt from the requirement to obtain a TRV (Temporary Resident Visa) are required to apply for an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation.)

The eTA was created in 2016 to help the Canadian government to better monitor those entering the country. It is obligatory for all those entering Canada by air and is much easier to get than previous visas. The eTA is available to citizens of the following countries:

The eTA visa was created in 2016 to help the Canadian government to better monitor those entering the country. It is obligatory for all those entering Canada by air and is much easier to get than previous visas. The online eTA for Canada is available to citizens of the following countries:

The eTA visa waiver is fast and simple to apply for. All you require is a passport from one of the countries listed above (and that is valid for at least 6 months), a working Email address at which to receive your authorization, and a debit or credit card to pay for your eTA.

The advantages of the electronic authorization are that it is all done online, the eTA application form is easy and you receive a fast response.

Working in Canada: What Do You Need?

The eTA is required for all those entering Canada, irrespective of their purpose for entering. It is necessary both for those who are coming to visit and those who are coming to live and work. If you have been issued a work permit then you will normally receive your eTA as part of that.

It is important to understand that the eTA itself does not give you the right to work in Canada, it is merely an additional entry requirement. Those wishing to work in Canada must obtain the relevant work visa or a business eTA. You cannot work in Canada on the eTA unless you have an additional work visa or an eTA for business purposes.

There are various types of work visa depending on your circumstances. Some of the most common include:

  • A program for self-employed workers. This will depend on the area of work and there is a minimum number of years of relevant experience.
  • A program where workers can be nominated by one of Canada’s provinces (please be aware that Quebec operates a separate system). Each province will have different recruitment needs at any given time.
  • A program for those who are being nominated by a Canadian company. The company will be required to fill out the relevant application.

It is essential that you are able to demonstrate sufficient funds to support yourself for the duration of your stay. This could potentially be a reason for your application being denied. Another would be if you have a criminal record.

Do I automatically get an eTA when i renew my work permit in Canada?

The eTA lasts for 5 years from the date when it is issued. During this period you may enter and leave the country as many times as you like. Be sure to renew your eTA when it expires to avoid problems if you wish to leave and then re enter Canada.

Travellers who have had their work permit renewed on or after May 1, 2017, are also issued an eTA automatically.

Those who renewed their work permit before May 1, 2017 and do not hold a valid eTA must apply for one before re-entering Canada.

Requirements for Canadian eTA for Business Purposes

Those who have been issued a Canadian business eTA can take part in work and business-related activities while in Canada.

To get an eTA for business purposes, applicants must:

  • Hold an eligible passport and other required documents
  • Demonstrate the reason(s) for travelling to Canada and the genuine intention to return home (for example, with a return ticket)
  • Demonstrate strong links and responsibilities in their home country (i.e. mortgage, employment contract, and more)
  • Have enough funds to support themselves while in Canada
  • Not represent a risk for the Canadian community (i.e. being free from some serious infectious diseases and/or serious criminal history)
  • Pay the application fee

Work restrictions with the Canadian business eTA

Please note: the business eTA is not a work visa so it cannot be used to work full-time or part-time for a Canadian employer in Canada.

It can be used, for example, to:

  • Take part in business meetings
  • Attend a work-related conference, convention, or seminar
  • Undertake business-related research activities
  • Negotiate a contract
  • Make arrangements for the management or sale of an estate

It is possible to use the eTA to explore job vacancies in Canada but remember that eTA travellers cannot be hired unless they also hold a valid work permit.

Apply for Canada eTA