Some essential workers exempt from work permits and quarantine

Mohanad Moetaz
Published: March 8, 2021

Certain foreign workers who are looking to work in essential occupations may only need a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to work in Canada, rather than a work permit.

Foreign workers who are coming to Canada to support critical infrastructure and who are exempt from the travel restrictions, may not need a work permit to work legally in Canada.

In addition, certain workers may also be exempt from the mandatory 14-day quarantine period. This also means that they would not have to stay at a government-approved hotel for three days when they arrive in Canada. These workers include the following:

  • Emergency and medical services providers;
  • Individuals allowed to work as a student in a health field, such as a medical elective or a clinical clerk;
  • Workers in the marine transportation sector;
  • Individuals who are delivering, maintaining or repairing medically necessary equipment or devices;
  • Individuals who are making medical deliveries of cells, blood and blood products, tissues, organs and other body parts;
  • Individuals providing an essential service while in Canada, as determined by the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO).

Get assistance with your temporary resident visa application

The CPHO has decided that the certain workers are also providing an essential service in Canada.

These include technicians or specialists that are needed in Canada to install, inspect, maintain or repair equipment that is necessary to support critical infrastructure. If they will be carrying out their work as part of a current agreement, they can come to Canada as business visitors. If their work is not part of a current agreement, they may need to get a work permit.

The CPHO also determined that workers that are supporting certain open water aquaculture-related activities such as fishing, transporting fish, treating fish for pests and repairs.

These foreign workers may be allowed to enter Canada. If they do not show symptoms of COVID-19, they will also be exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement.

Apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV)

If you are an essential foreign worker who is looking to come to Canada for the reasons highlighted in this article, you may need to apply for a TRV.

If you come from a visa-exempt country, you may be able to come to Canada without applying for a TRV, but may require an eTA document.

Get assistance with your temporary resident visa application

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit to discover your Canadian immigration options.

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