Canadian work permits for events hosted by foreign organizations

Daniel Levy
Published: February 17, 2022

If you are planning on hosting an event in Canada this year, Canada offers facilitated work permit options to foreign event organizers. A lawyer can help you enter as a business visitor. They can also help you obtain an LMIA-exempt work permit.

If you are a conference delegate, or administrative support staff, you are considered to be a business visitor. You do not require a work permit because you are not entering the Canadian labour market.

Work permits are generally required for people who are coming to Canada to work. Canada has two streams of work permits: Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). The main difference is the requirement for what is called a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

The LMIA basically signals to the Canadian government that there is no Canadian resident who is available or qualified to do the job. It is meant to demonstrate that there will be no negative consequences to the Canadian labour market if the foreign national comes to do their job. IMP work permits do not require an LMIA, because they have been determined to offer a “significant benefit” to Canada’s economic, social, or cultural objectives.

Here we focus on when you need a work permit and when you do not.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

No work permit required

Organizers and administrative support staff

Organizers and administrative support staff of the organizing committee are considered business visitors and do not need a work permit, provided the event is being put on by a foreign organization.

Event planners for foreign organizations

You do not require a work permit if you are working under contract for a foreign organization, if your job description matches one of the following:

  • event planner;
  • exhibit manager;
  • professional conference organizer;
  • destination marketing company personnel; or
  • event accommodation consultant.

Work permits required, no LMIA

Setting up display

Company employees will require work permits to install and dismantle a booth or display if it is larger than a portable pop-up. These work permits do not require an LMIA.

Contract Service Providers

Contract foreign service providers need a work permit if they are involved in activities such as:

  • the installation and dismantling of a show or exhibit;
  • audio video, staging, or show decorating services; and
  • lighting, carpet laying, carpentry, or electrical work..

Foreign service providers who are supervisory personnel working under contract for foreign events also require work permits. Work permits for this purpose do not require an LMIA, as long as the supervisors will be directing local hires.

The government expects exhibitors to hire Canadians to do all the labour on the convention floor.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

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

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
Who can work in Canada without a work permit?
A bearded man in a plaid shirt and dark trousers works in a bright office
More temporary residents are settling outside of Canada’s major cities
How fast will IRCC process my temporary residence application in 2024?
Father working from home with young child
Report: Canada is the 2nd happiest country among the G7
Happy multigenerational people having fun sitting on grass in a public park
Top Stories
How an ECA can help you immigrate to Canada
British Columbia and Prince Edward Island issue PNP nominations this week
Budget 2024: How Canada is continuing its commitment to safe and inclusive communities
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Canada
Budget 2024: How Canada is continuing its commitment to safe and inclusive communities
A Family out boating together having fun on vacation
Budget 2024: How will it impact Canadian immigration?
Canada has released Budget 2024.
Comparing rental costs across Canada
A for rent sign infront of a small house
What can newcomers expect from Budget 2024?
Budget 2024 will contain several new initiatives to help with housing affordability in Canada.
Link copied to clipboard