An Overview of Canada’s Work Permit Rules for Athletes

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There are specific requirements for athletes and staff looking to work in Canada.

Work permit rules depend on whether your team is based in Canada or abroad.

Athletes and staff working for a non-Canadian employer :

Therefore, as long as these individuals are a member of a foreign-based team or an athlete representing a foreign country, a work permit is generally not required.

Although foreign athletes and coaches are technically foreign workers, some of the rules and regulations of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) do not apply to them.

Athletes and staff joining a Canadian employer :

Consequently, it is important to ensure athletes are eligible for this type of work permit and have a well-prepared work permit application.

 If foreign national wants to join a Canada-based sports team or represent Canada as an individual athlete, they usually do need a work permit. This is because such athletes can be exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement, which is usually the most onerous aspect of getting a work permit. However, even in this scenario, much of the red tape usually associated with acquiring a work permit is removed from the process.

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