Working in Canada on an eTA - What You Really Need to Know

Updated on Apr 08, 2024 | Canada Visa Online

Can you work in Canada on an eTA? Find out the requirements and limitations for employment with this electronic visa and why you need a work permit or visa. 

Hello everyone! Are you planning to visit Canada on eTA or Electronic Travel Authorization? Great!

If you're a citizen of one of the around 50 eligible countries, you'll need to get an eTA to visit Canada by air. The concept of eTA was introduced in 2016 by the Canadian government to monitor travellers entering the country.

Now the question is - can you work in Canada on an eTA? Let’s find the answer in this blog.

First, Let's See What You Need to Apply for an eTA

Applying for eTA is a pretty straightforward online process. You just need a valid passport from your country (and make sure it doesn't expire for at least 6 more months), a working email address to receive your authorization and a debit or credit card to pay the fees. That’s it!

Once your eTA is issued, this is valid for 5 years. And, during these 5 years, you are allowed to visit this country multiple times. But don't forget to renew it before it expires if you plan to travel to Canada again.

Can You Work on an eTA?

There is a very common misconception among visitors that having an eTA allows you to work in Canada.

But the reality is, that an eTA only permits you to travel to Canada for tourism, business visitor, or transit purposes. It absolutely does not authorise employment in Canada or joining Canadian labour market.

Therefore, if you intend to take up any kind of job or employment during your stay in Canada, even something short-term, you must apply for a separate work permit.

The eTA alone is simply not enough.

There's a Small Work Exception

Now, there is one limited exception where you may be able to carry out certain types of short-term, casual work for up to 15 or 30 days without a work permit, but on valid eTA. This is known as the "15 or 30 day work permit exemption”.

But the tasks allowed under this are quite specific and restricted, like attending business meetings, exploring job opportunities, or providing regional training.

Remember, it's not a free pass for full-time or long-term employment.

Most people need a work permit to work in Canada. If you need a work permit, you may be eligible for either an employer-specific work permit or open work permit.

The Business eTA Provision

Here the good news is - Canada does offer a special business eTA that permits some additional work-related activities beyond just attending meetings.

With a business eTA, you can undertake commercial transactions like negotiating contracts, buying/selling goods or services, taking part in short training courses, and providing after-sales services.

Let’s Understand When You Really Need a Work Visa

Working in Canada on Canada eTA

This is pretty much simple- if your intention is to work and earn an income in Canada through active, ongoing employment of any kind, then you absolutely must get a proper work permit or visa approved before your arrival to this country. There are different types of work visas and permits such as -

The Self-Employed Program for those with relevant entrepreneurial experience

Provincial nominee programs where you're sponsored by a specific province (except Quebec which has its own system)

Worker programs where you get nominated directly by a Canadian employer to fill a specific role

Along with the visa, you also must prove that you have enough funds to support yourself financially throughout your entire proposed stay in Canada.

Note - Having certain kinds of criminal records can also potentially lead to your visa being denied.

If you're renewing an existing work permit, you may automatically get a new eTA issued along with it. This provision was implemented from May 1, 2017 onwards. However, if your renewal was before this said date, and you don't hold a valid eTA and you need to apply for a new eTA before traveling to Canada again.

Final Words

If you want to learn more about work visas or e-visa applications in Canada, you can visit our official site.

You can apply for eTA easily by following simple steps and this will only take 10-30 minutes. If you have any confusion or queries regarding the online visa or eTA, our experts are here to help you.

Visit our website now!


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