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Bring a Clergy to Canada for Work

As a religious worker (Clergy), you may be eligible for an employer-specific work permit. You do not need a labour market impact assessment (LMIA).

An employer-specific work permit is a type of work permit that indicates the name of the employer a person can work for, how long a person can work, and the location where a person can work (if applicable). A person who holds this type of work permit can only work for the employer for the length of time specified, and if applicable, at the location shown on the permit.

You’re a religious worker if you:

  • provide religious instructions

  • promote a faith

  • share the beliefs of the religious community where you’ll work, and follow the spiritual teachings of its faith

Examples of religious workers include:

  • liturgical workers

  • nuns, monks, and religious brothers and sisters

  • religious education teacher in a religion-based school

When applying, make sure you meet the general eligibility requirements for a work permit. Also, before applying, your employer must:

  • submit an offer of employment to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada using the Employer Portal

  • pay the employer compliance fee, unless you qualify for a fee exemption, and

  • give you the offer of employment number

Religious leaders who are eligible for a work permit exemption under paragraph R186(l) may simultaneously be eligible for an LMIA exemption under paragraph R205(d). There may be circumstances under which the foreign national chooses to apply for the LMIA exemption, such as if they wish to stay in Canada for a longer period or need a work permit to be eligible for government services and benefits.

Eligibility Requirements for All Applicants

There are specific requirements you need to meet depending on where you are when you apply for your work permit.

But regardless of where you apply or which type of work permit you apply for, you must:

  • prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires;

  • show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home;

  • obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (we may ask you to give us a police clearance certificate);

  • not be a danger to Canada’s security;

  • be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed;

  • not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions;

  • not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and

  • give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

Bringing Your Family with You

If you’re applying for a work permit and your family members want to come to Canada, they must also apply to visit, or to work or study in Canada. They can apply at the same time as you.

Options for Your Spouse or Common-law Partner

If they plan to work in Canada, in some cases, your spouse or common-law partner may be able to apply for an open work permit that will let them work for any employer.

If they’re not eligib
le for an open work permit as your spouse or common-law partner, they must be eligible for another type of work permit. This could include their employer getting a labour market impact assessment.

If your spouse or common-law partner doesn’t plan to work, they may apply to come to Canada with you as either a:

  • visitor or

  • student

Options for Your Dependent Children

Your dependent children may also apply to come with you to Canada as either a:

  • visitor

  • student

  • worker

If you’re eligible for the Global Skills Strategy, your spouse, common-law partner and dependent children are also eligible for 2-week processing on their applications.

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