Canadian Immigration Consulting Inc

Charity / Religion

Charitable or Religious Work Permit

Canada facilitates foreign nationals looking to engage in religious or charitable work through a designated work permit. This permit allows individuals to work in religious or charitable organizations, positively impacting various societal sectors including education, religion, and poverty alleviation.

Charitable or Religious Work Permit

Eligibility Requirements

For Religious Work:

  1. Nature of Work: Core duties should reflect a religious objective, like providing religious instruction, promoting a particular faith, or advancing spiritual teachings.
  2. Employment Details: Duties outlined in the work permit application and the LMIA-exempt offer of employment should primarily be of a religious nature.

Example titles

Archbishop, bishop, cardinal, chaplain, evangelist, granthi, imam, minister, pastor, priest, rabbi.


For Charitable Work:

  1. Nature of Work: The work should align with charitable purposes as defined by the Canada Revenue Agency, including poverty relief, education advancement, religion advancement, or other community-beneficial purposes.
  2. Employment Details: Employment details in the LMIA-exempt offer of employment should primarily be of a charitable nature.


Processing Fee and Exemptions

  1. Processing Fee: A person working in Canada for a Canadian religious organization without remuneration is not required to pay the work permit processing fees. Work permit fee exemption applies if the foreign national receives only a stipend for living expenses (if monetary, below the minimum wage under the applicable federal, provincial or territorial law) or non-monetary benefits like accommodation and healthcare.

  2. Employer Compliance Fee Exemption: Employers are not required to pay the employer compliance fee if the offer of employment is made to a foreign national who is not required to pay a work permit processing fee. To be eligible, employers must show they are a religious organization and that there’s no remuneration for the work of the foreign national they intend to hire.


Facts and Figures

  1. In 2018 and 2019, an average of 2,500 foreign nationals were issued work permits under exemption code C-50, which pertains to religious or charitable work.
  2. Charitable workers are exempt from obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under paragraph R205(d), while volunteer workers don’t require a work permit as their activities are not classified as work.
  3. Fee exemptions are available for individuals working without remuneration in a Canadian religious or charitable organization, provided certain conditions regarding living expenses stipends are met.

Additional Points

  1. Port of Entry Application Process: Eligible individuals may apply for a work permit at a Port of Entry (POE) into Canada. All regular processes and required documentation also apply to applications made at POEs.
  2. Validity Period of Work Permit: Work permits should be issued for the period specified in the offer of employment, and cannot extend beyond the validity of the applicant’s passport. The validity period of a temporary residence status document also cannot extend beyond the remaining validity period of the biometric information, which is valid for 10 years from the date of biometrics enrollment.

Book a Consultation

Take the first step toward your Canadian dream. Secure your personalized immigration consultation with us today

Receive Canadian Immigration news, updates & information about programs in your inbox.