unpaid volunteer work

Old Nov 12th 2007, 9:54 pm
  #1  
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Default unpaid volunteer work

hi all my forms have been sent to vegrevilla on the 22th october and currently we are applying for spouse PR and extended stay as my husband is canadian

im getting bored now and was wondering if i would be allowed do some unpaid voluntary work while im waiting for the decision to be made, i did alot of voluntary work while i was in the uk and would like to start doing it here in toronto

Does anyone know if this would effect my application as when i entered canada i was told by immigration i would not be able to work

thanks for any advice
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Old Nov 12th 2007, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: unpaid volunteer work

As long as you don't receive money for the work, it's no problem. Most cities are crying out for volunteers. If you volunteered for any organization that seemed worthy to you, they would think they'd died and gone to heaven.
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Old Nov 12th 2007, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: unpaid volunteer work

Originally Posted by Judy in Calgary
As long as you don't receive money for the work, it's no problem. Most cities are crying out for volunteers. If you volunteered for any organization that seemed worthy to you, they would think they'd died and gone to heaven.
It's a great way to build your network too.
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Old Nov 12th 2007, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: unpaid volunteer work

thank you Judy for getting back to me so quick

i did volunteer work for
Victim Support helping people get through difficult times with assaults, burglary, domestic violence, rape and murder for about 6 years

then moved to a different organisation helping loved ones come to terms with road crash deaths for about 2 years
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Old Nov 12th 2007, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: unpaid volunteer work

It is not only about not being paid. It has to be an activity that is not considered a work. From Immigration Manual:

What kind of activities are not considered to be “work”?

• An activity which does not really ‘take away’ from opportunities for Canadians or permanent residents to gain employment or experience in the workplace is not “work” for the purposes of the definition.

Examples of activities not considered to be work include, but are not limited to:

• volunteer work for which a person would not normally be remunerated, such as sitting on the board of a charity or religious institution; being a ‘big brother’ or ‘big sister’ to a child; being on the telephone line at a rape crisis centre. (Normally this activity would be part time and incidental to the main reason that a person is in Canada);

• unremunerated help by a friend or family member during a visit, such as a mother assisting a daughter with childcare, or an uncle helping his nephew build his own cottage;

• long distance (by telephone or internet) work done by a temporary resident whose employer is outside Canada and who is remunerated from outside Canada;

• self-employment where the work to be done would have no real impact on the labour market, nor really provide an opportunity for Canadians. Examples include a U.S. farmer crossing the border to work on fields that he owns, or a miner coming to work on his own claim.

There may be other types of unpaid short-term work where the work is really incidental to the main reason that a person is visiting Canada and is not a competitive activity, even though non- monetary valuable consideration is received. For instance, if a tourist wishes to stay on a family farm and work part time just for room and board for a short period (i.e., 1-4 weeks), this person would not be considered a worker.

What is an activity that “competes directly”?

Officers should consider whether there is entry into the labour market. Questions to consider:

• Will they be doing an activity that a Canadian or permanent resident should really have an opportunity to do? (nothing to do with being paid or not being paid)

• Will they be engaging in a business activity that is competitive in the marketplace?

If the answer to either of these questions is ‘yes’, the foreign national intends to engage in a competitive activity, which would be considered “work”. (and requires work permit)

Examples of “work” include, but are not limited to:

• a foreign technician coming to repair a machine, or otherwise fulfil a contract, even when they will not be paid directly by the Canadian company for whom they are doing the work;

• self-employment, which could constitute a competitive economic activity such as opening a dry- cleaning shop or fast-food franchise. (A self-employed person may also be considered to be working if they receive a commission or payment for services);

• unpaid employment undertaken for the purpose of obtaining work experience, such as an internship or practicum normally done by a student.


It is very easy to "cross the line" and be found working illegally, even as volunteer.
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Old Nov 12th 2007, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: unpaid volunteer work

yes thats what i thought as the volunteer work i did in the uk some students used it to gain experience to move into a job related role ie social worker counselling etc

i have qualifications and alot of experience in this area but they are not recognized by canada and was unsure if i took on a voluntary role, that i would be taking the chance of experience away from a student trying to gain some experience.

my paid job was office administrator / customer customer / debt collections so is totally unrelated to the voluntary work i did
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Old Nov 12th 2007, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: unpaid volunteer work

Thank you for the clarification, Andrew.
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Old Nov 12th 2007, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: unpaid volunteer work

thank you everyone for your advice
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Old Nov 13th 2007, 2:24 am
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Default Re: unpaid volunteer work

hello *spookylady*

i know how you feel...i have been in the same positon you are.

Andrew also helped me with clarification of the volunteer bit too when i was waiting for my spouse application to be finalised.

I ended up volunteering in a retirement home for the elderly. There was a volunteer program in place. it was not taking any position in any way whatsoever from a candian cit or residnet.the program is endless they are always looking for people to read to the elderly or to just to visit..or help with craft activities etc.

i rang CIC just to confirm that this would be ok.and i will admit i rang them twice.and both times got the same answer!..i know it's a miracle...LOL....

at least your AIP's are coming faster these days....it will be here before you know it and then you will be able to work for money!!...yippeee..
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Old Nov 13th 2007, 4:30 am
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Default Re: unpaid volunteer work

hehe i cant wait Maple Leaf

and yes i am sooo very bored i am used to working 2 jobs and i used to put in at least 2 to 4 hours voluntary work in a week sometimes more depending on urgency and its like ive got here and bam nothing to fill my free time.

when i do get my papers through my husband only wants me to work part time which i will but i still want to get involved with the voluntary side of the city as i love it so much doing that kind of thing.

my next step is to see what i can get that wont effect anything

thank you everyone
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