Work for UK firm, live in Canada

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  • People sometimes come onto the BE forum and ask if they can continue working for their current UK employer while they live in Canada.


  • This is particularly appealing to people who are in a position to work remotely.


  • Only the following people are able to enter into that kind of work arrangement:
    • Canadian citizens
    • Permanent residents of Canada
    • Holders of spousal open work permits (SOWPs). You can get an SOWP if your spouse or common-law partner has a work permit and if he/she belongs to Skill Level A, B or O on the National Occupational Classification. For a lower skill level - there would have to be an Active pilot project running.
    • Visitors to Canada who work remotely for foreign companies.
      • However, please note that living in Canada as a visitor is not without its limitations. Please see the BE Wiki article entitled Living in Canada as a VISITOR.
      • Also please note that it's unusual for a visitor to be allowed to work in Canada. Page 26 of Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Foreign Worker Manual provides a definition, description and examples of work that visitors are not allowed to do. In essence, the work that a visitor is not allowed to do is any economic activity that involves competing with Canadian workers in the labour market. Another way of looking at it is any activity that has the potential to take work away from Canadian workers. One of the few exceptions to the prohibition against a visitor's working in Canada is long distance (by telephone or internet) work done by a temporary resident whose employer is outside Canada and who is remunerated from outside Canada.


  • This article is not referring to working for the Canadian branch of a foreign company. Intra-company transfers, involving management executives or people with specialized knowledge that is not commonly available in Canada, are eligible for temporary work permits.


  • This article is addressed to the person who wants to live in Canada but work for a company that is located outside of Canada.


  • It is not possible to get a temporary work permit in Canada on the basis that you will be working for a company located outside of Canada.


NOTE: It is possible to get a TWP in Canada on the basis that you will be working for a company outside of Canada as long as the outside company has a service contract with a Canadian company.