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A religious worker is a person who wishes to enter Canada and engage in the following types of work in Canada: preaching doctrine, providing spiritual counselling, and leading religious functions. Such persons need to demonstrate, among other things, that they have a genuine offer of employment from the religious organization in Canada and that the organization will remunerate them so that their care and support is covered.

Further, they must prove to an immigration officer that will be responsible for assisting a congregation or group in the achievement of its spiritual goals and their main duties in Canada will be:

  • preach doctrine
  • perform functions related to gatherings of the congregation or group or
  • provide spiritual counselling, either as an ordained minister or a member of a religious order

Other duties may include:

  • conduct of regular religious services
  • administration of rites of faiths such as marriages and funerals
  • prayer and the promotion of spirituality by delivering sermons and other religious talks
  • provision of spiritual and moral guidance to members of a religious faith

Note: A Religious Worker work permit is Labour Market Impact Assessment exempt. That means the religious organization in Canada that wants to hire you, does not first have to apply for and receive a LMIA from Service Canada before you can apply for your work permit.

Eastman Law Office has assisted many foreign nationals to apply for and receive religious worker approval to work in Canada.

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To be eligible you must have a valid offer of employment and a offer of employment number. You must also be able to meet the general eligibility requirements for a work permit as follows:

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.


Please call Eastman Law Office at (905) 451-1550 for a consultation or e-mail us at to begin applying for your Religious Worker Application.

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Please note that none of the information on this website should be construed as being legal advice. As well, you should not rely on any of the information contained in this website when determining whether and how to apply to any program offered by Immigration Canada. Canadian immigration law changes constantly, and therefore information contained on this website may be out of date and no longer valid. If you have a question about the contents of this website, or any question about Canadian immigration law, please contact Eastman Law Office.

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