Tattoos In Canada: (The Ultimate Guide)

The Question is are you allowed a tattoo in Canada?

So, if you are wondering what’s the status of tattooing in Canada, you have come to the right place.

In this article, we will find answers to some burning questions like whether it is allowed to have a tattoo in Canada and whether having a tattoo will affect your Canadian immigration status.

A few months ago, the story of a Canadian model went viral who got a botched eyeball tattoo from her boyfriend and nearly lost her eye.

This led many people living in and outside Canada to wonder what laws do this country has regarding tattoos in general.

Because tattooing is an act of body modification, it may not suit everyone and may even go wrong in some circumstances.

That is the primary reason for having strict laws for tattooing in most countries in the world.

If you live in Canada and plan to have a tattoo in the near future, make sure you read this article till the end to clear any doubts you might have regarding this body.

It will not only help you stay safe from the dangers of tattooing but also avoid legal trouble in case you have an outrageous idea in your mind.

So, let’s get started.

Is Having a Tattoo Allowed In Canada?

Having a tattoo is allowed in Canada, but you should be at least 18 years of age to have a tattoo on your body legally.

If you’re 16 or 17 years old, you will need written permission from your parents or guardian to have a tattoo.

However, in Netherlands and Ireland, you can get a tattoo even if you’re 16 or even younger.

There is no age limit in these countries for getting inked and not even any strict policies regarding what kind of art is allowed.

However, in Canada, you need to be careful regarding these policies and bring photo identification along if you plan to get a tattoo.

Breaking the law regarding tattooing may lead to legal troubles and even persecution in this country. So, make sure you are well-informed regarding the tattoo laws before getting tattooed in Canada.

While it’s legal to have tattoos in the country, Canada is not among the top tattoo-friendly countries globally.

People who wish to get tattoos must show informed consent, a filled-out consent form to make the process legal.

In Canada, getting a tattoo is, therefore, similar to entering a contract.

There are particular guidelines for tattoo artists that they must adhere to if they wish to start a business in any province of Canada.

It is considered a criminal offense for a tattoo artist to ink a person who is under 18 years. A violation of this law may lead to legal proceedings, a heavy fine, or a charge as a misdemeanour.

Tattoos in the Workplace

Outrageous cosmetic procedures like getting face piercings and having strange-colored hair are often considered gothic and punk.

However, in Canadian culture, these modifications have recently become quite common. Therefore, they are not regarded as strange anymore. However, some workplaces in Canada still prohibit their employees from having any kind of visible tattoos.

It largely depends on the employer to devise their own rules and laws governing tattoos.

However, as a general rule of thumb, there shouldn’t be any tattoos or piercings that depict any kind of religious, ethnic, or political affiliation, customs, or culture.

In places like hospitals and schools, the employees are required to cover their tattoos when they arrive to work.

This is because patients do not feel comfortable getting care from a heavily tattooed person or has another type of body modification.

The same goes for teachers because tattoos can be distracting and may affect the students’ learning process.

Similarly, if an employer finds out that an employee’s appearance is upsetting their co-workers or clients, they may ask them to remove or cover the tattoo altogether.

Can Teachers Have a Tattoo In Canada?

Most professions in Canada allow tattoos.

If you have the right experience and degree, you can work as a school teacher in any province of Canada regardless of whether you have a tattoo or not.

However, getting an explicit tattoo or one that may not be appropriate for an educational setting, you may be asked to remove or cover it completely.

This is because such a tattoo may be offensive to some groups. Whether teachers can have tattoos or not is a stipulation that is usually included in the dress code description.

Some schools in Canada may disallow visible tattoos for all school officials, including educators. So, make sure you read the dress code rules of the school you are applying to find out if tattoos are allowed.

Will Having A Tattoo Affect My Canadian Immigration?

Many people are concerned about the status of their immigration if they decide to get a tattoo.

While most tattoos are not supposed to be offensive to any group, culture, or religion, some of them can become a problem, especially if you plan on getting a Canadian visa.

In the United States, people who apply for a green card often get into trouble if they have visible tattoos. The same may happen in Canada mainly if your tattoo is explicit or promotes

What You Need to Know If You Have a Tattoo Shop in Canada

Not everyone can start a tattooing business because it’s a body modification practice that may go wrong and cause health issues.

In Japan and South Korea, people can only get a tattoo from a licensed doctor. Since doctors are not artists, most people seek underground tattoo shops to get it professionally done by an artist.

If you plan on starting a business as a tattoo artist in Canada, make sure you get your copy of the legal guidelines and laws governing this particular form of body modification.

However, there is no formal licensing required for tattooists to open a tattoo shop in Canada.

Aspiring tattoo artists may apply at reputable and established tattoo shops in Canada.

Getting licensed can improve your chances of getting a job as a tattoo artist, but it’s not required by law.

However, if you have a high level of drawing skills and adequate experience in the field, you can quickly turn it into a professional career.


When it comes to tattoos, there are some strict policies and laws that exist around the world.

Regardless of where you live, it’s essential to do your homework before getting any kind of body art, especially one that may depict religious or political inclination. In this article, we looked at tattoos in Canada and how they may affect your career or other decisions in life.

Although around 38% of millennials have tattoos in Canada, some laws governing this body modification may affect your decision to get a tattoo yourself.

Whether you already have a tattoo or plan on getting one, you must be aware of these regulations.

First off, people under the age of 18 are now allowed to have tattoos on their bodies in Canada. Moreover, some workplaces prohibit visible tattoos especially ones that may be offensive or inappropriate for a particular setting.

If you plan on applying as a teacher or healthcare professional, read the dress code guidelines given by your employer to find out if tattoos are allowed for the employees.

It is completely legal to start a business as a tattoo artist in Canada. Although you don’t need any license to get started, it can improve your chances of getting a job at a reputable tattoo shop.

Moreover, it’s important to abide by the rules and regulations governing this art because violating any one of these policies can get them into legal trouble.

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