LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

Most foreign workers require an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) supported job offer to stay and work in Canada.

A Labour Market Impact Assessment is a process through which Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) verifies an employer’s need to hire foreign workers because no eligible Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents can be found to do the job. However, some LMIA exemptions are made available by IRCC for foreign nationals.

Closed-LMIA Exempt Work Permits

There are some exemptions available to hire a foreign worker without an LMIA job offer, and Closed-LMIA exempt work permits are one of them.

You will not need LMIA support for your job if:

  • You have worked for the employer mentioned on your work permit for a minimum of one year.
  • You have got a valid job offer and;
  • You have a work permit that has an exemption from an LMIA under one of these:
    • A provincial-federal Agreement
    • It falls under the category of “Canadian Interest”
    • An international Agreement

Types of LMIA- Exempt Jobs:

  • Jobs Covered by provincial, territorial and federal agreements including “Significant Investment Projects.”
  • Jobs covered by International agreements like NAFTA, GATS or CUSMA and other non-trade agreements
  • Jobs in which you can provide a “Significant Benefit” to Canada and your employer can prove that.These benefits can be economic, cultural or social. This category includes technical workers, performing and creative artists, self-employed engineers. Intracompany transfers and Mobility Francophones are also included in this category.
  • Jobs in which your employment is “Reciprocal,” which means you get a job in a category where Canadian Citizens have similar opportunities in other countries.This category includes general workers like athletes working for Canadians, young professionals under International Experience Canada and exchange professionals like professors.
  • Jobs in which you are coming in as a religious or charity worker.
  • Jobs designated by Ministers, including academics from Canadian Schools, medical residents and more.

Other programs through which you can receive an LMIA-exempt work permit are:

Provincial Nominee Programs

An applicant may receive an employer-specific work permit based on provincial nomination supported by his employer.

Intra-Company Transfers

Foreign workers working for Canadian Companies abroad and who want to come to Canada also do not need an LMIA.

Co-op Work Permit

When international students must come to Canada to get a placement, which is a part of their study, they receive an LMIA exempt work permit.

Spousal Open Work Permits

If your common-law partner or spouse is currently studying or working in Canada, you can be eligible for an open work permit. This Spousal work permit gives you the ability to come, stay and work for any employer in Canada.

Bridging Open Work Permits

A bridging open work permit Canada(BOWP) allows work permit holders to continue working while waiting on their permanent residency application results.

Post-Graduation Work Permits

After completing their education from eligible DLIs (Designated Learning Institutions), international students can obtain an open post-graduation work permit to work in Canada for a specific period

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