Work Permit (LMIA Exempt)

Most foreign workers will need to obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before submitting their work permit applications, however certain categories are exempt from this requirement. The list is extensive, and some examples are:

    • International Experience Canada (Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-Op)
    • Applicants whose spouse or partner is an international student or skilled worker (Spousal Work Permit)
    • Full-time international students attending a Designated Learning Institution on a Study Permit
    • Applicants who have completed their studies in Canada (Post-Graduation Work Permit)
    • Certain applicants in Canada who have applied for permanent residence (Bridging Open Work Permit)
    • Employees of companies with a branch, parent company, affiliate, or subsidiary in Canada (Intra-Company Transfer)
    • International agreements (e.g. CUSMA and other Free Trade Agreements)
    • Applicants who can demonstrate that their employment in Canada will create a “significant” social, cultural or economic benefit to Canada
    • In-Canada Spousal/Common-Law Partner sponsorship applicants 
    • Applicants who have been approved in principle for permanent residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds

As shown in the examples above, LMIA-exempt work permits can be issued to temporary foreign workers, as well as permanent residence applicants in certain circumstances. Some are “employer-specific” and some are “open”, meaning that the person can work for any employer or even be self-employed. The motivation behind the exemptions varies; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada welcomes opportunities for Canada to benefit on an economic or cultural level, but also recognizes special circumstances where individuals should be granted the right to support themselves in Canada. In special cases, a work permit may not be needed at all. Our lawyers, with over 25 years of experience, can determine if you qualify under an exemption, or if you need a Work Permit with Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and assist you in submitting your application correctly.