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LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

What Is A LMIA-Exempt Work Permit?

A Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker. But, did you know, there are types of LMIA-Exempt work permits?

If you want to work in Canada, it is required to have a work permit and most Canadian work permits are Employer-specific Work Permit that allows you to work according to the conditions of the Canadian Employer, which requires positive LMIA. However, there is some exception.

Jobs Exempt from the LMIA

In most cases, your employer needs an LMIA to support your job offer for Express Entry. Though, some workers do not need an LMIA which depends on the nature of the job.

1. Exempt for “Canadian interests” reasons:

  • Significant Benefit – This exemption can only be allowed if the employer proved to the Canadian Government that you will bring an important benefit to Canada (social, cultural, and/or economic).
  • Creative and performing artists, Self-employed engineers, Trade workers, etc.
  • Intra-company transferees with specialized knowledge.
  • Workers under Mobilité francophone / French-Speaking Skilled Workers
  • Minister-Designated Exemptions – This applies to individuals under the discretion of the Minister of Immigration like people sponsored through a recognized federal program and people who have received academic awards through Canadian institutions.
  • Reciprocal Employment – Let foreign workers have the opportunity to work in Canada in specific industries where Canadians have similar opportunities in other countries.
    • People in exchange programs.
    • Professional coaches and athletes working for Canadian teams.
  • Charity and religious work (not including volunteers)


2. International Youth Exchange Programs

This exemption allow allows young people to travel and work in Canada without requiring an LMIA.

3. Entrepreneurs & Self-Employed

Foreign citizens who want to operate their own business temporarily in Canada.

4. International Trade Agreements

Examples are CUSMA or GATS, and non-trade agreements. This can include professionals, traders, and investors.

If you meet any of the said criteria above, you can apply for LMIA-Exempt Work Permit. If not, no worries! There are still ways if you really want to work in Canada. Complete our free online assessment to discover your options!


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