bridging work permitCanadaCanada immigrationcanada work permitCanadian Open Work PermitLabour market opinionLMIATemporary Foreign Worker

LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

Published on: February 13th, 2020
Last updated: May 18th, 2022

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required to apply for most Canadian work permits. Obtaining an LMIA document can be a lengthy process that some employers avoid. Fortunately, there are some types of Canadian work permits that are LMIA-exempt.

Free Assessment

For the most part, before employers in Canada can hire a foreign worker, they must get an LMIA. A positive LMIA, sometimes called a confirmation letter, proves that the employer has tried and failed to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the position, so they need to hire a foreign national instead.

When a foreign national applies for most Canadian work permits, they need to have a copy of the positive LMIA and the LMIA number included in the application. However, there are some exceptions.

There are basically three kinds of Canadian work permits:

  1. Closed Work Permits
  2. Open Work Permits
  3. Closed LMIA-exempt Work Permits

Most Canadian work permits are closed work permits, which require a positive LMIA. A closed work permit is issued to a foreign worker to work in a specific position and for a specific employer that is listed on the LMIA.

An open work permit, on the other hand, lets foreign workers work in any position, for any employer, anywhere in Canada. Since open work permits are not restricted to an occupation or employer, they do not require an LMIA. You also do not need to have a job offer to apply for an open work permit.

Closed LMIA-exempt work permits are kind of in the middle. They allow foreign workers to work for a specific employer in a specific position, but do not require an LMIA.

Jobs exempt from an LMIA

Closed LMIA-exempt work permits authorize a foreign national to work in a specific position for a specific employer, but don’t need a positive LMIA. Usually, whether or not a closed work permit is LMIA-exempt depends on the nature of the job.

Significant benefit

This exemption can be applied if your employer is able to prove that you will bring an important social, cultural, or economic benefit to Canada. For example:

  • Technical workers, creative and performing artists, self-employed engineers, etc.
  • Intra-company transferees with specialized knowledge that will contribute to the Canadian economy through their specialized skills and experience
  • Workers under Mobilité francophone

Reciprocal employment

This exemption allows foreign workers the opportunity to work in Canada in specific industries where Canadians have similar opportunities in other countries. For example:

  • Professional athletes and coaches working with Canadian teams
  • Professors, guest lecturers, and students participating in exchange programs

Entrepreneurs & self-employed

Foreign nationals who want to work for themselves or operate their own business temporarily in Canada need to demonstrate that their business would generate significant economic, social, or cultural benefits for Canadian citizens or permanent residents to be granted a LMIA exemption.

Intra-company transferees

International companies can temporarily transfer employees to a Canadian branch without requiring an LMIA.

French-speaking skilled workers

French-speaking skilled workers who have a valid job offer in a province or territory outside of Quebec may be exempt from needing an LMIA.

International trade agreements

Some international Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) contain provisions to make it easier for businesspeople to work temporarily in the signed countries. While foreign workers covered by an applicable FTA still usually need a closed work permit, they are exempt from the LMIA requirement. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are both examples.

International youth exchange programs

Canada also participates in some international youth exchange programs that allow young people to travel and work in Canada without requiring an LMIA. For example, the Young Professionals category of International Experience Canada for individuals with a job offer in Canada that contributes to their professional development.

Minister-designated exemptions

This exemption applies to specific situations and is at the discretion of the Minister of Immigration. For example:

  • Academics, researchers, guest lecturers and visiting professors who are sponsored through a recognized federal program
  • Medical residents and fellows, and people who have received academic awards through Canadian institutions

Want to come to Canada permanently? Complete our free online assessment to discover your options!

Get Started

Recent articles

Immigration Tips

What is the CELPIP Test for Canadian Immigration?

CELPIP stands for the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program and is an English test that allows test takers to demonstrate their ability to function […]

Canada Permanent Residence

How Soon Should You Move to Canada After Your PR is Approved?

If your overseas Express Entry permanent residence (PR) application has been approved, you will eventually need to move to Canada. Many new confirmed PRs choose […]

Canada Work Permit

Top In-Demand Jobs in Canada for 2022

The job vacancy rate in Canada was at an all-time high at the end of 2021. While various jobs are in-demand across Canada, several have […]

Canada Permanent Residence

How Does Canada Verify Work Experience for Immigration?

When applying for Canadian permanent residence, immigration officers may use several methods to verify your work experience history.

Study-2-Immigrate

5 Ways to Stay in Canada After Your PGWP Expires

With FHS Express Entry draws paused indefinitely, many international graduates feel limited in their options to remain in Canada after their PGWP expires.

Study Permit

Do I Need a Permit to Study Online in Canada?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education across the globe; with online learning becoming the new norm, there has been some confusion surrounding whether a permit is required to study online in Canada.

Inadmissibility

Crimes That Will Make You Inadmissible to Canada

If you have a criminal record and are planning to come to Canada, it is important to understand the types of crimes that will make […]

Canada Permanent Residence

Top Four Best Provinces in Canada for New Immigrants

A question we are often asked is, “What is the best province in Canada for immigrants?” With Canada being the second-largest country in the world, […]

Study Permit

Can a Study Permit be Changed to a Work Permit in Canada?

Looking to change from a study permit to a work permit? The process will depend on where you are at in your program.

Canada Permanent Residence

Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TR to PR) Pathway (closed)

As of May 6, 2021, essential workers and international graduates currently working in Canada can apply for Canadian permanent residency under favourable new Immigration programs.

Canada Work Permit

Canada Launches New Open Work Permit for Hong Kong Residents

Starting February 8th 2021, eligible Hong Kong residents can apply for a 3 year Canadian open work permit, designed to give highly educated Hong Kong residents the opportunity to gain valuable Canadian work experience.

Canada Permanent Residence

Landing in Canada During COVID-19

In order to finish your application process for Canadian permanent residency, you need to land in Canada. As of June 21, 2021, applicants who have […]

Canada Permanent Residence

How to Immigrate to Canada From Nigeria

Nigerian immigration to Canada has become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, Nigeria is one of the main source countries of Canada’s immigrant population; […]

Canada Permanent Residence

How to Immigrate to Canada From Lebanon

The Lebanese population in Canada is one of the fastest growing demographics. In 2001, there were nearly 144,000 Lebanese in Canada. According to the 2016 […]

Canada Permanent Residence

Best Ways to Immigrate to Canada From India in 2022

There are many options to immigrate to Canada from India. In fact, Indian nationals have the highest success rate when applying for Canadian immigration compared […]

Work in Canada

The Ultimate Guide to Finding a Job in Canada in 2022

Many foreign nationals look to Canada as a land of opportunity, hoping to secure a comfortable life for themselves and their families. One of the […]

International Students

Can you Study in Canada Without Taking the IELTS?

Most colleges and universities require international students to show they are comfortable working in English or French, but there are some exceptions. Hopeful international students […]

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP): How to find a job offer

Canada’s Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) has been growing in strides since its introduction in 2017, and has quickly become a promising option for those interested […]

International Students

PNP Immigration Options for International Students in 2022

If you want to come study in Canada as an international student, you might be wondering which province you should study in. Are there benefits to […]

Study Permit

5 Steps to Getting your Canadian Study Permit

Canada is becoming an increasingly popular destination for international students coming from all over the world. Before you can come to study in Canada, there are a few […]

Living in Canada

Best Places to Relocate in Canada From the US

Considering making the move across the border from the U.S. to Canada? You’re not alone. In 2021, close to 12,000 U.S. residents made the move […]

International Students

Studying in Canada vs the USA: Six Big Reasons to Choose Canada

Speedy processing times for study permits, top-quality educational institutions, and an open and welcoming society are just some of the factors that influence international students […]

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)

How to Get a Canadian Provincial Nomination Certificate

Provincial nomination certificates have become an increasingly popular way to immigrate to Canada. There are dozens of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), each with its own […]

International Students | Study Permit

5 Reasons Canadian Study Permit Applications Get Refused

Studying in Canada is a dream come true for many international students. When you receive a letter of acceptance from a Canadian school, it might […]

Immigration Tips

How to Write a Reference Letter for Canadian Immigration

To be eligible for most Canadian economic immigration programs, you need to have some work experience. For many streams, that work experience needs to be […]

International Students

How to Bring Your Family With You While Studying in Canada

There are a lot of great benefits to being an international student in Canada, including the ability to bring family with you while you study.  […]

Work in Canada

How to Immigrate to Canada as a Tech Worker

Canada’s tech sector is booming and needs labour to sustain its growth; for this reason, the Canadian government offers ample immigration options for tech workers […]

Canada Permanent Residence

Immigrating to Canada as a Single Parent

If you are planning to immigrate to Canada as a single parent, there are few things you should know before you start the process.

Uncategorized

Immigrating to Canada as a Recent Graduate

Canada’s low employment rate, high quality of life, and boundless opportunities make it a great country for new graduates. If you’ve just completed a foreign […]

Immigration Tips

What is an AOR in Canadian Immigration?

An Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR) is an official document that confirms that Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has received your application. IRCC issues an AOR […]

Free assessment

Discover your Canadian immigration options. Get your free assessment now!