LMIA exempt worker
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that is required to apply for most Canadian work permits. However, there are some types of Canadian work permits that are LMIA exempt.
Before an employer in Canada can hire a foreign worker, they must get an LMIA. A positive LMIA proves that the employer tried to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the position but were unsuccessful, so they need to hire a foreign national instead.
When a foreign national applies for most Canadian work permits, they need a positive LMIA. However, there are some exceptions.
Restricted LMIA-Exempt Work Permits
Restricted 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 a restricted work permit is LMIA-exempt depends on the nature of the job.
The significant benefit exemption can be applied if you bring an important social or cultural benefit to Canada.
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.
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 exempted from needing an LMIA.
Canada has signed some reciprocal agreements with various countries that allow citizens to work without needing an LMIA in some circumstances.
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) and the new Canadian-European 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.
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