There are some cases where a positive LMIA is not required in order to be eligible to apply for a work permit.
The following categories are exempt from requiring a positive LMIA. A work permit can be obtained without one
- Athletes and sports persons
- Business visitor
- Civil aviation inspector
- Convention organizers
- Emergency service providers
- Examiners and evaluators
- Expert witnesses or investigators
- Foreign government officers
- Foreign representatives and Family members of foreign representatives
- Health care students
Being exempt from obtaining a LMIA does not mean the individual is exempt from obtaining a work permit. All streams on the LMIA exemption list still require the individual to obtain a work permit to work in Canada legally.
Certain circumstances allow for individuals to work in Canada without first obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment. Work Permits may be issued by Canadian immigration officials without the LMIA requirement in a limited number of situations, as follows:
- Under international agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
- Due to the significant economic, social or cultural benefits the work activity will bring to Canadians;
- As part of reciprocal agreements Canada and its provinces/territories have entered into with other countries, such as youth and teacher exchange programs;
- So that international students studying in Canada can fulfill academic requirements, known as co-op placements;
- To allow the spouses/common-law partners of Work Permit and certain Study Permit holders in Canada to work in Canada;
- Because the nature of the work is charitable or religious;
- In recognition that certain persons in Canada for reasons other than the above-mentioned, such as the making of a refugee claim, need to support themselves.
NAFTA Work Permits
These permits are issued under the North American Free Trade Agreement, allowing work without a LMIA.
These permits will allow a company to bring certain employees to Canada from its offices abroad without a LMIA.
In many cases, business visitors may work in Canada without a work permit, so long as they don’t enter the Canadian labour market. Business visitors must demonstrate the following:
- they plan to stay for less than six months,
- they do not plan to enter the Canadian labour market,
- the main place of business, and source of income and profits, is outside Canada,
- they have documents that support their application and
- they meet Canada’s basic entry requirements, because they
- have a valid travel document, such as a passport,
- have enough money for their stay and to return home,
- plan to leave Canada at the end of your visit, and
are not a criminal, security or health risk to Canadians. There are a number of reasons why an individual may come to Canada as a business visitor, including:
- Attending business meetings, conferences, conventions, fairs, etc;
- Buying Canadian goods or services on behalf of a foreign entity;
- Taking orders for goods or services;
- Providing after-sales service, excluding hands-on work in the construction trades;
- Being trained by a Canadian parent company for work outside of Canada; and
- Training employees of a Canadian subsidiary of a foreign company.
Business visitors to Canada may require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)