LMIA exempt work permit

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
  • Clergy
  • Convention organizers
  • Crew
  • 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.

 LMIA Exemptions

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.

Intra-Company Transfers

These permits will allow a company to bring certain employees to Canada from its offices abroad without a LMIA.

Business Visitors

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)

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