LMIA Exempt Work Permits

LMIA Exempt Work Permits

The Labor Market Impact Assessment is a crucial requirement to hire foreign workers in Canada as it aims to protect the employment opportunities for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Several factors like a fast-growing economy, lower retirement age, and low birth rates result in a labor shortage. The Canadian government facilitates employers to fill the positions through specific streams with no LMIA restrictions. One can explore a variety of LMIA exempt programs in Canada by consulting an immigration expert.


The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) requires applicants to obtain an employer-specific work permit with LMIA approval. The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) manages the program of the TFWP. Employers must prove their efforts to hire local candidates before offering the positions to foreign workers.

The International Mobility Program allows international workers to obtain LMIA-exempt work permits under the following Categories:

  • Significant Social and Cultural Benefits
  • Reciprocal agreements
  • Religious and charitable workers

The International Mobility Program secures the economic and social interests of Canada. Canadian employers can hire foreign workers under the International Mobility Program without applying for Labor Market Impact Assessment. International workers with an open work permit can seek employment in Canada with any employer, irrespective of the location. LMIA-exempt work permits may or may not be employer-specific.

Significant Social and Cultural Benefits

The applicant of an LMIA-exempt work permit has the capability to advance the cultural and social interests of Canada. The visa officers can be flexible in making an individual assessment of the applicant and allow a work permit with no need to secure a positive LMIA. The following individuals can qualify for LMIA-exempt streams:

  • The Intra-company Transfer– Executives, technicians, or managers working for a foreign organization can come to Canada on intra-company transfer. The company may have a branch in Canada or a relationship with a Canadian organization like a business associate or franchise. These individuals qualify for LMIA-exemption. 
  • Skilled workers with French language proficiency – Recruitment of foreign nationals through a francophone immigration promotion event may qualify for LMIA Exemption. They need to fulfill specific eligibility criteria for National Occupational Classification. 
  • Spouses and other dependents of skilled workers – Dependents of skilled workers who have a valid work permit can qualify for a work permit without LMIA approval. The spouses of international students with Post Graduate Work Permits can also work for any Canadian employer with an Open Work Permit. 
  • Academic professionals – Researchers, professors, and other academic professionals can qualify for International Mobility Program with no LMIA restrictions. 
  • Provincial nominees – You may be exempt from LMIA restriction if you have a provincial nomination with a job offer.
  • Businesspersons – Private entrepreneurs can consider Canada’s immigration to start a new business venture under the International Mobility Program to boost Canada’s economy and the job market. Self-employed individuals planning to operate a seasonal business in Canada may explore this opportunity. 

Reciprocal agreements

Canada offers work permits to individuals from specific countries under reciprocal programs as Canadians can work in these countries as per the agreements. The Reciprocal Youth Exchange Agreements and North American Free Trade Agreement are some examples of these programs.

Religious and charitable workers 

LMIA exemption is available for religious workers who work for specific religious objectives to advance the teachings of a particular religion. Charitable workers who engage in improving education and uplifting the poor people can apply for temporary work permits without any LMIA restrictions.

There are distinct advantages of obtaining an LMIA exempt work permit. Contact an established immigration consultant to understand the best suitable option. SunnySpire offers a broad spectrum of immigration services and helps aspiring immigrants navigate the complex immigration process of Canada.

Free Immigration Assessment