LMIA Exempt Work Permit

LMIA exempt work permit

Closed LMIA-exempt work permits allow a foreign national to work for a specified employer in a specific capacity, but they are exempt from the requirement for a positive LMIA. The type of the job typically determines whether or not a closed work permit is exempt from the LMIA.

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement may not always apply to international workers in Canada. The following situations are the most typical ones in which Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will waive the LMIA procedure for a request for a Canadian work permit:

International Agreements’ Coverage

For investors, traders, business travellers, and other professionals covered by agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement, this category facilitates the issuance of Canadian work permits (NAFTA). Such international accords have determined that the transfer of labour benefits Canada and hence do not require an LMIA.

International exchange programme

People who enter Canada through youth exchange program, including teacher exchanges, joint exchange program, SWAP (Student Work Abroad Program), IEC (International Experience Canada), and the Working Holiday Visa, are also excluded.

Entrepreneurs & self-employed
To be given an LMIA exemption, foreign nationals who wish to work for themselves or run their own business while in Canada must prove that doing so will significantly benefit Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Private business owners who want to launch or run a company in Canada may be eligible for an LMIA-exempt work visa. Qualified entrepreneurs must meet these requirements:
  • They must show that the work performed in Canada will be transitory, they must have exclusive or majority control of the business, and the enterprise must greatly benefit Canada (for example, seasonal business owners).
  • Entrepreneurs who have applied for permanent resident status in Canada may also be free from LMIA.
Intra-company transfers
Employers abroad are not required to get an LMIA to move staff to a Canadian branch temporarily.
French-speaking professionals
The requirement for an LMIA may not apply to French-speaking skilled employees who have a legitimate job offer in a province or territory other than Quebec.