Find out if you are exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment

Foreign nationals who want to work in Canada should learn about the basic requirements and what their future employer may need to do. In many cases, an employer must get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire a foreign worker.

An LMIA is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada that allows an employer to hire a foreign worker through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Employers who hire foreign workers through the International Mobility Program:

  • do not need an LMIA
  • need to pay an employer compliance fee and submit an offer of employment to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada through the Employer Portal before you can apply for a work permit.
    • This does not apply to employers who wish to hire foreign workers who are eligible to apply for an open work permit.

The following types of workers are exempt from a LMIA, but need a work permit:

  • Workers covered under international agreements

    This group can include:

    • professionals,
    • traders,
    • investors.
  • People taking part in exchange programs
    • youth exchange programs,
    • teacher exchange programs and
    • other joint programs.
  • Spouses

    This group can include:

    • spouses and common-law partners of certain foreign students who study full time;
    • spouses and common-law partners of certain skilled foreign workers; and
    • spouses and common-law partners who are in Canada and have been sponsored through the Family Class by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and have applied for permanent residence.
  • Workers who are eligible for a work permit through a federal-provincial/territorial agreement
    • Agreements between the Government of Canada and provincial/territorial governments can include specific exemptions from the LMIA process. Find out if you are eligible to come to Canada through a federal-provincial/territorial agreement.
  • Workers nominated by a province or territory for permanent residence
    • The worker must have a job offer from an employer based in that province/territory.
  • People already working in Canada who have applied for permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class
    • The worker must have received a positive eligibility assessment on their permanent residence application and have a work permit that will expire within the next four months to be eligible.
  • Repair personnel for industrial or commercial equipment
    • The worker must be entering Canada to make emergency repairs to industrial equipment or repairs to out-of-warranty equipment. Failure to complete these repairs could result in a disruption of employment.
  • Workers transferred within a company
    • workers who have been transferred to their company’s Canadian operations.
  • Academics
    • researchers, guest lecturers, visiting professors and others.
  • Co-op students
    • international students studying in Canada and doing co-op work placements or internships as part of their study program.
  • Religious workers
    • people doing charitable or religious work.
  • Workers who are essential to a television or film production, if:
    • the production will create and maintain significant economic benefits for Canadians and permanent residents, and
    • the job is high wage and unionized.
  • Performers or workers in a related job in dance (such as ballet and contemporary), opera, orchestral music or live theatre whose employer:
    • is a Canadian non-profit performing arts company or organization,
    • receives federal funding, and
    • can show that reciprocal opportunities exist for Canadians and permanent residents abroad in the same discipline.
  • Francophones, if they:
    • will live and work in a Francophone community outside Quebec,
    • have been recruited through a Francophone immigration promotional event coordinated between the federal government and francophone minority community stakeholders,
    • use French on a daily basis, and
    • will work in a job at a National Occupation Code (NOC) skill level of 0, A or B.

    If you are already working in Canada under an LMIA exemption for Francophones, you can apply to extend your work permit.

  • Interns
    • Workers who will be interns with international organizations recognized under the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act, for example: International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), or a diplomatic mission of a foreign government.

Find out how to apply for a work permit as an intern with international organizations recognized under the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act.

  • Others
    • people who need to support themselves while they are in Canada, such as those waiting on a refugee claim.
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