Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Exemptions

Though the first step involved in hiring a foreign worker/professional is the Canadian employer securing a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), this requirement is not applicable in several cases.

The following category are exempt from the need to secure a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) prior to their employment in Canada. Click on each section below to know more:

Note 1: Employers whose business or company is registered in Canada’s Atlantic provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Prince Edward Island) can now hire foreign workers without having to obtain an LMIA through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP). To know more about the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), click here.

Note 2: Certain class of individuals do not need a work permit to work in Canada. To know more about the category of persons who do not require a work permit to work in Canada, click here.

The concept of significant benefit

Two types of benefits are covered under this category – social and cultural. The Canadian visa officers have certain degree of authority to decide whether a work permit application can be LMIA-exempt based on social and cultural aspects inherent in the individual’s proposed work-related entry to Canada. For this, the individual’s contribution must be significant and noticeable. Canadian visa officers typically rely on the following while assessing for significant benefit in an application:

  • Testimonies from distinguished experts;
  • Testimonies from renowned Subject Matter Experts (SMEs);
  • Objective evidences that have been made available.

Atlantic Designated Employers

Employers in Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Prince Edward Island), through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), can now hire foreign workers to Canada without having to secure a positive labour market opinion. However, this is subject to the fact that they have received Employer Designation from the province in which their business or company is registered. In the province of Nova Scotia, the employers are also required to obtain provincial endorsement. To learn more about the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), click here.

Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Persons

Private entrepreneurs and self-employed persons are eligible for LMIA Exempt work permits if they can successfully substantiate they intend to start or operate a business in Canada, and that their work in Canada will be temporary in nature. To be eligible, they must:

  • Demonstrate that their work in Canada is going to be temporary in nature;
  • Demonstrate that they are going to start or operate a business in Canada;
  • Demonstrate that the applicant is the sole owner of the business, OR, the majority (more than 50%) share holder in the business.

To know more about this option, contact us.

Intra-Company Transfers (ICT)

Intra-company transferees are exempt from the requirement to have an LMIA prior to the issuance of the work permit. Intra-company transfers are governed by sections R186(a) and R205(a) C12 of the Canadian immigration law. Under the provisions of these sections (that falls under the international mobility program), if a business has its branch/subsidiary/affiliate/parent company/head office/headquarters in Canada, then the business can transfer its key employees to the Canadian office as intra-company transferees. Though intra-company transfers are exempt from LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment), workers and professionals who use this mobility program must comply to other immigration requirements applicable to foreign workers in Canada. That is, depending on their country of citizenship, they may have to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) based on their intra-company transfer application. The TRV will be the visa to Canada enabling the person to work in Canada as an intra-company transferee. To see if what you need is a TRV or an eTA to come to Canada, click hereTo know more about Intra-company transfers, click here.

NAFTA

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), American and Mexican citizens are eligible to work in Canada without the need to have an LMIA. American citizens do not require a TRV nor an eTA to work in Canada. Mexican citizen only need an eTA to work in Canada. And though both American as well as Mexican citizens do not need an LMIA to work in Canada, they must comply to the stipulations pertaining the performance of temporary work in Canada. To know more about LMIA exemptions under NAFTA, click here.

CETA

The European Union (EU) and its members states have signed the CETA (Under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) with Canada. Under CETA, professionals, investors, business visitors, intra-company transferees and certain service providers can enter Canada and perform paid occupations without needing to have an LMIA done. Whilst the whole LMIA process is challenging for a person from another country to enter Canada for paid work purposes, the CETA provides a unique opportunity to citizens from the European Union and its member states to be employed in Canada. To know more about LMIA exemptions under CETA, click here.

Provincial Nominees

Worker and professionals nominated by a province or territory, and who have secured a job offer from a Canadian employer are exempt from the need to secure a positive LMIA before the work permit can be issued. However, to be eligible, the job offer secured by the individual must be from an employer or business registered in the province that nominated the individual. To know more about Provincial Nominee programs, click here.

Spouse and Dependents of Foreign Workers

Spouses and dependent children (children under the age of 22) of foreign workers holding a work permit for a skilled job category (Skill levels 0, A, B) do not require an LMIA. However, this does not include spouse and common-law partner or children of persons engaged in an international exchange programs in Canada. To know more about this option, click here.

Certain class of persons employed in the Academia

The following class of persons employed in the academia does not require an LMIA:

  • Guest lecturers
  • Visiting professors
  • Researchers

International Exchange Programs

Canada participates in a wide spectrum of international youth exchange programs. Person who successfully take part in these programs are exempt from the need to secure an LMIA. These include, but not limited to:

To know more about the International Experience Canada (IEC) programs, click here.

Religious Workers

Foreign workers who wish to take part in religious work are exempt from the need to secure an LMIA. However, this is subject to certain conditions, including but not limited to:

  • The individual must a part of the religious community where he or she intend to work; OR
  • The individual must share the same belief of the community where he or she intend to work; OR
  • The individual must have the ability to teach or share other religious beliefs as required by the employer, if applicable;
  • The individual must be involved in advanced spiritual teachings of a religious faith, and at the same time ensure maintaining the doctrines and spiritual observances on which such teachings are based.

Charitable Workers

There is a clear distinction between a charitable worker and a volunteer worker. Whilst a charitable worker may get compensated by his or her employer for the work he or she does in Canada, a volunteer worker does not. And because of this reason, a volunteer worker does not require an LMIA or a work permit to enter Canada. At the same time, a charitable worker need a work permit, though he or she may not need an LMIA. This is because the charitable worker, by definition, can be a paid employee in Canada. Also, it is not mandatory that the organization must be registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Organizations not registered with the Canada Revenue Agency may also apply for LMIA exempt work permits to bring charitable worker(s) form other counties.

If you wish to know more or if you have any doubts/questions regarding this topic, you can leave us a message. Our experts will be in touch with you within 24 business hours.