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Exemptions to LMIA Requirements Canada

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), formerly known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO), is a document issued by the Economic and Social Development Canada (ESDC) which allows Canadian employers to employ foreign nationals for a job position.

These foreign workers that require the Canadian government’s labor market test, known as the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) fall under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The motive of the TFWP is to ensure there is enabling power for employers in Canada to hire workers of foreign nationals when there are no suitable workers in Canada to do the job.

There are several cases where the need for an LMIA may be overlooked; this is where the need for an LMIA exemption comes into play. The LMIA exemption refers to a case in which it is required or mandatory for a Canadian employer to obtain an LMIA in order to hire a foreign worker on a temporary basis.

The Economic and Social Development Canada alongside the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) keeps tabs on an index of LMIA-exemptions which are organized through the International Mobility Program. Conversely, foreign workers that do not require an LMIA fall under the International Mobility Program (IMP).

The International Mobility Program (IMP) enables Canadian employers to hire temporary workers of foreign nationals without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The purpose of the IMP is to market Canada’s broad economic, social, and cultural interests.

Since IMP’s policy goals are extensive, the Canadian government does not utilize the LMIA process on foreign nationals who fall under any of IMP’s streams. While most employers hiring foreign workers will require an LMIA, there are certain cases where LMIA-exemptions exist. These LMIA exemptions depend on the accompanying conditions:

  • more extensive economic, social, or other competitive advantages for Canada; and
  • reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.

In order to rent a far-off worker through the IMP, a Canadian employer must follow three steps:

  • Confirm the position or worker in question qualifies for an LMIA-exemption;
  • Pay the employer compliance fee of $230 CAD;
  • Submit the official job offer through the IMP’s Employer Portal

Solely after finishing these three stages will the foreign national be qualified to apply for their own work license. LMIA-exempt workers may meet all requirements for sped-up work grant preparing through the Global Skills Strategy if their position is NOC Skill Level A or 0 and they are applying from outside of Canada.

In some cases, foreign workers in Canada are exempted from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirement. These are the most common conditions under which Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will disregard the LMIA process for a Canadian work permit application:

Coverage under International Agreements

Specific sorts of workers can move to Canada from different nations, and vice versa, if they are able to demonstrate this will have a positive impact.

This category facilitates Canadian work permits for investors, traders, business visitors, and other professionals covered under agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada-Chile FTA / Canada-Peru FTA / Canada-Colombia FTA / Canada-Korea FTA, Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Under such international agreements, the transfer of labour has been deemed a benefit to Canada, thus exempting the necessity for an LMIA.

Participation in an International Exchange Program

Additionally, excluded are those entering Canada through youth trades like SWAP (Student Work Abroad Program), IEC (International Experience Canada), and the Working Holiday Visa, instructor trades, and other joint trade programs.

Entrepreneurial Endeavours

Private business people wishing to begin or work a business in Canada may meet all requirements for an LMIA-excluded work license. Qualified business people should meet these models

  • have sole or greater part responsibility for the organization,
  • the business ought to altogether profit Canada, and
  • they should exhibit that work acted in Canada will be temporary (for instance, occasional entrepreneurs).

Entrepreneurs who have applied for Canadian permanent resident status may likewise meet all requirements for LMIA exception.

Intra-company Transfers

A Labour Market Impact Assessment makes no sense when a far-off subsidiary or branch of a Canadian company temporarily transfers an employee to Canada in an executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge position. Foreign employees likewise excluded if their work in Canada can verifiably profit citizens or permanent residents.

Spousal/Dependent Relationships

You may be exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment requirement if your spouse or common-law partner is a full-time international student or a skilled foreign worker in a particular field. Also exempt are the sponsored spouses and common-law partners of Canadian citizens. Other dependants may also be considered for exemption, such as the children of foreign workers with valid work permits. Notwithstanding, Spouses of Working Holiday Visa-holders are not qualified.

Pilot Project Work Permits

A pilot project is an agreement between the provincial/territorial government and CIC in order to encourage temporary foreign workers in certain fields. These agreements also apply to the spouses, common-law partners, and dependents of qualified workers.

Provincial Nomination

No Labour Market Impact Assessment is required for workers selected by a province or (in Québec) selected for permanent residence, provided that they have a job offer in the province where they hold their certificate of nomination/selection.

Academic Work

Certain academics may be exempt from an LMIA, including researchers, visiting teachers, and guest lecturers.

Co-op Work Placements

An international student whose program incorporates a co-op work placement or internship might not require an LMIA.

Religious Work

The LMIA-exempt may be made available for Charitable or religious work for a recognized organization or institution.


Refugee claimants and other individuals who need to support themselves while in Canada may not necessarily require an LMIA

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