Information on COVID-19 and Immigration to Canada

LMIA Exemptions


 LMIA exemptions apply to certain foreign workers a Canadian company or institution wants to bring to Canada.

 A Labor Market Impact Assessment is a document issued by the Economic and Social Development Canada (ESDC) evaluating the impact of hiring a foreign worker in Canada. A positive LMIA states that there is a need to fill a position with a foreign worker, while a negative LMIA confirms that this position in the first place should be filled by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

 While an LMIA is usually required for a Canadian employer to hire a temporary foreign worker, here are the following exemptions to an LMIA:

Significant Benefit

 Under this section, certain foreign nationals, such as researchers, professors and other outstanding individuals with convincing evidence of their level of achievement don’t need to secure an LMIA. The main criteria are his or her social and cultural benefit to the country. Let’s review each of these categories.

Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Persons: LMIA Exemptions

 Private entrepreneurs who intend to start or open a business in Canada might be eligible for an LMIA exemption. The condition is that they must either hold a full or majority of ownership. They must also prove that their business will be successful in Canada and that they are not going to work permanently in the country. It’s a good match for self-employed people who work seasonally. A Canadian permanent residence under this category may also qualify for LMIA-Exempt permits.

Intra-Company Transferees: LMIA Exemptions 

 Executives, managers and specialized expert workers under the Intra-Company Transferees might get an LMIA exemption. However, they must be recruited by a foreign company that has a corresponding relationship with the Canadian employer.

Dependents of Foreign Workers: LMIA Exemptions

 Spouses/common-law partners and children of foreign workers holding a valid work permit don’t need an LMIA. Though, under the International Exchange Program dependents need the LMIA.

French-Speaking Skilled Workers: LMIA Exemptions

 French-speaking foreigners have advantages. So the Canadian government encourages French-speaking foreign workers to settle outside of Quebec. If they have skills in a National Occupation Classification (NOC) 0, A or B they must apply through the Francophone Mobile Program for which they don’t need an LMIA.

Academics: LMIA Exemptions

 Researchers, guest lectures, and foreign professors, visiting Canada are exempt from an LMIA.


Reciprocal Employment


 Foreign workers who receive a nomination from a province with an employment offer in that province might not need an LMIA.

Reciprocal Employment

 If a country of a foreign worker is in a bilateral agreement with a Canadian government, he might be exempt from an LMIA. These agreements assume different international opportunities for such country members.

International Agreements: LMIA Exemptions

 Under the international agreements, such as the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) foreign nationals don’t need an LMIA. For example, with NAFTA, American and Mexican citizens are exempt from the LMIA. Moreover, the US citizens neither require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) not an eTA to work in Canada.

International Exchange Programs

 Young professionals under the International Experience Canada (IEC) don’t need to apply for an LMIA. The programs in this category include a Working Holiday Visa, Students Co-op Internship, and Young Professional streams.


Charitable and Religious Workers


 Certain charitable employers, as well as religious workers coming to Canada, do not require an LMIA. However, they must meet specific requirements.

Charitable Workers: LMIA Exemptions   

 Charitable organizations aim to reduce poverty and in general, provide material help to the community. While it is expected that a charitable organization is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), not all benevolent organizations are. The LMIA exemption still might cover charitable workers from such unregistered with the CRA organizations.

 It is important to note that charity and volunteer work are not the same. A volunteer doesn’t need a work permit because he is not entering the labor market, that is, he doesn't get a wage for his work. A charity worker, on the contrary, though doesn’t need an LMIA but still needs a work permit.

Religious Workers: LMIA Exemptions

 A foreign national being a worker of a particular international religious community can come to Canada without an LMIA. However, the work should assume a spiritual practice, such as preaching, teaching, pastoral duties and so forth.