Labour Market Impact Assessment Exemptions (LMIA). Canadian Work Permits
In order to bring a temporary foreign worker to Canada, a Canadian employer must apply and receive a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
There are situations where the need for an LMIA may be waived. To be exempt from obtaining an LMIA does not mean being exempt from obtaining a work permit. In order to work in Canada legally work permit is required.
Some of the LMIA exempt are:
Significant benefit (Canadian visa officers have a degree of flexibility in assessing whether the issuance of a work permit to a foreign national is recommended without the need for an LMIA to be secured.);
Charitable and religious workers
What is a Significant benefit?
Significant benefit implies a notable, important benefit proven by the testimonies/letters of trustworthy and distinguished experts in the individual’s field and any other relevant evidence.
An LMIA exemption may be granted to private entrepreneurs who wish to come to Canada temporarily in order to start or operate a business. They will have to demonstrate that their business will be of significant benefit to Canada. Entrepreneurs are only eligible for LMIA-exempt work permits if they can demonstrate that their work in Canada is temporary in nature.
Intra-Company Transferees may be granted an LMIA exemption for a temporary transfer to Canada. Transferees must be considered executives, managers, or specialized knowledge workers, and must work for a foreign company with a "qualifying" relationship to the company in Canada.
Dependents Of Foreign Workers
Spouses and children of Foreign Workers holding a Canadian work permit for a skilled position do not require an LMIA. This does not apply to the spouses of workers on an International Exchange Program.
Academics (researchers, guest lecturers, and visiting professors).
Provincial LMIA Exemptions
Workers nominated by a province for permanent residence and who have obtained a job offer in that province may be exempt from the need for an LMIA.
Reciprocal employment agreements allow foreign workers to take up employment in Canada when Canadians have similar reciprocal work opportunities abroad.
Canada is a party to a number of international agreements that facilitate the entry of foreign workers. Admission of foreign workers under these agreements is considered of significant benefit to Canada and, as such, does not require an LMIA. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an example of this case.
International Exchange Programs
International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday Visa, Student Co-op programs, Young Professionals programs, and teacher exchange programs are exempt from the need for an LMIA.
Certain charitable workers do not require an LMIA in order to enter the Canadian labor market temporarily.
Religious work normally entails a requirement for the foreign national to be part of, or share, the beliefs of the particular religious community where he or she intends to work or to have the ability to teach or share other religious beliefs, as required by the employer.
There are might be more situations when LMIA is not required as well as if the Canadian Visa Officers consider that the LMIA is a must in certain cases, the Canadian Employer will have to apply for the LMIA.
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