For temporary foreign workers applying for a work permit based on a Canadian job offer, the employer must support their application by obtaining a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). However, some jobs do not require an LMIA. Candidates who have secured an LMIA-exempt job offer can complete their immigration process faster, with fewer complications, and without making the employer pay an LMIA fee.
An LMIA is a document required by most Canadian employers who are planning to hire foreign workers. Obtaining a positive LMIA (also known as a confirmation letter) indicates a genuine requirement for a foreign worker to fill a particular job vacancy in Canada. No eligible Canadian permanent resident or citizen is available to fill the vacancy.
Once the employer applies for and secures a positive LMIA, the foreign worker can submit a Canada work permit or visa application. Work permit applicants typically need the job contract and offer letter and a copy of the LMIA and the LMIA number. Express Entry applicants claiming points for arranged employment may also need an LMIA. Those foreign workers do not require LMIA who:
- Have been working full-time (or equivalent part-time) in Canada on a work permit for the employer
- Have a valid offer of employment. For skilled workers, this implies a request in writing from one Canadian employer (not including consulates, embassies, or high commissions) for one or more years of continuous paid full-time work in an occupation listed as Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B under the National Occupational Classification. The job offer should have been made less than a year ago and must detail the job duties, pay, deductions, and employment conditions. Two employers can make job offers for skilled trades, provided the worker works for both employers.
- Possess a valid work permit exempted from the LMIA requirement as per a federal-provincial agreement, an international agreement, or the Canadian interests category.
Canada Express Entry candidates who meet this criterion may be exempt from the LMIA requirement if their current temporary job is exempt from the LMIA requirement, mentions a specific employer(s), and is:
- The international agreement covers the exemption, such as the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement or the General Agreement on Trade in Services, or a non-trade deal. This agreement applies to investors, professionals, and traders.
- An agreement between the federal government of Canada and a Canadian province or territory covers the exemption. This agreement applies to projects that require a significant investment.
- Exempt due to any of the following reasons for ‘Canadian interests’:
Significant benefit: If the employer can prove that the worker will add substantial economic, cultural, and social benefit to Canada – this includes:
- General workers (technical workers, self-employed engineers, creative and performing artists, etc.)
- Workers with specialized knowledge transferred to the Canadian branch of the company they already work for
- Workers under the Mobilité Francophone program.
Reciprocal employment: Allows foreign workers to secure Canadian jobs if there are similar job opportunities available for Canadians in other countries includes:
- General workers (like professional athletes and coaches working for Canadian sports teams)
- Skilled Workers under the pathway International Experience Canada – an overseas work program for young professionals and youth
- Professors, visiting lecturers, etc. in exchange programs
Workers designated by the Minister include:
- Sponsored Academics such as guest lecturers, visiting professors, and researchers via a recognized federal pathway.
- Workers engaged in public policy and competitiveness – including post-doctoral fellows, medical fellows, medical residents, and people who have received academic awards from schools in Canada.
People engaged in religious and charity work (excluding volunteers).
Those who fall under these categories do not need an LMIA to support their Canadian job offer and immigration application. To check if you need an LMIA or a job offer to lawfully migrate to Canada as a temporary worker or permanent resident, consult India’s most trusted experts at Abhinav Immigration Services – offering customized visa solutions with authorized representation since 1994.
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