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Canadian Work Permit – LMIA Exempt

A work permit is a written authorization from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to work in Canada that is issued to a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. A work permit is usually only limited to a specific job and length of time

Not all jobs require a work permit. Please check the CIC website for a list of jobs that are exempted from requiring a work permit. If the job you want to apply for is not on this list, you will need a work permit, even if you are doing unpaid work.

If you are the citizen of a country that requires a temporary resident visa to enter Canada, you will still need to apply for visa, even if you do not need a work permit.

The general rule is that if you are applying for a work permit in Canada, you will require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). However there are exemptions to this rule under the International Mobility Program.

Employers who hire foreign workers through the International Mobility Program do not need an LMIA.

However, your employer does need to pay an employer compliance fee and submit an Offer of Employment form to CIC before you are allowed to apply for a work permit. This does not apply to employers who wish to hire foreign workers with open work permits.

The following workers are exempt from an LMIA, but still need work permits:


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