Waze Immigration

LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

International agreement:

If there are foreign workers under the agreements  like CUSMA or GATS, and if it is considered of significant benefit to Canada, the applicant does not require a LMIA.  This can include professionals, traders and investors.


There are 2 categories of foreign nationals who seek entry to Canada as business owners. 

Self-employed: A person who works for themselves as the owner of a business and rarely hires people outside of their family members. While many individuals are the owners of the business, they typically carry out all the responsibilities of an employee.

Entrepreneur: A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks to do so. They hire employees other than their family members to carry out the activities of the business.

Specialized knowledge: Any ICT applicant would be required to demonstrate a high degree of knowledge and advanced expertise. The onus is on the applicants to provide evidence that they meet this standard. Employees starting a branch: This group also includes persons in the senior executive or managerial categories, in possession of a letter from a company conducting business in Canada.
  • Executive capacity: directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization
  • Managerial capacity: manages the organization, a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization

Workers under Mobilite Francophone

On or after June 15, 2023, the eligibility criteria to live and work in a province or territory outside Quebec is:

  • Have an offer of employment in either
    • A high-skilled occupation of TEER category 0, 1, 2 or 3.
    • A low-skilled occupation in the TEER category 4 and 5 (Exception: Applicants who have an offer of employment
    • in a low-skilled occupation in a primary agriculture sector)
  • Prove to an officer that they meet the French language proficiency (speaking and listening) at a CLB / NCLC level 5 or higher

Important: The language of work does not need to be French.

 International Experience Canada

International Experience Canada (IEC) allows youth to take up employment in Canada when Canadians have similar reciprocal opportunities abroad. They are exempt from the labour market impact assessment (LMIA) requirement. They can participate in the program under 3 categories:

  • Working Holiday (travel and work): Participants are eligible to apply for an open work permit to allow them to work for any employer or location in Canada to subsidize their stay as they travel and discover their host country, Canada.
  • Young Professionals (career development): Participants are eligible to apply for an employer-specific work permit to help them gain targeted experience in their profession or field of study.
  • International Co-op (internships for students only): Participants in this internship category are eligible to apply for an employer-specific work permit to help them gain targeted experience in their field of study.

Exchange programs

Exchange programs like professors and visiting lecturers Designated by the Minister

  • A.I. Academics, including researchers, guest lecturers and visiting professors (sponsored through a recognized federal program)
  • A.II. Competitiveness and public policy
    • Medical residents and fellows
    • Post-doctoral fellows and people who have won academic awards from Canadian schools

Religious Work

The need for a LMIA for religious workers will vary depending on the kind of work to be done in Canada. A foreign national may work in Canada without a LMIA when the main duties are “spiritual”.

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 a LMIA.

Note: Jobs that are exempt from needing an LMIA still need a work permit.

Contact Us for more information about working in Canada or for assistance in applying for work permit.

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