Call Us - (403)-450-8281



Your employer will insist on a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) as a supporting document for your job offer in most cases. However, some jobs do not need an LMIA.

Before hiring a worker from another country, a Canadian employer must get a positive LMIA. It is a confirmation letter that gives credence to the fact that the employer made a genuine effort to find a Canadian worker to fill the position but could not succeed. This allows them to hire a foreign worker legally.

For a majority of Canadian work permits, foreign workers must attach a copy of a positive LMIA and the LMIA number with their application. However, there are exceptions to the LMIA rule.

There are three kinds of Canadian work permits. They are:

  • Closed Work Permits
  • Open Work Permits
  • Closed LMIA-exempt Work Permits

Most Canadian work permits are closed work permits. They require a positive LMIA. A closed work permit requires a foreign worker to work in a specific work position and for the specific employer mentioned on the LMIA.

An open work permit allows foreign workers to work anywhere in the country in any position and for any employer. Since open work permits are not specific to any occupation or employer, these work permits do not require an LMIA. Also, it is not necessary to have any offer for employment if you want to apply for an open work permit.

Closed LMIA-exempt work permits lie somewhere in between. They permit workers from other countries to work in a specific position for a specific employer but do not require an LMIA.

Jobs Exempt From The LMIA

Closed LMIA-exempt work permits allow workers from outside Canada to work in a specific position but without a positive LMIA. The LMIA-exempt nature of a closed work permit depends on what the job is.

What Are The Key Benefits

This exemption is applicable when the employer can prove you will be able to bring about a vital social, cultural, or economic benefit to Canada. For example:

  • Performing artists, creative workers, technical professionals, and self-employed engineers, and others
  • Employees who come through intra-company transferees with specific skills and expertise that can help contribute to the Canadian economy

Reciprocal Employment

Exemption in reciprocal employment allows foreign workers to work in Canada in industries where locals too have similar openings in other countries.

This exemption provides foreign workers the chance to work in Canada in dedicated industries where local workers have comparable options in other countries. For example:

  • Professional athletes and coaches training Canadian teams
  • Professors, guest lecturers, and students that form part of various exchange programs

Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed People

Self-employed foreign nationals who freelance or run a business on a temporary basis in Canada must convince the authorities that their business can benefit Canada by generating substantial social, cultural, and economic benefits. On these grounds, they must be granted an exemption from LMIA.

Skilled Workers Fluent in Or Speaking French

Skilled workers who can speak French with a good level of fluency and have a valid job offer in any Canadian province may ask for and get an exemption from LMIA.

International Trade Agreements

Some International free trade agreements have provisions that allow people to work in signatory countries on a temporary basis. They are exempt from LMIA, but they may need a closed work permit in some cases. NAFTA or the North American Free Trade Agreement is an example.

International Youth Exchange Programs

Canada often participates in international programs involving the exchange of skills and talent. These youth exchange programs allow youths to travel and work in Canada without an LMIA. An example is the Young Professionals Category of International Experience Canada. This program is for workers with an offer of a job in Canada based on their professional development.

Exemptions That Are Minister-Designated 

This exemption applies to situations that are specific to work skills but applied at the discretion of the Minister of Immigration. Those who can be considered for LMIA exemptions under this category are academics, guest lecturers, and visiting professors sponsored through a valid program sanctioned by the Federal government.

Want to know more about LMIA and its exceptions? We can help you decode the situation better. ASI Immigration is one of the most trusted and experienced immigration services and consultancy in Canada. We have helped many workers find success in their immigration efforts. If you want to be the next, please contact us.

    Get started

    Contact us to get started and we can help you with all types of immigration-related matters.

    Recent Posts

    December 26, 2023

    Navigating Canada’s Spousal Sponsorship

    Embarking on the journey of spousal sponsorship in Canada is a significant step towards uniting with your loved one. This comprehensive guide aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the eligibility criteria, processes, and nuances involved in bringing your spouse to the beautiful landscapes of Canada. Eligibility Criteria Unveiled The foundation of a successful spousal […]

    Learn More
    December 18, 2023

    Can You Have More Than One Express Entry Profile?

    Embarking on the journey to Canadian permanent residency as a skilled worker starts with completing an Express Entry profile. However, a common question arises: Can you have more than one Express Entry profile? The answer, according to the Government of Canada’s immigration law, is a firm no. Each applicant is allowed only one active Express […]

    Learn More
    December 4, 2023

    Your Brief Guide to the Canada Express Entry

    Embarking on a journey to make Canada your home is an exciting yet complex process. The Express Entry system has emerged as a pivotal pathway for skilled immigrants, offering a streamlined approach to permanent residence. In this guide, we unravel the nuances of Canada’s Express Entry, providing you with a roadmap to navigate this dynamic […]

    Learn More
    November 27, 2023

    Top 10 FAQs About the Canadian Work Permit

    Securing a work permit to toil on Canadian soil is a pathway embraced by many foreign nationals seeking opportunities in the Great White North. However, the journey through Canada’s work permit intricacies can feel akin to navigating a labyrinth. Fear not; we’ve compiled the top 10 frequently asked questions about Canada’s work permit process to […]

    Learn More
    November 15, 2023

    How to recognize a Trusted DLI for Your Canadian Study Journey

    In a startling turn of events, Northern College in Timmins, Ontario, retracted admission offers for 504 international students merely weeks before the commencement of classes. This unforeseen decision left students grappling with frustration, confusion, and financial setbacks. According to Northern College President Audrey Penner, the abrupt surge in visa approvals exceeded their expectations, resulting in […]

    Learn More
    November 1, 2023

    Canada’s Work Permit Pathways for Dependent Children of age

    Canada has recently unveiled a groundbreaking policy designed to alleviate chronic labor shortages and foster family integration within its communities. This initiative allows dependent children of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) to qualify for work permits, expanding opportunities for families to stay together. Under the updated policy, specific criteria determine the eligibility of family members for […]

    Learn More


    Take a look at how our clients appreciate what we do.

    Need A Consultation?

    Book an appointment with ASI immigration experts

    Book an Appointment