LMIA-Exempt Work Permits


LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

There are several reasons why an applicant could be exempt from the LMIA requirement, as listed below

International Agreements

If there are foreign workers under the agreements listed below, and if it is considered of significant benefit to Canada and, the applicant does not require a LMIA. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada-Chile FTA, Canada-Peru FTA, Canada-Columbia FTA are example of this case.

Entrepreneurs/Self-Employed Candidates

A LMIA exemption may be allowed to private entrepreneurs who want to come to Canada temporarily so that they can start or operate a business.

Applicants must be the sole or majority owners of the business they wish to pursue in Canada.

They need to demonstrate that their business will be of significant benefit to Canada.

Eligibility for this LMIA-exempt work permit requires that they can demonstrate that their work in Canada is temporary in nature.

This is an excellent option for owners of seasonal businesses.

Intra-Company Transferees

Intra-Company Transferees may be granted a 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 a LMIA when applying for an Open Work Permit (OWP). When applying for an OWP or study permit for the spouse and/or dependents, we apply along with the principal applicant.

Religous Workers

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”.


This includes 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 a LMIA.