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All You Should Know About LMIA Exempt Work Permit

Whenever a Canadian employer wants to hire or employ a foreign worker to fill a vacant position, they are usually required to provide a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) before they can offer a job to a foreign worker.

A positive LMIA indicates that ESDC has decided that employing a foreign worker for a specific vacant position will not have a significant negative impact on the Canadian labour market. For that reason, LMIAs are issued for specific job positions to the employer.

Some foreign workers or applicants coming to live and work in Canada usually requires a temporary work permit. And the majority of work permits require a valid job offer from a Canadian employer and a positive LMIA.

LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

But, there are some categories of jobs with temporary work permits that are LMIA-exempt. In other words, you and your Canadian employer may not need a positive LMIA work permit to start working in Canada.

These LMIA exemptions are usually based on economic, socio-cultural or trade agreements entered into by Canada and other countries. Citizens or Nationals of these member countries in the trade agreement enjoy reciprocal benefits.

NAFTA Agreements

For instance, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) permit workers from NAFTA countries to work in specific occupations in other NAFTA countries without requiring an LMIA.

Intra-Company Transfers

Intra-company transfers also do not require LMIA. For example, If a worker is transferred to a company that has a branch office in Canada, they usually do not require a positive LMIA. But they must prove that you have a piece of specialized industry knowledge.

Open Work Permit

Finally, open work permits usually are always LMIA exempt, since they are not tied to a particular employer or position. If you have an open work permit, you are qualified to work for any Canadian employer anywhere in Canada, whether or not they obtained a positive LMIA for the position they are offering you.

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