Employers that are Exempt from LMIA

Employer Hiring Foreign Worker

Are you a Canadian employer, looking to hire workers who are currently outside of Canada? Many in this situation begin applying and immediately find themselves drowning in paperwork. One of the most important aspects of this application to you as the employer is the Labour Market Impact Assessment, commonly abbreviated as LMIA. However, there are many situations in which you may be exempt from needing an LMIA. Before applying, you will want to ensure that you actually need an LMIA.

Through what programs can I apply for an LMIA?

The LMIA is used by a Canadian employer to allow a foreign national to work in Canada. It is a document that you must apply for. If your application is approved, Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada will provide you with a positive LMIA. In this way, you can bring the foreign worker to Canada. There are two ways in which a Canadian employer can hire a foreign worker. This is either through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program. You would only need to complete an application for an LMIA if you are applying through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Do I need an LMIA if I am applying for the International Mobility Program?

Applicants for the International Mobility Program do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment. However, they may still need to apply for a Work Permit. Before doing so, instead of obtaining an LMIA, they would need to have paid a compliance fee as well as provided documented proof of an employment offer through the Employer Portal (which can be found by visiting the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada website). These requirements are voided for employers who are hiring foreign workers that can apply for Open Work Permits. For more detailed information regarding the International Mobility Program, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website.

Are there any other exceptions for LMIA applicants?

There are various other situations in which you would not need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, but will likely need to apply for a work permit. One of these exceptions apply for workers who are covered under international agreements. Such individuals are considered business people, who are protected by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), General Agreement on Trade in Servies (GATS), or other Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s). Business people that will likely be covered by these agreements can include professionals, traders, or investors. Individuals participating in exchange programs also will not need an LMIA. They will need only a Work Permit. This includes youth exchange programs, teacher exchange programs, and other joint programs. Some spouses and common-law partners are also exempt from needing an LMIA. This includes those of some foreign students that study full time, those of some skilled foreign workers, and others that have been sponsored through the Family Class and applied for permanent residence. There are certain requirements for each category; for example, the full time student must carry a valid Study Permit and be registered at a public post-secondary institution, CEGEP institution, or other legitimately recognized private post-secondary institutions. Visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website for more details regarding your specific situation.

Some workers may also be eligible for an exemption through Federal-Provincial/Territorial Agreements. As the name describes, these agreements are made between the Government of Canada and provincial or territorial levels of government and provide certain individuals with an exemption from needing a Labour Market Impact Assessment. The exemption code for this is T13, and an extensive list of qualifying circumstances is available on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website.

Francophones are also exempt from needing an LMIA. However, this is only if they intent to reside in and work in a Francophone community that is outside of Quebec, have been recruited through an immigration event organized by the federal government as well as francophone minority community stakeholders, have a career that falls in the NOC skill level of B, A, OR 0, and predominantly use French. Note that those already in Canada that satisfy these criteria may apply to extend their work permit.

Those in a career related to dance, opera, orchestral music, or live theater may also be exempt. This is only if their employer is a non-profit institution, is a recipient of federal funding, and can demonstrate that these opportunities are available for Canadian citizens and permanent residents as well.

Other individuals who are exempt from needing a Labour Market Impact Assessment but require a work permit include:

  • Individuals who have been nominated by their province or territory for permanent residence
  • Individuals who have applied for permanent residence through either the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or Canadian Experience Class and are currently working in Canada as well as have a work permit set to expire within four months of your application
  • Individuals who work with industrial or commercial equipment as repairmen, provided that they are making emergency repairs that would cause disturbances within the company if not immediately repaired
  • Individuals who are being transferred within a company
  • Foreign academics, including researchers, guest lecturers, visiting professors, or others
  • International students who intend to complete co-op or internship positions that is related to their field of study
  • Individuals doing charity or religious work
  • Interns recognized under the Foreign Missions and International Organization Act
  • Self-supporting individuals who are coming to Canada, such as people with pending refugee claims

Are there any factors that can affect my immigration as an LMIA exempt individual?

At the end of the day, the decision on whether you may enter Canada or receive a work permit is at the discretion of the immigration officer reviewing your application. Each application is unique, so you need to make sure you have included all of the necessary documentation. As mentioned above, there are many situations in which you will be exempt from needing an LMIA. However, you will need to visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada to confirm that you meet the definition and criteria that they have. There are other further concerns, such as having an ineligible employer that may also affect your application. Therefore, reviewing CIC’s website will overall be beneficial for you.

Need help with LMIA then Contact Akrami & Associates

If you are wondering whether you need to apply for an LMIA, please feel free to call Akrami and Associates at 416-477-2545. Our experienced and dedicated team will be happy to assess your situation and help you move forward. Akrami & Associates has submitted many successful LMIA and Work Permit application and we can assist you too.

With Akrami and Associates, there is always a way!

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