Not every program requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The International Mobility program is one such program that enables Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). These LMIA exemptions are based on the following:

  • broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada; and
  • reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.

For an employer to benefit from this program, the following are steps to be followed:

  • Confirm the position or worker in question qualifies for an LMIA-exemption
  • Pay the employer compliance fee
  • Submit the official job offer through the IMP’s Employer Portal

Once the employer has compiled with the above, the foreign national becomes eligible to apply for their own work permit.

LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) enables Canadian employers to issue work permits to workers who do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

The following situations are the most common examples of when an LMIA isn’t required: Work is of Significant Benefit, Reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents or that of a Charitable and Religious Worker.
To actualize this, an employer must however follow these steps:

  • Confirm if the position or the worker qualifies for an LMIA-exemption
  • Pay the employer compliance fee
  • Submit the official job offer through the IMP’s Employer Portal.

Once this has been finalized , the foreign national will be eligible to apply for their work permit.

NAFTA Work Permits

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) formerly known as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) enables citizens of the United States and Mexico to work in Canada under specified categories. These categories may be eligible to work in Canada without the requirement for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or, in some cases, a work permit. These people are classified into NAFTA Professionals, NAFTA Intra-Company Transferees, NAFTA Investors, NAFTA Traders and NAFTA Business Visitors.

As a prerequisite, applicant’s citizenship must be Canadian, Mexican, or American. Permanent residents of these countries are not eligible under this program. Generally, application may be done in any of the following ways:

  • Outside Canada at a Canadian visa office prior to entering to Canada
  • At a Canadian Port of Entry
  • From within Canada If the person is already inside the country as a temporary resident

Intra-Company Transfers

This program enables skilled foreign nationals to work as intra-company transferees in Canada. To qualify, the foreign national must be in an executive capacity, have specialized knowledge or be in a managerial capacity. The enterprise outside of Canada and the enterprise inside of Canada must have one of the following relationships: parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate.
There are employer and employee specific requirements that must be fulfilled following which an application for an LMIA-exempt work permit can be made. Similar to the NAFTA process, the work permit application may be submitted at a Canadian Port of Entry (POE), at the Visa Application Centre outside Canada, and/or online.