Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Work Permit

Work permit (LMIA required)

Canada is a great place to live and work. Working in Canada can be a life-changing experience, with many benefits and opportunities for growth. The Canadian shortage occupations list could be your key to finding employment here, but you’ll need skills and experience to qualify. In the majority of the scenarios, you will need to apply for a Work Permit if you want to work in Canada.

Foreign nationals “must not work in Canada unless authorized to do so by a work permit or Regulations”. If a foreign national work in Canada without proper authorization, the legislation enables officers to take action against the individual. Working without authorization is a contravention of our legislation, and can result in a finding of inadmissibility under the IRPA.

work permit

The IRPR provides for various scenarios in s.186 where foreign nationals are permitted to ‘work without a work permit.’

Some of these include:

1.) work permit holders who have applied for an in-Canada extension to their status and are now in ‘maintained status,’

2.) employees of a foreign news company who is in Canada to report on events happening in Canada,

3.) participants in sports activities or events (it would be pretty hard to hold hockey games, the Olympics, or other sporting events if everyone needed to apply for a work permit first!),

4.) students holding a valid study permit are allowed to work without a work permit during the study period, etc.

In most of the other cases, you will need a work permit if you want to work in Canada.

If an employer in Canada wants to hire a worker from overseas or hire a foreign national in Canada who is on visitor/ student status, then they first need to apply for an LMIA application to Service Canada. Once they successfully receive a positive LMIA from Service Canada, then the foreign national can use that LMIA to apply for the work permit in Canada. In short, if  foreign national wants to work in Canada, they need to find an employer in Canada who already has, or is eligible to get a positive LMIA from Service Canada. Then only, they can apply for a work permit if they are not qualifying under the LMIA-Exempt category.

Not all foreign national requires an LMIA to apply for a work permit in Canada. There are various kinds of work permits that don’t require any LMIA such as PGWP, Spousal open work permit, BOWP, etc. There are some international agreements between Canada and some other foreign countries (e.g International Experience Class (IEC)), whose citizens may apply for the work permit without the need of an LMIA.

Where to apply for a Work Permit:

If a foreign national is of a nationality requiring a visa, then they will need to apply for the work permit and underlying visa at a migration office abroad. The application must be made to an immigration office that serves either

  1. a) the country in which the applicant is present and has been lawfully admitted; or
  2. b) the applicant’s country of nationality.

Applications can be submitted online, or by paper through the VAC.

A visa-exempt foreign national has the option to apply for a work permit at a visa office abroad or at a CBSA port of entry (airport, land border, or seaport).

Contact Us, if you want to apply for a work permit to Canada.