Last Updated on June 11, 2016
If CIC deems it to be in the best interest of Canada that a given foreign worker work in a certain job, the foreign worker will be able to apply for a work permit in that job without a LMIA. There are four kinds of workers whose entry to Canada is seen as being in the best interest of Canada:
- Persons that will be of great benefit to Canada
- Participants in Reciprocal Employment Accords
- Jobs or Civil Statuses Designated by the Minister
- Charitable or religious work
Under this group, an individual’s benefit to Canada is measured by assessing the ways in which the worker will bring social or cultural value to Canada if allowed to work in the country. In assessing this value, CIC will rely on the opinions of experts in the field as well as objective evidence. Evidence that an applicant will bring great benefit to Canada includes:
- Having a successful track record
- Being a leader in one’s field of workAn official academic record showing that the foreign worker has a degree, diploma, or certificate relating to the area in which he/she intends to work.
- Evidence from current or former employers that the foreign worker has substantial full time experience in the job in which he/she intends to work.
- The reception of national or international awards or patents
- Evidence of membership in prestigious organizations
- Substantial experience judging the work of others
- Having received awards. These awards must be for achievements and contributions to the field in which the applicant works. The awards may come from: peers, governments, professional groups or business groups.
- Scientific or scholarly contributions to the field in which the applicant works
- Publications authored by the applicant in industrial or academic journals
- Taking a leading role in a prestigious organization
An applicant may also prove his/her potential benefits to Canada by:
- Applying for permanent or temporary residence in Canada as an entrepreneur or self-employed worker
- Participating in an intra-company transfer program. These programs involve foreign companies temporarily sending qualified workers to Canada for the purpose of: improving management effectiveness, expanding Canadian exports, and enhancing competitiveness in foreign markets.
- Being a person whose entry to Canada is vital in order to carry out emergency repairs on industrial or commercial equipment. These repairs are usually needed in order to prevent: disruption of employment, negative impacts on productivity and negative impacts on the Canadian work force. This benefit is valid regardless of whether the equipment is under warranty.
When a foreign worker is sent to work in Canada in exchange for a Canadian who goes to work abroad for the foreign worker’s employer, the foreign worker will be exempt from the LMIA requirement. This exchange can takes place as part of an organized program. Examples of these organized programs include:
- Full time or part-time professional or semi-professional sports leagues: In these leagues, athletes, coaches and trainers from Canada will work for US-based teams and US athletes, coaches and trainers will work for Canadian-based teams.
- The Canada World Youth Program: In this program, young people from foreign countries briefly live and work in Canada as volunteers.
- Canadian Federal Government Cultural Exchange Accords: Canada has cultural accords that allow for the exchange of workers with: Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico France and China.
- Commercial Airline Reciprocal Accords: In these accords, a Canadian airline sends one or more Canadian employees to work for a foreign airline in exchange for one or more of the foreign airline’s workers coming to work for the Canadian airline.
- The International Experience Canada Program: Under this program, foreign individuals aged 18 to 35 work in Canada for a short period in exchange for young Canadians of the same age being given the chance to travel and work in various foreign countries.
- Academic Exchange Programs: In these programs, Canadian guest lecturers, professors and pre-school, elementary school and high school teachers work in foreign countries in exchange for similar educators coming to work in Canada.
- It important to note that reciprocal employment does not have to occur in the context of an official program. Canadian employers may make their own exchange accords with foreign employers as they so choose. However, in order for a worker to be exempt from the LMIA requirement in these cases, it must be possible to prove the existence of a reciprocal accord. Reciprocal accords can be proven by the existence of:
- An exchange accord between the Canadian and foreign employers
- A letter from the receiving Canadian employer
- A contract, if it provides proof of the exchange program
- Validproof of a reciprocal program will allow CIC officers to issue a work permit without an LMIA. The levels of reciprocity with regards to number of exchanged workers, job length or job levels do not need to be exactly equal. The numbers, however, should be somewhat the same.
Certain workers are exempt from the LMIA requirement under the discretion of the Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. These workers include:
- Workers who intend to perform work that is a crucial part of a postsecondary academic, vocational or professional program of study. The program must be offered by a valid learning institution in Canada. The work cannot form more than 50% of the total program of study. This rule does not apply to medical residency or medical fellowship workers.
- Workers who intend to perform work that is a crucial part of an educational program at the secondary level. This includes vocational training programs offered by valid learning institutions in Quebec and programs that require students to work in order to obtain their high school diploma.
- Foreign workers who are coming to Canada to work temporarily for the International Development Research Centre of Canada.
- Foreign workers who are sponsored as distinguished scientists or post-doctoral fellows by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.
- Foreign workers who are sponsored by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) as distinguished scientists or scholars. These workers must come to Canada to perform research for the NRC and the NSERC.
- Foreign workers who are: holders of research chair positions at a Canadian university, recognized for their research success, and funded by federal or provincial governments.
- Spouses or common-law partners of skilled workers that already hold a work permit.
- Spouses or common-law partners of a study permit holder. The study permit holder must be a full time student at a valid Canadian school.
- Foreign workers that have obtained a job under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.
- Post-doctoral fellows who hold a PhD in philosophy and have been hired to do post-doctoral work at a Canadian university.
- Foreign workers who have won academic research awards. The awards must involve work and payment by a Canadian school. The award also must have been gained strictly on the basis of academic success. Lastly, the foreign worker must be the direct and only recipient of the award.
- Foreign workers doing work under a fellowship for a research agency that is not a Canadian university. However, the fellowship must be awarded by a university and the research agency must be affiliated with the university.
- Foreign workers who hold academic research awards from a foreign country and have been invited by a Canadian school to do their research in Canada. The foreign worker must be supported by his/her own country.
- Foreign medical or dental residents who hold a medical degree equivalent to a Canadian Medical Doctorate. These residents must be coming to Canada to complete a residency at a Canadian hospital or at a clinic.
- Foreign medical or dental research fellows who: hold a medical degree equivalent to a Canadian Medical Doctorate, are recognized as medical specialists, have finished residency training, and are coming to Canada to work in a highly specific field of study and perform clinical or medical research.
Those who intend to become charitable or religious workers do not have to obtain a LMIA. Charitable or religious work involves doing paid work for a Canadian religious or charitable group. The work itself must be of a charitable or religious nature. Thus, an office manager of a charitable group would not be eligible for the LMIA exemption. People who work at a religious or charitable camp also do not require an LMIA.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.