Every year, hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals come to Canada to work in a variety of occupations. Most foreign workers must apply and obtain a Work Permit for Canada prior to starting work. In order to legally work in Canada, one of the following three situations will apply to you.

Situations #1: Your Canadian Employer Must Obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Before You Can Apply and Obtain a Work Permit for Canada.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Most foreign workers in Canada need an Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to obtain a work permit. An LMIA approval is issued to Canadian employers upon a positive decision on an application initiated and submitted by the employer. Subsequently, a copy of this approval is provided to a foreign national who includes it in his/her LMIA work permit application. See situations #2 and #3 for exemptions to this rule.

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Situation #2: Your Canadian Employer Is Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) But You Will Still Need To Apply and Receive a Work Permit for Canada.

International Mobility Program

Under the International Mobility Program, Canada has included a number of situations that are exempt from the requirement to obtain an Labour Market Impact Assessment. Among these are:

Spouses of skilled workers (NOC 0, A and B) and students; and spouses of provincial nominees including low-skilled occupations (NOC C and D) are exempt from an LMIA.

A frequent and notable exemption from an LMIA applies to French speakers (Francophones) seeking employment outside of the province of Quebec in skilled occupations (NOC 0, A and B).

International graduates from eligible Canadian post-secondary schools may qualify for an open work permit for up to 3 years without an LMIA.

Existing foreign workers in Canada may apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit providing that they have submitted an application for permanent residence under one of the eligible Express Entry or provincial programs.

Foreign nationals nominated by Canadian provinces and teritorries for permanent residence are exempt from requiring an LMIA for a Work Permit for Canada.

Applicants from 34 countries can come to work and travel in Canada without having to obtain an LMIA. You must be between 18-35 years of age (in some cases 18-30 years of age). The program consists of three sub-programs: Work and Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-op Internship.

Canada exempts workers in a number of unique work situations. In particular, no LMIA is required for some airline personnel, staff of international organizations, rail workers, United Nations experts, fishing guides, outfitters, foreign race jockeys, emergency repair or repair personnel for out-of-warranty equipment, television and film production workers, academic exchanges (professors, visiting lecturers) and workers in performing arts.

Highly qualified applicants from countries with which Canada has international agreements may be LMIA-exempt. Continue reading to learn about eligible positions.

Get workers from the United States, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Panama, South Korea, European Union, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, …

Situation #3: You Do Not Need a Work Permit for Canada or a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Finally, the Canadian immigration system exempts certain carefully selected occupations from both the LMIA and work permit requirements. Among these are: