Jobs That Are Exempt from the LMIA Requirement

For some jobs, employers do not need to obtain a LMIA before hiring a foreign worker. There are three kinds of jobs that are exempt from the LMIA requirement:

  1. Jobs included in an international trade accord, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  2. Jobs included in an accord between the federal government and a provincial/territorial government.
  3. Jobs that are in the best interest of Canada.

Note: Foreign workers that are exempt from the LMIA requirement must still obtain a work permit in order to work in Canada.

Jobs Falling Under International Accords

Temporary foreign worker applicants applying to work in a job that falls under one of the following free trade accords do not require an LMIA:

  1. North American Free Trade Accord (NAFTA)
  2. Canada-Chile Free Trade Accord
  3. Canada-Peru Free Trade Accord
  4. Canada-Colombia Free Trade Accord
  5. Canada- Korea Free Trade Accord
  6. The General Accord on Trades and Services

There are also non-trade related international accords and organizations that allow foreign workers to work in Canada without a LMIA. These accords and groups are:

  1. Accords between Canada and other countries concerning airline workers
  2. Members of the Airline Telecommunication & Information Services (SITA)
  3. Workers under the Canada-Bermuda Memorandum of Understanding for Professional Trainees
  4. Workers under the Canada-USA Understanding of Arrangement for IRS employees
  5. Employees of the Cooperative Waterfowl Survey & Banding Program.
  6. Public Safety Canada workers
  7. Workers entering Canada to co-produce a film
  8. Participants in the Fulbright Program between Canada and the USA
  9. Members of the International Air Transport Association
  10. Employees of the International Pacific Halibut Commission
  11. Liaison Officers working in the Canada-Jamaica Seasonal Agricultural Program
  12. Workers under the Canada-Malaysia Professional Accounting Trainees Program
  13. Members of the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES)
  14. Members of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC)
  15. Members of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)
  16. Workers under the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD)
  17. Members of the Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC)
  18. Persons entering Canada to work at Roosevelt Campobello National Park.
  19. Workers under the Scientific and Technical Cooperation Accord between Canada and Germany
  20. Employees of Telefilm
  21. USA Government workers

Jobs Falling Under Domestic Accords

There are certain programs created by accords between the Canadian Federal Government and the Canadian provincial/territorial governments that allow foreign workers to bypass the LMIA requirement. These programs include:

1.Provincial/territorial nomination programs:Under these programs, a worker may be issued a work permit without an LMIA if he/she:

  1. Has received nomination for permanent residence from a provincial government AND
  2. Is employed in the nominating province or has a job offer from an employer in the nominating province

In order for this rule to apply, though, the foreign national’s work permit application must include:

  1. The Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) form. The form may be found here.
  2. Proof that the employer has paid the required fee
  3. A copy of the nomination letter from the provincial/territorial government. The letter must show that the foreign worker has been nominated for permanent residence by the province
  4. A statement from the nominating province that: identifies the job, provides information on the employer and proves that all requirements for the issuance of a work permit have been met. These work permit requirements include:
    1. That the nominated worker is urgently required by the employer
    2. That the job offer is genuine
    3. That the job being offered will create economic benefits for the province
    4. That the job is not part-time or seasonal
    5. That the wages and working conditions of the job would be enough to attract a Canadian citizen

Applications that do not include the requirements mentioned above will be refused.

The validity length of a work permit issued under this program will be the same as the length of the offered job. If the job offer is for a permanent position, the work permit will be issued for two years at most.

Spouses or common-law partners of work permit holders who have been nominated for permanent residence by a province can obtain an open work permit that will be valid for as long as their partner’s work permit is valid. For more information on open work permits,

2. The Province of Ontario Initiative: Open Work Permits for Master’s and PhD graduates: A foreign worker must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for an open work permit under this program.

  1. Have a Master’s or PhD degree
  2. Be nominated for permanent residence in Ontario under the Pilot Masters Graduate Stream or the PhD Graduate Stream of the International Student Category
  3. Live in Ontario or plan to live in Ontario while the work permit is valid
  4. Hold a valid temporary resident permit, or, if living in Canada, be eligible to apply for the renewal of a temporary resident permit. If the person has left Canada OR is ineligible to apply for the renewal of a temporary resident permit, he/she must apply under this program at a Canadian visa office abroad or at a Canadian port of entry
  5. Receive a letter of support issued by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration