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Posted on December 05 2022

4 ways to work in Canada without LMIA

By  Editor
Updated October 14 2023

Highlights: Immigrants can work in Canada without LMIA

  • International individuals have the option to work in Canada without an LMIA.
  • Immigrants can work in the country through the International Mobility Program.
  • There are 4 ways through which immigrants can be employed in Canada without needing an LMIA.
  • The most popular program is the Post-Graduate Work Permit.

*Check your eligibility to Canada through Canada Immigration Points Calculator.

Abstract: Immigrants can work in Canada without having an LMIA through 4 programs.

Immigrants looking for employment in Canada temporarily can do so without having an LMIA or Labor Market Impact Assessment.

An LMIA is a certification required by the Canadian government as proof that the employer has hired an international individual due to shortages in the workforce. Canada allows certain immigrants to work in the country without possessing an LMIA for social, economic, and cultural policy factors.

*Wish to migrate to Canada? Y-Axis offers you the required assistance.

How to work in Canada without LMIA?

There are 4 ways through which an individual can seek employment in Canada under the IMP or International Mobility Program. Detailed information on the 4 streams is given below:

Stream 1: Competitiveness and public policy

The objective of the stream of "Competitiveness and public policy" is to offer immigrants work permits if they are executing duties that require restricted access to the workforce of Canada essential from the perspective of public policy and maintain the drive in the economy and/or academic institutions.

The most notable non-LMIA program is the PGWP or Post-Graduation Work Permit.

The PGWP is a program under the interest category of Canada that offers international graduates from any Canadian DLI or designated learning institution through an eligible program. It provides them an open work permit to work for an employer based in Canada without a  job offer at the time of application.

Although the PGWP is valid for 3 years the actual length depends on the duration of the study program from which the candidate has graduated.

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The "competitiveness and public policy" stream also offers open work permits to the common-law partners and spouses of full-time students and immigrants who have arrived in Canada as skilled workers.

*Wish to work in Canada? Y-Axis is here to guide you.

Stream 2: Significant benefit

The second stream through which international individuals can work in Canada without having an LMIA is through "significant benefit". If the individual's work is deemed as contributing to significant cultural or social benefit to the country, they can apply for this stream. Under this stream, work permits are offered to international professionals who wish to work for Canadian citizens and holders of Canada PR visa either through the maintenance/creation of benefits that are cultural social, or economic by generating new opportunities for residents of Canada.

"Significant benefit" is defined using testimonials from experts for individuals in the same field of work as the immigrant applying for the work permit. Canada makes use of the following measures, apart from the past achievements of the applicant, to determine their ability to offer benefits to Canada in their work. The measures are:

  • Official academic record as proof that the immigrant has a diploma, degree, certificate, or equivalent achievement from an institution related to their area of work
  • Proof from current or former employers displaying that the applicant has 10 years or above of experience in the job for which they have applied in Canada
  • If the candidate is an awardee of any patent or national or international awards
  • Evidence of the candidate's membership in organizations that requires excellence of its members
  • If the applicant has been the judge of others' work
  • Evidence of the candidate having received recognition for their achievements and substantial contributions to the field by governmental organizations, professionals, peers, or business associations
  • Evidence of a candidate's scholarly or scientific contributions to the field
  • Work authored by the candidate in industry or academic publications
  • If the candidate has had a leadership role in an organization with a prominent reputation

A few of the programs existing within the "significant benefit" stream of the IMP are given below.

  • Self-Employed/Entrepreneurs: Private entrepreneurs who aim to establish a business in Canada. The candidate should be the majority or sole owner of the business and submit proof of beneficial impact from the business to Canada.
  • Intra-Company Transfers: Candidates applying for a work permit through the ICT or Intra-Company Transfer program arriving in Canada to work for a parent company, subsidiary, affiliate, or Canadian branch of their international employer
  • PNP Nominees as Entrepreneurs: Any eligible nominee through a PNP or Provincial Nominee Program coming to Canada as an entrepreneur

Stream 3: Reciprocal employment

The 3rd pathway to find employment in Canada without having an LMIA involves international individuals receiving job opportunities in Canada through similar opportunities offered to Canadians working abroad.

The reciprocal employment stream aims to offer work permits to immigrants who will perform duties in Canada that will help in creating or maintaining international relationships that provide employment opportunities to Canada PR holders or citizens in other countries across the world.

In this stream, immigrants seeking employment in Canada can apply without an LMIA facilitated by international exchange programs and international agreements that will benefit non-Canadians seeking employment in the country as well as natural-born residents of Canada working in other countries.

Due to international agreements like the:

  • CUSMA or Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement
  • NAFTA or North American Free Trade Agreement

There is an existence of reciprocal employment offered to Canadians in multiple international locations. Thereby, the admission of international professionals into Canada is the way these agreements are considered essential for the growth of these countries, negating the need for LMIA for eligible international professionals.

International Exchange Programs such as IEC or International Experience Canada exist to offer opportunities for Canadian residents to prosper through experiencing life overseas. In cases like these, international professionals apply through the IMP from overseas honoring Canadian working relationships and qualify to be exempted from requiring an LMIA.

Stream 4: Charitable and religious workers

The 4th stream is the "charitable and religious workers" stream. Canada offers foreign work permits for candidates coming to Canada who intend to execute duties that are charitable or religious. They can do so without having an LMIA.

Canada defines religious and charitable work as the following:

  1. Charitable Work

Here are the attributes to be recognized as a body of charitable work:

  • Work that is performed to alleviate poverty, offer advanced education, or other benefits to the community.
  • Canada recognizes charitable work in the following manner:
  • Organizations listed as charities with the CRA or Canada Revenue Agency are seen as more reliable.
  • Volunteer charitable workers do not require a work permit
  • Standard charitable workers require a work permit but are exempt from LMIA.
  1. Religious Work

Work where international individuals are required to participate and share beliefs of the specific religious community where they wish to work or have teaching capabilities or share different religious beliefs.

Want to migrate to Canada? Contact Y-Axis, the no.1 Immigration Consultant in Australia.

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