Exemption from the Canadian Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Prerequisites
The Labor Market Impact Assessment (formerly known as the Labor Market Survey (LMO) is a document issued by the Economic and Social Development of Canada (ESDC) that assesses the impact of employing a foreign workforce in Canada. A positive LMIA acknowledges the need for a temporary foreign workforce, while a negative LMIA claims that a Canadian should be employed. While an LMIA is usually required for a Canadian employer to hire a temporary foreign worker, there are a number of exemptions from the LMIA prerequisites.
LMIA Exemption is a condition in which a Canadian employer does not need to obtain an LMIA to hire a temporary foreign worker. The ESDC, together with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada (IRCC), maintains a list of LMIA exemptions organized through the International Dynamics Program. To learn more about LMIA exemptions, including the most common type of LMIA exemptions available through the International Dynamics Program, read the following.
International Dynamics Program
The International Dynamics Program (IMP) enables Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers without the need to assess labor market impact. While most employers need an LMIA to hire foreign workers, there are certain conditions that give employers anexemption from the LMIA. These LMIA exemptions are based on the following conditions:
- Expand Canada’s economy, culture or other competitive advantage.
- Mutual benefits for Canadians and permanent residents alike.
To hire foreign workers through the IMP, a Canadian employer must follow three steps:
- Confirmation of position or workforce eligible for LMIA exemption.
- Pay the employer’s admission fee, which is C $ 230.
- Submit a formal job offer through the IMP Employer Portal.
Foreign nationals are eligible to apply for a work permit only after completing these three steps. If their position requires NOC skills level and from outside Canada, that LMIA-eligible workforce may be allowed to process the work permit.
A significant number of LMIA exemptions are available through international agreements between Canada and other countries. Certain categories of employees can be relocated to Canada from other countries if proven to have a positive effect, and vice versa. Canada has negotiated the following free trade agreement, each of which includes a range of LMIA exemptions:
- North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
- FTA Canada-Chile, FTA Canada-Peru, FTA Canada-Colombia or FTA Canada-Korea
- Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
- General Service Transaction Agreement (GATS)
Another popular category of LMIA exemptions is in Canada’s broad category of exemptions. Individuals wishing to receive the exemption must demonstrate that the exemption will benefit Canada, either by providing significant benefits to Canadians or by maintaining reciprocal employment relationships with other countries.
To be eligible for an LMIA exemption in the category of significant benefits to Canadians, employment of a foreign national must have significant social or cultural benefits for Canada. In general, immigration officers assess a foreign national’s track record of success and review the testimony and advice of leading foreign national experts to determine the significant benefits to Canada.
Another means of securing an LMIA exemption for significant benefits is through an LMIA exemption for in-house transfers. Through this article, some companies may relocate a foreign national to a Canadian location to improve the quality of their careers that benefit Canadians.
Other LMIA Exemptions
While most LMIA exemptions are granted to international agreements or Canadian interests, a number of LMIA exemptions fall outside these categories. In some cases, LMIA exemptions are granted for humanitarian and compassionate reasons. Some applicants for permanent residency in Canada may also be eligible to apply for a work permit without the need for an LMIA.