Temporary Work Permits in Canada

Canada has always been a popular destination for skilled foreign workers, who are bringing their expertise and experience into the Canadian Economy.

Our country is proud to offer a strong economy, competitive wages, and incredible opportunities to transform temporary work permit status into a Permanent Residency. Our firm has a tight network with Canadian employers who are recruiting skilled foreign nationals for their employment needs. If you are ready to share your knowledge and expertise, you should contact our office now for further recruitment opportunities.

Types of Work Permits

  • In most of the cases, a foreign national cannot apply for a Work Permit without the positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment). The LMIA application process and its streams are outlined in the specialized Temporary Foreign Worker Program section.
  • The Canadian employer should undergo a vigorous process of obtaining this LMIA document, which grants a right to a foreign national to submit a well-prepared Work Permit application.
  • Also, it is important to note that a positive LMIA provides additional points for a Canadian job offer.
  • R204: International agreements
  • R205: Canadian interests
  • R206: No other means of support
  • R207: Permanent residence applicants in Canada
  • R207.1: Vulnerable workers
  • R208: Humanitarian reasons
  • Post-Graduate Work Permit
  • International Experience Canada
  • Inland Spousal/Common-Law Sponsorship Open Work Permit
  • Bridging Open Work Permit

Even though the majority of the jobs in Canada require the employer to obtain a positive LMIA for the foreign national’s work permit, there are some exceptions. Below you will find a list of job types that, with careful consideration, may require neither an LMIA nor a work permit. 

IMPORTANT: If you meet the requirements of the below job list, it does not mean that you automatically may engage in employment in Canada. Indeed, a person’s job should meet additional exemption criteria and eligibility requirements, which are outlined as a part of the International Mobility Program section. If a foreign national is employed in one of the positions or scenarios listed below, they may be eligible for a work permit exemption.

  • Athlete or coach
  • Aviation accident or incident investigator
  • Business visitor
  • Civil aviation inspector
  • Clergy
  • Convention organizer
  • Crew member
  • Emergency service provider
  • Examiner and evaluator
  • Expert witness or investigator
  • A family member of foreign representative
  • Foreign government officer or representative
  • Health care student
  • Judge, referee or similar official
  • Military personnel
  • News reporter or film and media crew
  • Producer or staff member working on advertisements
  • Performing artist
  • Public speaker
  • Short-term highly-skilled worker
  • Short-term researcher
  • Student working off-campus
  • Student working on-campus

Work Permit Programs

Before the foreign national obtains a right to apply for a work permit, the Canadian Employer should undergo the selective process to determine which of the below-noted programs will suit the needs to expedite the recruitment process:


1. Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Labour Market Impact Assessment process and its streams:

  • High Wage Workers
  • Low Wage Workers
  • Foreign Agricultural Workers

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Canadian employers are prompted to obtain a neutral or positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), a complex application, which is processed by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The process, which involves recruitment efforts, selection reports, proof of business legitimacy, which results in an inability to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with the right set of skills and required expertise.  

Upon the receipt of the positive or neutral LMIA,  the employer provides a copy of the LMIA approval along with the detailed job offer letter to the foreign worker it wishes to hire. A foreign national then may proceed with the LMIA-based Work Permit application, which requires different from the LMIA application set of documents, proof of employment experience ability to fulfil the required job duties, etc.  This application process differs from the LMIA application itself and should be treated very seriously, as the LMIA approval letter does not constitute to be a guarantee for a Work Permit approval. 


2. International Mobility Program

The International Mobility Program (IMP) enables Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). While most employers hiring foreign workers will require an LMIA, there are certain circumstances where LMIA-exemptions exist. These LMIA exemptions are based on the following conditions:

  • broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada; and
  • reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.

In order to hire a foreign worker through the IMP, a Canadian employer must follow three steps:

  1. Confirm the position or worker in question qualifies for an LMIA-exemption;
  2. Pay the employer compliance fee of $230 CAD;
  3. Submit the official job offer through the IMP’s Employer Portal.

Only after completing these three steps will the foreign national be eligible to apply for their own work permit. LMIA-exempt workers may qualify for expedited work permit processing through the Global Skills Strategy if their position is NOC Skill Level A or 0 and they are applying from outside of Canada.

Exemptions to LMIA requirements

A significant number of LMIA-exemptions are available through international agreements between Canada and other countries. Certain types of employees can transfer to Canada from other countries, and vice versa, if they are able to demonstrate this will have a positive impact. Canada has negotiated the following Free Trade Agreements, each encompassing a range of LMIA-exemptions:

  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • Canada-Chile FTA / Canada-Peru FTA / Canada-Colombia FTA / Canada-Korea FTA
  • Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
  • General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
  • The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

Another popular category of LMIA-exemptions fall under the broad category of Canadian Interest exemptions. LMIA-exemptions under this category must demonstrate that the exemption will be in the best interest of Canada, either by being of significant benefit to Canadians or through the maintenance of reciprocal employment relationships with other nations.

In order to qualify for an LMIA-exemption under the category of significant benefit for Canadians, the employment of a foreign national must demonstrate significant social or cultural benefit to Canada. Generally, immigration officers will assess a foreign national’s past track record of success and examine testimony and recommendations of distinguished experts in the foreign nationals field in order to determine significant benefit.

  • C10 Significant benefits – unique work situations
  • C11 Entrepreneurs – unique work situations
  • C12 Intra-company transferees 
  • C13 Emergency repair or repair personnel for out-of-warranty equipment
  • C14 Television and fil production workers
  • C16 Francophone mobility
  • A71 Live-in caregivers whose permanent residence application is submitted
  • C90 Caregivers whose permanent residence application is submitted under the Home Child Care Provider Pilot (HCCPP) or Home Support Worker Pilot (HSWP) (occupation-restricted open work permit)

3. Global Talent Stream

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a two-year pilot program launched in June 2017 through a partnership between Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The GTS assists certain Canadian employers to hire highly-skilled global talent enabling them to compete on an international scale. Employers who are successfully referred to the program will be able to expedite the process for hiring foreign nationals through the Global Skills Strategy.

Contact Us to Determine The Right Program For You

What our customers say…