Discover your immigration options to Canada! Complete our FREE ASSESSMENT today and we will contact you to discuss your immigration to Canada!


Discover your immigration options to Canada! Complete our FREE ASSESSMENT today and we will contact you to discuss your immigration to Canada!

Canadian Work Experience = Higher chances of getting PR


Having Canadian Work Experience will significantly improve your chances of immigrating to Canada permanently (getting PR). Your closest family members can be included in your PR application.


In certain unique circumstances, a foreign national may work in Canada without a work permit. Below you can find some examples of jobs that may not require a work permit in Canada. If person's job is a work-permit exemption one, that person still must meet the additional exemption criteria for their specific job (as per International Mobility Program). 

Some examples of such jobs are:

  • Aviation accident or incident investigator;
  • Business visitors;
  • Short-term researchers;
  • Some religious workers;
  • News reporters;
  • Public speakers;
  • Coaches, athletes and artists;
  • Crew members;
  • Civil aviation inspector;
  • Clergy;
  • Convention organizer;
  • Emergency service provider;
  • Examiner and evaluator;
  • A family member of foreign representative;
  • Foreign government officer or representative;
  • Health care student;
  • Judge, referee or similar official;
  • Military personnel;
  • Student working off-campus;
  • Student working on-campus;
  • others.

It is crucial to assess your unique situation to determine whether you need a work permit or an LMIA to work in Canada. Working in Canada without proper authorization can lead to major consequences!


Skilled Foreign Worker

or International Student's

Spouse or Common Law Parter 

Bridging Open Work Permit

Inland Spousal/Common-Law Sponsorship 

International Experience Canada

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



There are over 50 LMIA exception categories available for a variety of professions and situations. Below, we have listed the most common programs for work permits, which don’t require a LMIA.






















Canada is always actively looking for foreign workers and professionals to help grow its strong national workforce!


Canada recognizes the significant contribution, which the foreign workers bring to the country’s economic, cultural and social development. However, the Canadian government understands the need to protect the Canadian labour market to allow enough jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. As a result, the process of authorizing foreign nationals to work in Canada is based on a complex system, which consists of many categories and can involve several application steps. 


Canada has an incredibly strong economy and offers competitive wages to the foreign nationals, as well as incredible opportunities to become Permanent Residents in the nearest future.


Most foreign nationals need a work permit to work in Canada, although there are some exceptions (explained below). 


All temporary workers must also meet the requirements and criteria before being admitted into Canada.



Most foreign workers who plan to work in Canada need to get a work permit under the LMIA-based category, which involves two major steps. Once you find a job, your employer needs to apply to the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). In most cases, your employer will need to demonstrate that there are no suitable Canadians (both Citizens and PR) available to do the job for which you are being hired.

Once the company receives a neutral or positive LMIA, a worker will need to apply for a work permit to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). A LMIA application is a very complex and technical process, that requires a lot of attention to details. An employer needs to show that by hiring a foreign worker only a positive or neutral impact on the local Canadian labour market will be made!

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a 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 and individuals with unique and specialized talent.  Employers who are successfully referred to this program will be able to expedite the process of hiring foreign nationals through the Global Skills Strategy. 

Please note, a LMIA approval letter does not guarantee for a Work Permit approval, since an individual still must meet the eligibility and admissions criteria to Canada.

LMIA-based streams:

  • High Wage Workers;
  • Low Wage Workers;
  • Foreign Agricultural Workers.


For many students getting a Canadian work experience is a significant step towards their permanent residency. After graduating from a Designated Learning Institution, students have an option to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

To qualify, the program of studies must be at least 8 months long and the applicant (student) must meet other eligibility criteria. The length of the work permit will depend on the length of the study program and can be valid for up to 3 years. With a Post-Graduation Work Permit, you can work for any employer anywhere in Canada, work full-time or part-time, or be self-employed. You don’t need an LMIA or a job offer to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

If you are authorized to work in Canada for 6 months+ and are currently working in a skilled job, or you are a full-time student currently studying at a Designated Post-secondary Institution, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible to apply for a spousal open work permit. This means that your spouse or partner will be able to work for any employer anywhere in Canada, if application approved. Your spouse or partner doesn’t need to have an LMIA or a job offer to get this type of a work permit.

If you are between 18 and 35 years old and would like to get some international work experience or to embark on an adventure and travel to beautiful and diverse Canada while working along your way, the International Experience Canada (IEC) program can be a right option for you.

The IEC program is open for young people from the selected eligible countries and includes three categories:

- Working Holiday (no LMIA or a job offer is needed to apply under this category and will let you work for any employer anywhere in Canada);

- Young Professionals (job offer required), and

- International Co-op (Internship) (job offer required).

Each of these categories comes with its unique eligibility requirements depending on your country of origin. Some countries allow their citizens to participate only once in this Program.

Your dependants aren’t eligible to accompany you to Canada under the IEC program. However, they may apply to visit, study or work in Canada. Your application will be examined separately from theirs. 



Post-Graduate Work Permit 

470,000 foreign workers were in Canada in 2019!
This work permit lets you keep working while you wait for the results of your permanent residence application under:
  • Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC);
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC);
  • Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC);
  • provincial nominee class (PNC) (with no employer restrictions);
  • Agri-Food Pilot (AFP).

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 that this will have a positive impact on Canada. The free trade agreements cover several categories of foreign workers, including intra-company transferees, professionals of specified eligible occupations, traders and investors as well as business visitors.

Canada has the following Free Trade Agreements:

- 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).
Foreign nationals being sponsored for Canadian permanent residence by their spouse or common-law partner may be eligible to apply for an open work permit. In order to apply for an open work permit, the foreign national must be applying for spousal sponsorship from inside of Canada through the inland spousal sponsorship process. As well, applicants should ensure that they meet the full eligibility criteria required for the program.


Some examples of LMIA-exempt jobs:

- Entrepreneurs – unique work situations;

- Intra-company transferees;

- Emergency repair or repair personnel for out-of-warranty equipment;

- Television and fil production workers;

- Francophone mobility;

- Live-in caregivers whose permanent residence application is submitted;

- 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).

Positive LMIA provides additional points to Express Entry for a Canadian job offer!

Open work permit


A type of the work permit that lets you work for any employer anywhere in Canada, except those that:

- are listed as ineligible employers on the IRCC site, OR
- regularly offer striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages. 

You can only get an open work permit in specific situations!

There are 2 types of work permits:


Employer-specific work permit


An employer-specific work permit lets you work in Canada according to the conditions on your work permit, such as:

  • the name of the employer you can work for;

  • how long you can work;

  • the location where you can work (if applicable).

Before you submit your application for an employer-specific work permit, the employer who wants to hire you must complete certain steps and have a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for your position.

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