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Work Permit to Canada

LMIA

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program, most foreign nationals require an LMIA to work in Canada. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a
document that assesses the need and impact of hiring a foreign national. The objective is to evaluate whether enough efforts have been made to find a suitable
worker within Canada or else there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill this job.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) decides on the issuance of LMIA. ESDC evaluates LMIA application basis the below-mentioned factors

  • Impact of hiring foreign nationals on the Canadian labour market
  • Is there availability of a permanent resident or citizen to fill this position
  • The hiring of the foreign worker is in the interest of the employer and the Canadian economy
  • The salary, working conditions, and perks offered by the employer are in line with the federal and provincial norms
  • The foreign worker has the right skill sets required for the job

What are the various streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program?

There are 4 streams under which the Temporary Foreign Worker Program operates:

  • High-wage workers
  • Low-wage workers
  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)
  • Agricultural Stream
High Wage Workers: This program is defined by the wage offered to the temporary foreign worker. While applying for LMIA under this, an employer must meet the below conditions:
  • Must offer wage equal to or above the median hourly wage of the province/ territory as determined by Statistics Canada
  • Must submit a transition plan along with LMIA application to show plans to reduce reliance on foreign workers overtime
Low Wage Workers: Employers hiring temporary foreign on a wage lower than the median hourly age of the province/territory must apply under the Low wage worker stream. The employer does not need to submit a transition plan with their LMIA application but would have to meet the following requirements:
  • There is a capping on the number of temporary foreign workers that an employer can hire under low wage worker program
  • The employer must provide an employer-employee contract
  • Employer, at its own expense, has to provide for round trip transportation to the temporary foreign worker
  • Employers must provide adequate housing for the duration of employment in Canada
  • Provide adequate health insurance till the time worker is eligible for health coverage in the province
  • The worker must be registered with the workplace safety board of the province/territory
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)
The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) allows employers to recruit foreign workers to fill temporary vacancies in their agriculture production. The maximum duration of the work permit is 8 months at a time.
Employers must fulfill the below conditions to hire employees under this program:
  • The worker must meet the work laws in their home country as well
  • The worker hired must be a citizen of Mexico or the participating Caribbean
  • The activity must be on-farm primary agriculture
  • Farm production must be in specified commodities only

How To Apply For LMIA under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Permit To Canada?

The 5 step process to obtain LMIA under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW):

lmia01

01

Employer

Submits the LMIA request
to ESDC along with
required documents

lmia02

02

ESDC

Evaluates the application
in interest of the Canadian
labour market

lmia03

03

ESDC

If LMIA is approved,

 ESDC provides approved LMIA to
Employer 

lmia05

04

Employer

Employer shares the copy 

of LMIA with 

the worker for further processing

lmia04

05

Worker

Worker applies to IRCC for
Work permit with all other documentation

The Global Talent Stream (GTS)

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and is a joint program run in partnership between the IRCC ( Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) and ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada). The objective of Global Talent Stream is to fast-track the hiring of highly skilled foreign nationals from across the world. It is one of the fundamental programs of Global Skill Strategy of Canada. The first step is to get a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and then apply for the work permit. This stream processes work permits and related temporary resident visas in around two weeks. There are two programs offered under the Global Talent Stream:
  • Category A: Under category A, one of the Stream’s designated partners must refer a company looking to hire a unique and specialized talent to scale up and grow the company.
Province
Designated Partner
Pan-Canadian
Business Development Bank of Canada
Pan-Canadian
Council of Canadian Innovators
Pan-Canadian
Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service
Pan-Canadian
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada - Accelerated Growth Service
Pan-Canadian
Invest in Canada
Pan-Canadian
National Research Council - Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)
Pan-Canadian
Privy Council Office, Special Projects Team
Pan-Canadian
TECHNATION
Alberta
Calgary Economic Development
Alberta
Edmonton Metropolitan Region Economic Development Company
Alberta
Government of Alberta, Alberta Labour and Immigration
British Columbia
Accelerate Okanagan
British Columbia
BC Tech Association
British Columbia
Government of British Columbia, Ministry Municipal Affairs
British Columbia
Kootenay Association for Science & Technology
British Columbia
Launch Academy
British Columbia
Vancouver Economic Commission
British Columbia
Venture Kamloops
Manitoba
Economic Development Winnipeg
Manitoba
Government of Manitoba, Manitoba Education and Training
Manitoba
Tech Manitoba
New Brunswick
Ignite Fredericton
New Brunswick
Venn Innovation
New Brunswick
Government of New Brunswick – Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
Newfoundland and Labrador
Genesis
Nova Scotia
Cape Breton Partnership
Nova Scotia
Government of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Business Inc.
Nova Scotia
Halifax Partnership
Ontario
Burlington Economic Development Corporation
Ontario
Invest Brampton
Ontario
Invest in Hamilton
Ontario
City of Mississauga
Ontario
Communitech Corporation
Ontario
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
Ontario
Government of Ontario, Labour, Training and Skills Development – Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
Ontario
Government of Ontario, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade – Ontario Investment Office
Ontario
Invest Ottawa
Ontario
Kingston Economic Development Corporation
Ontario
London Economic Development Corporation
Ontario
MaRS Discovery District
Ontario
Regional Municipality of Niagara
Ontario
York Region
Ontario
Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership
Ontario
Toronto Global
Ontario
Town of Oakville
Ontario
Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation
Ontario
Invest Windsor Essex
Ontario
Government of Prince Edward Island, Island Investment Development Inc.
Ontario
Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Immigration and Career Training
Ontario
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (multiple locations across the region)
  • Category B: This category of the Global Talent Stream caters to employers looking to hire highly-skilled foreign nationals for occupations listed in the Global Talent Occupation List.
NOC code
Occupation
213
Computer and information systems managers
2147
Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)
Sub-set of 2161
Mathematicians and statisticians Positions for actuaries or related occupations are excluded from this subset.
2171
Information systems analysts and consultants
2172
Database analysts and data administrators
2173
Software engineers and designers
2174
Computer programmers and interactive media developers
2175
Web designers and developers
2281
Computer network technicians
2283
Information systems testing technicians
Sub-set of 5131
Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game
2283
Digital media designers

Work Permit Exemptions:

Additionally, under the Global Talent Stream, workers fulfilling one of the below-mentioned criteria are exempt from obtaining a work permit.
  • Highly-skilled workers in NOC: skill type 0 or skill level may come to Canada to work for 15 days in 6 months, 30 days in 12 months
  • Researchers working on a research project at an affiliated research institution or publicly-funded institution may come to work in Canada for 120 days in 12 months.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program

Almost anyone who wishes to work in Canada requires a Canada work visa. There are two types of work permits available for immigrants, ie. Open-work permits and Employer-specific work permits. Let’s know about these two work permits in detail:

What are the PGWP’s Eligibility Requirements?

To be eligible for a PGWP ( Post-Graduation Work Permit), you must have:
  • Completed your education in a Designated Learning Institute (DLI)
  • The duration of the study program should be at least 8 months.
  • The program must lead to completing a degree, diploma, or certificate.
  • Held full-time status in Canada during every term of the program
  • Received an official letter or a transcript from the designated DLI that confirms you have met all the requirements for completion of the program
  • Apply within 180 days of receiving the transcript or official letter of program completion

How Long is the validity of PGWP?

The validity of this work permit depends on the length of the Canadian educational program. The maximum validity of the PGWP ranges from 8 months to three years.

 

Program Duration
Duration of PGWP
Under 8 months
Not eligible
8 months to less than 2 years
PGWP Validity= Length of the program
2 years of more
3 years
More than 1 program
Each program to be at a DLI and > 8 months duration.
PGWP validity basis the combined duration of both

What is the PGWP’s Application Deadline?

The deadline to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit is within 180 days (six months) of obtaining a transcript and an official letter from the eligible DLI confirming that the requirements to complete the program of study are met.

Spouse Open Work Permit (SOWP)

A SOWP or the Spouse Open work permit allows the spouse of a Canadian temporary permit holder to work for any employer in Canada.
Without valid authorization and a requisite work permit, foreign nationals cannot work in Canada. If you have applied to sponsor your spouse in Canada through Inland Sponsorship Program or are currently working or studying in Canada, your spouse will be eligible for an open work permit. Once the work permit is issued, your spouse will be authorized to work anywhere in Canada and for multiple employers. Your spouse’s open work permit is generally equal to the validity of your work or study permit or the validity of your spouse’s passport.

Who can apply for a spouse open work permit?

If you hold a valid work permit or study permit in Canada, your spouse can apply for a SOWP (Spouse Open Work Permit). If you have applied for sponsoring your spouse to Canada, your spouse is eligible for this work permit. The eligibility requirement is dependent on your status in Canada, as below:
Category
Occupation Skill of Principal Applicant
Minimum length of Principal Applicants Work Permit
Spouses or common-law partners of study permit holders
Any
No Minimum Length Required
Spousal/common-law sponsorship : In Canada Class applicants
Any
No Minimum Length Required
Spouses or common-law partners of bridging open work permit (BOWP) holders
Federal skilled worker (FSWC): 0, A, or B Provincial Nominee : Any skill Federal skilled trades class (FSTC): B Canadian experience class (CEC) : 0, A, or B Caregiver : 0, A, or B Agri Food Pilot: 0, A, or B
6 months
Spouses or common-law partners of Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) work permit holders
0, A, or B or C
6 months
Spouses or common-law partners of Quebec selection certificate (CSQ) holders
Any occupational skill level
6 months
Spouses or common-law partners of provincial nominees (other thann Quebec)
Any occupational skill level
6 months
Spouses or common-law partners of open work permit holders other than BOWP (Like PGWP or Working Holiday)
0, A, or B
No Minimum Length Required

The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) offers foreign nationals who are currently working in Canada on an authorized work permit to extend their status while their permanent residency application is in process. In addition, the BOWP allows the applicant to work for any employer across Canada without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Who is eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)?

To be eligible for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), a foreign national must fulfill the following conditions:
  • Currently in Canada with valid temporary resident status
  • hold a valid temporary resident status with an authorized work permit
  • are on a maintained status in Canada and have applied to renew the work permit
  • eligible to restore the temporary resident status with authorization to work in Canada
  • Has applied as a principal applicant in one of the below Canada’s permanent resident classes
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  • Caregiver Class
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  • Agri-Food Pilot (AFP)
  • Quebec Skilled Worker Class (QSWC)
  • Have cleared one of the Application for Permanent Resident (APR) stages:
  • passed the section R10 completeness check for a QSWC application or Express Entry application or
  • received positive assessment on an application in:
  • non-Express Entry PNP stream
  • Caring for Children Class,
  • Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class, Agri-Food Pilot,

International Experience Canada (IEC) Program

International Experience Class (IEC ) gives youth between 18-35 years of age who are Citizens of a specific partner country or those who apply through a recognized organization (RO) to be eligible for the work permit. The Work permit issued under this category is exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A quota is associated with each program and country; IRCC selects eligible applicants through a random draw process.
Country
International Co-op
Working Holiday
Young Professionals
Andorra
N/A
12 months
N/A
Australia
12 months
24 months
24 months
Austria
6 months (in specfied industries only)
12 months
12 months
Belgium
N/A
12 months
N/A
Chile
12 months
12 months
12 months
Costa Rica
12 months
12 months
12 months
Croatia
12 months
12 months
12 months
Czech Republic
12 months
12 months
12 months
Denmark
N/A
12 months
N/A
Estonia
12 months
12 months
12 months
France*
12 months
24 months
24 months
Germany
12 months
12 months
12 months
Greece
12 months
12 months
12 months
Hong Kong
N/A
12 months
N/A
Ireland
12 months
24 months
24 months
Italy
12 months
12 months
12 months
Japan
N/A
12 months
N/A
Latvia
12 months
12 months
12 months
Lithuania
12 months
12 months
12 months
Luxembourg
12 months
12 months
12 months
Mexico
12 months
12 months
12 months
Netherlands
N/A
12 months
12 months
New Zealand
N/A
23 months
N/A
Norway
12 months
12 months
12 months
Poland
N/A
12 months
12 months
Portugal
24 months
24 months
24 months
San Marino
N/A
12 months
N/A
Slovakia
12 months
12 months
12 months
South Korea
N/A
12 months
N/A
Spain
12 months
12 months
12 months
Sweden
12 months
12 months
12 months
Switzerland
12 months
N/A
18 months
Taiwan
12 months
12 months
12 months
Ukraine
12 months
12 months
12 months
United Kingdom
N/A
24 months
N/A
Recognized Organization
Program
Work Permit Type
Countries
Age Group
AIESEC Canada
Young Professionals
Employer Specific
IEC countries/territories, Brazil, India
18-30 years
GO International
Workin Holiday
Open Work Permit
IEC countries/territories, the United States
18- 35 years
IAESTE
Young Professionals
Employer Specific
IEC countries and other IAESTE country partners
18- 35 years
International Co-op (Internship)
Employer Specific
IEC countries and other IAESTE country partners
18- 35 years
A-Way to Work/International Rural Exchange Canada Inc
Young Professionals
Employer Specific
IEC countries/territories only
18- 35 years
Workin Holiday
Open Work Permit
IEC countries/territories only
18- 35 years
Memorial University
Workin Holiday
Open Work Permit
IEC countries/territories only
18- 35 years
International Co-op (Internship)
Employer Specific
IEC countries/territories only
18- 35 years
SWAP Working Holidays
Young Professionals
Employer Specific
IEC countries/territories, the United States
18- 35 years
Workin Holiday
Open Work Permit
IEC countries/territories, the United States
18- 35 years
There are 3 different categories under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program:
  • Working Holiday
  • Young Professionals
  • International Co-op (Internship)
01
WORKING
HOLIDAY
  • Do not have a Canadian job offer
  • Want to work in more than 1 location
  • Want to work for more than one employer
  • Want to earn while travelling
02
YOUNG
PROFESSIONALS
  • Have a valid Canadian job offer
  • Will work for the same employer and at the same location
  • Work will be paid and not self employed
03
INTERNATIONAL    CO-OP
  • Are a student registered at a post-secondary
    institution & your internship is part of your study
  • Have a valid job offer 
  • Will work for same employer at the same location

What are the eligibility requirements for the International Experience Class (IEC) Program?

To be eligible for this program, you must
  • be a citizen of one of the partner countries or a resident of countries that have a bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangement with Canada; or applied through one of the recognized organizations (RO)
  • between 18-35 years of age (age limit is country-specific)
  • have the equivalent of $25000 CAN cover initial expenses on landing in Canada
  • have health insurance for your stay in Canada
  • have a round trip ticket or sufficient funds to purchase a ticket at the end of your work permit validity
  • not bring dependent with you

International Mobility Program (IMP)

The International Mobility Program (IMP) is a fast-track process allowing Canadian employers to employ foreign nationals without an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment). The job must be of economic or cultural interest to Canada. This process is faster and more straightforward than the regular Temporary Foreign worker, which requires LMIA.
The key features of this program are:
  • Does NOT require Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
  • The objective is to enhance Canada’s economic, cultural and social interests
  • Primarily driven by bilateral or multilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with other countries
  • Work permits are employer-specific or open work permits.

International Trade Agreements: Canada offers work permits to eligible foreign nationals under the following trade agreements.
Those applying under this category do not require an LMIA.

  • CUSMA: Canada-United States-Mexico (earlier known as NAFTA)
  • Canada-Chile FTA
  • Canada-Colombia FTA
  • Canada-Korea FTA
  • Canada–Panama Free Trade Agreement
  • Canada-Peru FTA
  • CETA: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement
  • CPTPP: Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • GATS: General Agreement on Trade in Services

Significant benefit exemption: Under this, IRCC assesses the past track record of the foreign nations and recommendations of experts in the foreign national’s field to determine the exemption. The applicant must demonstrate that this exemption will be in the best interest of Canada and will be of significant social or cultural benefit to Canada.

 

Intra-Company Transferees

International business with a branch, subsidiary, affiliate, or parent company can transfer their key employees to Canada through the Intra-Company Transferee. Work permit issued in this is also Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt, i.e., you do not need Lumia for this category. The business should be operational and not merely physically present. The levels that qualify under this program are:

  • Executive level
  • Senior Managers
  • Functional Managers

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the validity of LMIA?

The LMIA is valid for a period of six months, within which the foreign worker has to apply to IRCC for a work permit. After that, the validity of LMIA is not extendable.

Is it mandatory to get LMIA for a work permit?

LMIA is mandatory under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW). However, some select occupations or designations come under LMIA exemption. Further, some
programs do not require an LMIA, like International Mobility Programs, PGWP, and SOWP International Experience Class. Get in touch with us to know more about the LMIA
exemption for the job you are considering.

How does a worker apply for LMIA?

The employer raises the LMIA, and it is the employer's responsibility to fulfill all the conditions before applying for LMIA to ESDC. The worker applies for a work permit once the
employer provides the approved copy of an LMIA

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