Keep note: employers who intend to hire a foreign worker has to ensure they are compliant with immigration laws – they should employ workers who have a work permit. The rules and requirements that apply will depend on country of citizenship, the type and scope of work, duration of work, and other factors of the foreign worker.
Nearly all job positions and foreigners need an LMIA and a Work Permit, others only require a work permit, and some do not require a work permit what’s so ever.
To learn whether an LMIA and/or Work Permit is needed, see the categories below.
Jobs that need a positive LMIA in addition to a work visa
Within most scenarios, Canadian employers intending to hire a foreign worker need to first receive government approval before the hiring process can begin. This is to make sure that no qualified Canadians were dismissed in favour of the foreign worker, and that the foreign worker is going to be given a salary and as well as benefits that meet federal and provincial standards. The government will demonstrate its approval by issuing a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
As a general rule, all Canadian employers need to provide poof that they have tried to find qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill job positions before looking to hire foreign workers. Also, employers may be inspected for compliance to government regulations after their employee has started working in the country.
To learn more please see the LMIA Required Jobs section.
LMIA Exempt Jobs & Foreigners
In certain cases, a positive LMIA is not needed in order to be eligible to apply for a work permit.
Below, the following categories are exempt from the requirement for a positive LMIA, meaning that a work permit can be acquired without one.
- Entrepreneurs/Self-Employed Candidates
- French-Speaking Skilled Workers
- Global Talent Stream
- Intra-Company Transferees
- International Agreements (NAFTA, CETA, etc.)
- International Exchange Programs
- Provincial LMIA Exemptions
- Religious Workers
- Spouse and Dependents of Foreign Workers
Please note: Being exempt from getting a LMIA, that doesn’t mean the individual is exempt from obtaining a work permit. All streams on the LMIA exemption list still require the individual to get a work permit to work in the country legally.
To learn more please see the LMIA Exempt Jobs section.
Global Talent Stream
Notedly, employers who are encountering high growth or desiring to hire, IT professionals can apply for work permits under Global Talent Stream and benefit by 2 week expedited processing times. This program was established to make sure companies can bring foreign workers to Canada rapidly, to meet the requirements of their growing business.
Feel free to learn more about the Global Talent Stream program.
Work without a permit
There are a number of occupations and situations where a foreigner can work without a work permit.
In this category, the occupations are listed bellow:
- Athletes and team members
- Aviation accident or incident inspector
- Business visitor
- Civil aviation inspector
- Convention organizers
- Emergency service providers
- Examiners and evaluators
- Expert witnesses or investigators
- Foreign government officers
- Foreign representatives and Family members of foreign representatives
- Health care students
- Implied status
- Judges, referees and similar officials
- Military personnel
- News reporters, media crews
- On-campus employment and some Off-campus work
- Performing artists
- Public speakers
Open Work Permit (OWP)
Without restriction, an Open Work Permit allows a foreign national to work in any job. An LMIA or confirmed offer of employment is not required to apply for an OWP (Open Work Permit).
To add, foreign spouses or common-law partners of temporary foreign workers, foreign students and Spouses/common-law partners being sponsored via the Inland Spousal/Common-law Sponsorship category can apply for an OWP (Open Work Permit).
Additionally, graduating international students are also able to apply for an OWP (under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program).
Furthermore, International Experience Canada (IEC) Candidates under the Working Holiday category are also eligible to apply for an Open Work Permit.
Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)
Interestingly, the BOWP (bridging open work permit) is a method to keep a worker in the country working while his or her application for permanent residence is being evaluated.
Furthermore, In-Canada applicants who have made an application to immigrate to Canada under either the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Class, the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Class, the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or one of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) may be considered for a BOWP if their current work permit is about to expire (within 4 months). A foreign worker legally working in the country who has made (or will soon make) an application for permanent residence under one of these immigration programs may then carry on to work until a decision is made on the applicants application for permanent residence.
To learn more please see the Bridging Open Work Permit section.
International Experience Class (IEC)
The International Experience Class (IEC) is a program designed to bring younger adults and youth to this country (Canada) on a nonpermanent basis to work for temporary periods
To add, citizens of countries with a bilateral youth mobility arrangement with Canada who are between the ages of 18- 35 years old might be eligible for International Experience Class work permits.
The International Experience Class (IEC) program has 3 categories:
- International Co-op
- Working Holiday
- Young Professionals
Work while Studying
Keep in mind that full-time students that are enrolled at an institution may work at that institutions campus in any job with no need of a work permit. Students could work at more than one campus of an institution, if they are in the same municipality. To be eligible, students may be enrolled in any course.
Allowable institutions are:
- Community Colleges
- Private Institutions authorized by provincial statue to confer degrees
- Publicly Funded trade or technical schools
In addition, students who are working as a graduate, research or teaching assistants may work off campus a locations related to their research grants. These sort of locations need to have a formal association or affiliation with he learning institution. Locations may include hospitals, clinics and research institutes.