Four common ways to work in Canada without an LMIA under the Canadian interests category

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An understanding of how foreign nationals seeking to work temporarily in Canada can achieve their goal without obtaining an LMIA.

 An LMIA is the labour market test the Canadian government requires when an employer is looking to hire a foreign national due to labour shortages. However, Canada also allows certain foreign nationals to also work here without requiring an LMIA for broad economic, social, and cultural policy reasons.

 Some foreign nationals looking to work in Canada temporarily can do so without obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

 Stream 1: Competitiveness and public policy

 The intended purpose of the competitiveness and public policy stream is to provide foreign nationals with work permits if they are performing duties that require limited access to the Canadian labour market necessary from a public policy perspective to try and maintain the competitiveness of Canada’s academic institutions and/or economy.

 Also included in the competitiveness and public policy stream is a program that provides open work permits to the spouses of and common-law partners of full-time students and foreign nationals who have come to Canada as skilled workers.

 Stream 2: Significant benefit

 Intra-Company Transfers: Work permit applicants through the Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) program coming to Canada to work for an affiliate, parent company, subsidiary, or Canadian branch of their foreign employer

 PNP Nominees as Entrepreneurs: Any potential nominee through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) coming to Canada as an entrepreneur.

 Under this stream, work permits are provided to foreign workers who intend to perform duties that benefit Canadian citizens and permanent residents either through the creation/maintenance of benefits that are social, cultural or economic in nature or by creating new opportunities for Canadians.

 “Significant benefit” is largely defined using expert testimonials from individuals in the same field of work as the foreign national applying for the work permit.

 Stream 3: Reciprocal employment

 In other words, the intended purpose of the reciprocal employment stream is to provide work permits to foreign nationals who will be performing duties in Canada that consequently help either create or maintain international relationships that will provide employment opportunities to Canadian citizens or permanent residents in other countries around the world. Under this stream, foreign nationals looking to work in Canada can do so without an LMIA thanks to international agreements and international exchange programs that mutually benefit non-Canadians coming to work in this country and natural-born Canadians working in countries around the world.

 Stream 4: Charitable and religious workers

 Religious Work: Work where the foreign national applicant is required to “be part of, or share, the beliefs of the particular religious community where they intend to work or have the ability to teach or share other religious beliefs.”

 Finally, under the charitable and religious workers stream, Canada provides foreign work permit applicants coming to Canada intending to conduct duties that are “of a religious or charitable nature” with the opportunity to do so without an LMIA.

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