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Work Permit


A Canadian work permit can be issued to a qualified foreign worker to allow them to enter Canada to work for a Canadian employer on a temporary basis.

There is no such thing as a “general” work permit that will allow an individual to enter Canada to seek employment. For a Canadian work permit to be issued by the government the position must be:

  • supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); or
  • the job must be in a LMIA -exempt category.
Arranged employment in Canada


A Canadian employer can make a job offer to a foreign worker at any time. However, for the foreign worker to be able to apply for a work permit and enter Canada – to legally start working in their job – the employer must first obtain an LMIA from Employment & Social Development Service Canada (ESDC).

In the simplest terms, an LMIA is an assessment that confirms that there is not a qualified Canadian worker to fulfil the role. Moreover, that there is a genuine need to allow a foreign worker to enter the Canadian labour market.  

If you are employer who needs assistance with submitting an LMIA or are a foreign worker who has a job offer in Canada, please contact us for more information.

business man on the phone
LMIA Exemptions


While most employers will need a LMIA to hire a foreign worker, there are several instances where IRCC has the authority to issue a work permit without an LMIA being required.

IRCC has various LMIA exemption streams or codes for specific situations. These specific work permits are issued through the International Mobility Program. Here are some common exemption categories for work permits:

Intra-company transferee – C12: A work permit which allows companies to temporarily transfer qualified employees to Canada so they can improve management effectiveness, expand Canadian exports, and enhance competitiveness in the global market.

Provincial worker programs – T13: Foreign workers who have been nominated by a province through a specific worker program and is employed, or has a job offer from an employer based in the respective province, may be issued a work permit

Provincial investor programs – C11: Self-employed candidate seeking to start a business in a particular province and who has been nominated by the respective province, may enter Canada to work on their business venture.

Significant Benefits – C10: This work permit is designed to attract foreign workers and investors who can provide Canada with economic, cultural and other competitive advantages.

If you feel you qualify for an LMIA-exempt work permit, please contact us.

Work Permit


In almost all cases, the accompanying spouse of Canadian foreign student and a skilled temporary foreign worker will be eligible for an open spousal work permit under the following categories:

Spouse or common-law partner of a skilled foreign worker – C41

Spouse or common-law partner of a full-time student – C42