Work Permit in Canada without LMIA

Alberta New -Foreign Graduate Start-Up Visa Stream Work Permit in Canada without LMIA

Employers can hire a temporary foreign worker without doing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), or even bring people to work in Canada without a work permit. These exemptions include:


  • Intra Company Transfer (ICT)

Any multinational company that has a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate operational in Canada may be able to send key staff to work at its Canadian location through an Intra-Company Transfer (ICT). It is not enough to just have a physical location.

Furthermore, in Canada, the occupation may be restricted to executives and senior managers, functional managers, or employees who can demonstrate specialised knowledge of the company’s products, services, processes, and procedures.



Under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement, citizens of the United States and Mexico can obtain Canadian work permits (CUSMA). CUSMA, formerly known as NAFTA, allows Canada, the United States, and Mexico to exchange talent without the need for LMIAs.

There are four groups of people who may benefit from CETA:

    1. Business visitors – Short-term business visitors and business visitors coming to Canada for investment purposes are both included in this category.
    2. Intra-company transferees – Senior personnel and specialists may transfer to a Canadian branch without an LMIA.
    3. Investors – European investors who have made a substantial investment in a new or existing Canadian business and are coming to Canada to develop and direct the business.
    4. Contractual service suppliers and independent professionals – This CETA category is for certain service suppliers and independent professionals.


  • TV and film

The TV and Film Production Work Permit Category allow TV and film productions to bring in key personnel to Canada. Foreign and Canadian production companies can use this work permit category to bring talent to Canadian locations if they can demonstrate that the work performed by the foreign national is essential to the production.


  • Business Visitors

Business visitors can enter Canada without a work permit to conduct business or trade activity.

Foreign employees may be exempt from needing a work permit if they are coming to Canada for a conference, to purchase Canadian goods or services, to train staff or receive training by foreign entities. They also could be providing after-sales or lease services.

Some general criteria for qualifying as a business visitor are as follows:

    1. The foreign national intends to stay in Canada for less than six months;
    2. They do not plan to enter the Canadian labour market, and their main place of income or source of income and profits is outside of Canada; and
    3. They meet Canada’s basic entry requirements including a valid passport, enough money to finance the entire stay and return home, and are not criminally or medically inadmissible.

Business visitors may need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) in order to cross the border.


  • After-sales or lease services

Workers coming to Canada doing repairs and servicing, supervise installers or set up and test commercial or industrial equipment (including computer software) may not need a work permit. People who do this type of work may be considered business visitors.  This does not include hands-on installation generally performed by construction or building trades, such as electricians or pipe fitters.

After-sales or lease services also applies to people coming to repair or service specialized equipment purchased or leased outside Canada, provided the service is being performed as part of the original or extended sales agreement, lease or rental agreement, warranty or service contract. And, the service person coming to Canada to install, configure or give training on the upgraded software may be considered a business visitor.


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