LMO-Exempt Canadian Work Permits

The general rule is that individuals applying for a Canadian work permit require a Labor Market Opinion (LMO). However, there are exemptions to this rule. Canada has bilateral and multilateral agreements with certain countries in order to facilitate the movement of foreign workers across borders. If you fall into one of the categories below, the application for a Canada work permit will be processed much faster, as LMOs take anywhere from 6-10 weeks to obtain.

  • Workers covered under international agreements

    • For example, NAFTA Work Permits – the North America Free Trade Agreement allows professionals and investors to obtain work permits without a labor market opinion.
  • Dependents (spouses and children) of Foreign Workers holding a Canadian work permit for a skilled position.
    • Please note that this does not apply to the spouses of working holiday visa holders.
  • Provincial Nominees
Individuals holding a certificate of nomination or selection (in the case of Quebec) who have a job offer in the province where they were nominated/selected do not require a labor market opinion.
  • Intra-company Transferees

    • Foreign workers who have worked for a branch/subsidiary/parent of a Canadian company abroad and who are coming to Canada in a managerial/specialized knowledge position do not need a labor market opinion.
  • Participants in programs such as the Working Holiday Visa program or (IEC)
  • Co-op students
    • Where a work placement or internship is part of the field of study, the foreign student does not need to obtain a labor market opinion.
  • Religious Workers
    • Foreign workers in Canada who are working for a charitable organization or religious institution.
  • Spouses and common-law partners of full-time foreign students are eligible for open work permits (not requiring a job offer or a labor market opinion).
    • This category also applies to the spouses and common-law partners of Canadians who have sponsored them in Canada and who have obtained approval of the Canadian sponsor.

 For more information, contact FWCanada. Our Canadian Immigration services includes Labour Market Opinions. 

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