Work Permit


Some temporary workers who come to Canada may be able to do so without the requirements of an LMIA. While the LMIA is not required, a work permit is still needed. The most common examples of when an LMIA isn’t required is when the work is of Significant Benefit, Reciprocal Employment or that of a Charitable and Religious Worker. Because a work permit is still required, it’s advisable to get started as early as possible on the application to avoid any delays if the activities to be performed are time-sensitive.

The Significant Benefit stream is for those whose work is significant and notable, such as that of a professor or someone who has received national or international acclaim among other situations or entrepreneurs wishing to start a business of benefit to Canada, French-speaking skilled workers and others.

Canadian visa officers have a certain amount of flexibility in determining if issuing a work permit to a foreign worker is of a significant social or cultural benefit. The work must be important or notable and this determination would apply on the input of experts within the field – although the foreign worker’s past record is often seen as a good indication of achievement.

Significant social or cultural benefit can be determined a variety of ways including whether the foreign worker has judged the work of others in the field, has taken a leading role in an organization with a distinguished reputation, has significant full-time experience in the field, has received national or international awards or patents and other measures. This may include entrepreneurs or self-employed persons, intra-company transfers, dependents of foreign workers, French speaking skilled workers, academics and those nominated by a province or territory for permanent residence with a job offer.

The Reciprocal Employment stream is when the foreign worker takes up employment in Canada while a Canadian has a similar work opportunity abroad. This may be part of an international agreement that shows the admission of foreign workers is of significant benefit due to an international trade (or other) agreement, or maybe part of an international exchange program such as student, co-op programs, young professional programs and teacher exchanges.

The Charitable and Religious Worker stream is when the worker is not a volunteer, but is someone who provides beneficial charity work to the community. This is in the case of relief of poverty, advancement of education or other purposes that bring benefit to Canadian communities.

As temporary workers, these individuals do not require an LMIA and if the organization is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency as a charity it will make proving the case of a charitable worker easier.

Keep in mind that a charitable worker requires work permit where a volunteer (who is not paid and therefore doesn’t enter the labour market) does not. Charitable workers are paid for their work.

For religious workers, the foreign national must show their primary role is to provide certain religious instruction or promote the religion.

If you think you might be able to work without an LMIA, contact us and we can help.


These work permits allow you to work for almost any employer in Canada. This is important because when one spouse or partner in a relationship is coming to Canada to work on a temporary work permit, the other may also want to work, but doesn’t yet have a job offer. This type of permit isn’t job-specific so it’s also applicable for international students in the post-graduate work program or the spouse of an international student.

For example, one spouse may have already received a job offer, but the other spouse has not applied for jobs in Canada or isn’t sure what kind of work they would like to do in the country when they re-join their family. It is known that international foreign workers are much more successful integrating into Canadian culture when their spouse accompanies them. This type of permit gives flexibility in terms of applying for a job upon arrival.

It is also ideal for spouses who are supporting an international student. These individuals may know they want to come to Canada to be with their partner and support them in their studies but have not determined what kind of work is the best fit.

Ultimately, the open work permit is ideal for those coming to Canada to be with family members but who don’t yet know what work they will prefer in Canada, want to take some time off before re-joining a workforce or haven’t yet determined their skillset and the type of work they are best suited for.

Dates on these permits generally align with those on the work or study permit of the spouse already coming to Canada on a study permit or temporary work permit.

To be eligible, you must be in one of the following situations which may require more documentation:

– Have applied for permanent residence in Canada.
– Are a dependent family member of a permanent residence applicant.
– Are a spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian worker or international student.
– Are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or a family member of such.
– Are a temporary resident permit holder,
– Are a young worker in a special program.

Let us know if you are interested and we are happy to help.


As of June 18, 2019, you may be able to apply for permanent residence through the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot if you meet the eligibility requirements and have a job offer to work in one of these occupations.

Through these program, you’ll get an open work permit to come to Canada and work temporarily. This work permit is occupation-restricted (so you have to work in that specific occupation), doesn’t need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), lets you get the work experience you need to be eligible for permanent residence

If you recently worked as a home child care provider or support worker, your experience may count towards your eligibility for permanent residence.

You can apply for the Interim Pathway for Caregivers if you have at least 1 year or work experience as a home child provider or a home support worker and meet minimum language and education requirements


The Interim Pathway for Caregivers is a limited time pathway to permanent residence for qualifying in-home caregivers and their families. If you have work experience in Canada as a home child care provider or home support worker, you may be able to apply for permanent residence.

To be eligible to apply, you must have status in Canada, relevant work experience, required language levels and qualifying education. You must also plan to live outside the province of Quebec.

When you apply, you must have a valid work permit or have applied to extend your work permit and be waiting on a decision or have applied to restore your status as a worker

Work experience
To be eligible, your qualifying work experience must have been gained while working in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This means your employer would have needed to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment before hiring you.

Since November 30, 2014, you must have gained at least 12 months of full-time work experience in Canada as a
Home child care provider
Home support worker, or
Combination of the two

For this work experience
Full-time work means at least 30 hours of paid work per week
You can have breaks in employment (for example, on sick leave or parental leave)
Any work experience you had while you were a full-time student doesn’t count
In your application, you’ll have to include documents to show proof of your work experience

Home child care provider
Your work must match the description of a home child care provider
You must have cared for children under the age of 18, in your own home or in your employer’s home
You don’t need to have lived in your employer’s home to qualify
Experience as a foster parent doesn’t count

Home support worker
Your work must match the description of a home support worker
Only home support workers are eligible under 4412
Experience as a housekeeper doesn’t count

Language levels
You need to take a language test to prove you meet the minimum language skills that are required. To measure your English or French levels, you should have :

The minimum language skill is CLB 5 in English or NLCL 5 in French for all 4 language skills:

You must have a Canadian high school diploma or a non-Canadian educational diploma, certificate or credential that’s equal to a Canadian secondary school (high school) diploma.

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