In this blog, we will review the difference between a LMIA exempt work permit and a LMIA Work Permit.

LMIA exempt work permit

The main benefit of having a LMIA exempt work permit (Open Work Permit) is that you have the flexibility to work anywhere. Below we have outlined different situations that would be eligible to apply for an Open Work Permit:

While living in Canada, you would be eligible for an Open Work Permit if you have submitted a common law or spousal sponsorship application. If your spouse or common law partner is studying in Canada or they have an employer specific LMIA work permit, then you as the spouse or the common law partner, would be eligible for an Open Work Permit.

You would also be eligible for an Open Work Permit if you have received an invitation to apply for an Express Entry and you have submitted your application.

As a vulnerable worker, you could qualify for a 6-month Open Work Permit.

If you are an approved Refugee claimant, waiting for your hearing at the Immigration Refugee Board, then you would be eligible for an Open Work Permit. As well, if you are under a removal order that has been stayed, you would still be eligible for an Open Work Permit.

If you have further questions about Open Work Permits, we highly encourage you to visit

LMIA Work Permit

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Work Permit on the other hand is an employer specific work permit. This means you can only work for that authorized employer.

Exemptions under LMIA are offered on a limited basis. One example of the LMIA exemption work permit is the intra company transfer. This is when you transfer employees from one company to the other. You need to show that the Canadian company and company in another country have affiliations, or are related, and they do business together. The categories for an intra company transfer are: professional employees, executive managers or employees that have special knowledge.

There are certain eligibility requirements which include that employees would need to show that they have worked for the sister company in the foreign country for at least one year as well as meet other job requirements.

One nice thing about the LMIA exemption code work permit is that if you are from a VISA exempt country, then you can apply for a work permit upon entry into Canada at a Port of Entry if you meet all of the requirements.

We highly advise that you get in touch with us at Brace Law to explore your options as to whether or not you would be eligible under one of the codes that would satisfy an LMIA exempt work permit.

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