Significant Benefit Work Permit

Last updated: 16 October 2020

Although the rule is that a LMIA is required, in certain situations the employer could be exempt on the basis of ‘significant benefit’.

Scenarios often arise where there is no specific LMIA exemption that applies, typically implying that the LMIA will need to be submitted and approved prior to applying for the work permit. This usually involves processing time as well as the need on the part of the Canadian employer to prove that they were unable to find a Canadian for the job.

Sometimes however, an exception can be made on the basis that the granting of temporary work authorization in a given situation would pose a particular benefit to the Canadian economy or culture. The principle behind this is that in such cases, the positive effects of the issuance of a work permit, would outweigh the potential deleterious consequences that could result from the standard procedure not being followed.

These are cases for which an LMIA is usually required but practical considerations prevent this from being a possibility if Canada is to benefit, usually due to the lengthy processing times associated with most LMIA’s. In such cases, aside from the lack of LMIA, the other factors that are typically considered when assessing a work permit application would mitigate in favor of the work permit being granted. Such factors include the potential impact on Canadian production, the disruption of the Canadian labor market, as well as the needs of the Canadian consumer.