Unless, the applicant is eligible for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt work permit, a Canadian employers intending to employ foreign workers in Canada will need to obtain a LMIA.

As part of the LMIA process, Canadian employers must demonstrate that employing a foreign worker will have a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labour market, and that there is currently no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to fill the position, which is typically done by advertising the position on several venues.  

There are, however, specific situations where this general rule needs to be relaxed.  Sometimes, the balance of practical considerations argues for the issuance of a work permit in a time frame shorter than would be necessary to obtain an LMIA. In order to be successful, in obtain a “significant benefit” work permit immigration officers must be convinced that issuing a work permit will lead to significant social, cultural or economic benefits to Canada. The principle behind this is that in such cases the positive effects of the issuance of a work permit would outweigh the potential detrimental consequences that could result from the standard procedure not being followed.

Factors that are typically considered include the potential impact on Canadian production, the disruption of the Canadian labor market, as well as the needs of the Canadian consumer.

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