LMIA based work permit

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Crew members, if they are working on a means of transportation that is foreign-owned and not registered in Canada and engaged primarily in international transit, do not need a work permit.

The crew members could work in the operation of; or the maintenance of, or in the passenger service capacity of the foreign-owned international transportation.

Foreign companies should be aware of and in accordance with the laws governing work conducted by crews working on the modes of transportation. As such, it is essential for the foreign company to make sure that employee’s work is eligible for a work permit exemption, in Canada, prior to coming to Canada.

Implied Status

Foreign work individuals are allowed to continue to work under the conditions of an expired work permit (without an interim work permit), only if they applied for a new work permit before the original work permit expired.

While waiting for a response from the IRCC, on their application, workers must remain in Canada to ensure implied status.

Once the IRCC has made a decision, the applicant may either continue working under the conditions of their new permit or, if the application was denied, they must leave Canada.

Military Personnel

Military and civilian personnel living and working in Canada under the umbrella of the Visiting Forces Act are permitted to work and study without permits. These exemptions also cover the families of these individuals.

Military personnel is exempt from the following:

  • requirements for a passport; or
  • from a temporary resident visa; or
  • from foreign national medical examinations.

The above documents may still be required by civilians and family members.

Public Speakers

Foreign public speakers such as:

  • guest speakers at events,
  • commercial speakers
  • seminar leaders

Are all allowed to present in Canada without needing a work permit. This exemption rules that, ‘seminar’ is defined as an intensive course of study or a small class lasting no longer than five days.

In this category, foreign commercial speakers have a consigned interest in the event in which they are speaking. Typically, this means the speaker rents a commercial space; advertises for the event; charges admission; etc.

Canadian companies hiring foreign commercial speakers must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and work permit for the speaker’s time in Canada.

Performing Artists

Canada permits many foreign performing artists to work in Canada without a work permit. There are certain types of performers/performances, however, which require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and Work Permit.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has structured shared performers and performances and the immigration requirements they must meet.


In addition to the scenarios mentioned above, individual performers may work in Canada without a work permit which falls under different sub-categories. They are:

  • Film Producers (Business Visitors)
  • Film and Recording Studio Users (Business Visitors)
  • Individuals Doing Guest Spots on Canadian Radio Broadcasts and TV (Guest Speakers)

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