LMIA - Employer Specific Work Permit

All you need to know about Work Permits

Foreign nationals who are looking to work in Canada are most likely to obtain one out of the two main types of work permit:
  1. Open work permit
  2. Employer specific work permit

What is an Employer Specific Work Permit?

  • An Employer-specific work permit allows foreign nationals to work according to the conditions or limitations on the work permit. It limits a foreign national to one employer and is only authorized to work for one employer, in one position, in Canada.

What is LMIA and do you need it?

  • It is not usually required to have a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) if the occupation is listed below. If the person does not fit in any of the categories listed, they are still eligible to obtain an employer-specific work permit. However, they will need to have LMIA beforehand.
  • The LMIA is a document that an employer in Canada needs to get before hiring a foreign worker. It shows that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and the employer was not able to find a Canadian worker or permanent resident for that specific job. 
Also Read: LMIA Updates

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility for an Employer-specific work permit is determined by the nature of the occupation and the overall record of the applicant. Some conditions that need to meet are as follow:

  • You must satisfy the immigration officer you will leave as soon as your work permit expires.
  • You have sufficient finances to stay and take care of yourself and the people that may be accompanying you during your visit to Canada.
  • You have a clean criminal record.
  • You pose no threat to Canada’s security.
  • You have no serious medical issues that may affect the Canadian population in any way.
  • You are not working for an employer who is listed ineligible on the list of employers who did not comply with employment conditions.
  • You are not working for an employer who deals with promiscuous services such as striptease, erotic dance, and massages or escort services, or related professions.


  • The following occupations may use employer-specific work permits. Each occupation has a separate criterion to be eligible along with the criteria for employer-specific work permits:
    • Applicants who are part of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP)
    • Dancers, actors, orchestral musicians, opera singers or someone in a related field
    • Entrepreneurs
    • Film or television production workers
    • French speaking skilled workers who intend to work in a Francophone community outside Quebec
    • Intra-company transferees
    • Professional Athlete or coach
    • Provincial Nominated applicants who have a job offer
    • Religious worker or someone doing charitable work
    • Repair or maintenance worker for industrial or commercial equipment
    • Researchers at certain Canadian institutions
    • Start-up Visa program applicants
    • Workers under a federal-provincial/territorial agreement

Limitations of Employer Specific Work Permit​

  • Employer specific work permits allow individuals to work based upon certain work conditions such as the following:

    • The name of the employer the applicant is allowed to work for
    • The duration of the employment allowed
    • The specific location of employment as allowed.

Important Considerations

  • To be eligible to apply, you must obtain the positive LMIA decision letter from your employer and submit it along with your application.  You must also demonstrate that you meet the required experience and/or education to fill the position. You can support this by submitting letters of previous employment in the same or similar role stated on the LMIA.
  • It is important to note that the LMIA decision letter is valid for six months only. This means that you must apply for your work permit within six months of the issuance of the LMIA decision letter.
  • Your spouse or common-law partner may also be eligible to submit a work permit application along with your application for work permit. Furthermore, you may also apply for a study permit if your children will be accompanying you and attending school in Canada.
  • It is important to know that your work permit, when issued, will be an employer specific work permit. This means that you may only work for the employer stated on your work permit and the occupation and location stated on your work permit
  • If you do not require a visa to enter Canada, you may be eligible to apply for your work permit at the port of entry (POE). Please ensure that you have all the necessary documents to present to the officer at the POE.

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All you need to know about Open Work Permits

An open work permit is a type of work permit that grants you the legal status to work in Canada.

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Apply for the Post-Graduate Work Permit after completing your studies

If you are an international student and have recently completed your studies, you might be eligible for a work permit.