Canada – Significant Benefit Work Permit

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While a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a general requirement for foreigners to work in Canada, it can be waived if the person offers a SIGNIFICANT BENEFIT TO CANADA.


LMIAs normally have lengthy processing times. Other factors which weigh in favour of a Significant Benefit Work Permit being granted include the potential impact an investment would have on the Canadian economy, the disruption of the Canadian labour market and the needs of the Canadian consumer.


Criteria for grant of a significant benefit work permit

Foreign nationals looking to get a significant work permit in Canada must demonstrate to the Canadian government that the work they will do will have a significant economic, social, or cultural benefit to Canada. The applicant will need to show they have a record of distinction in their field.


IRCC considers the following criteria for grant of a Significant Benefit Work Permit :

  • Official academic documentation showing that the foreign worker has obtained educational credentials related to their professional area of expertise
  • Documented evidence from current or past employers that shows the foreign worker has significant full time experience in the job (significant is defined as ten or more years of work experience)
  • Applicant has been the recipient of international or national awards or patents
  • Applicant has membership in organizations that require excellence of its members
  • Applicant has held a position where they have judged the work of others
  • Proof that their work, achievements, and contributions to their field has been recognized by peers, the government, or professional associations
  • Proof of scientific or scholarly contributions to their field
  • Publications in academic or industry publications
  • Proof of having served in a leadership role in an organization with a distinguished reputation
  • Foreign workers who are foreign workers staying outside of Quebec in a job with a National Occupation Classification O, A or B, recruited through Destination Canada or other job fairs that were coordinated with the federal government and francophone minority communities

Who Can Get a Significant Benefit Work Permit?

The following are among those eligible to get a significant benefit work permit:

  1. Intra-Company Transferees: A significant benefit work permit may be available to a foreign national employed by a multi-national company that is seeking entry to Canada to work for a parent, subsidiary, or branch of that company. The position they are being transferred to in Canada must be in an executive, senior managerial or specialized knowledge role.
  2. Television and Film Production Workers: Workers in the TV and film industry whose role is essential to the production may be eligible to obtain a significant benefit work permit. According to IRCC, admitting such workers helps to attract investment to Canada and creates significant economic benefits for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
  3. Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Workers: Those looking to start a business in Canada or be self-employed may be able to get a significant benefit work permit. They need to show the Canadian government their activities in Canada will result in an economic, social, or cultural benefit.
  4. Emergency Repair Personnel: These are workers who are needed in Canada to conduct emergency repairs to industrial or commercial equipment, even under warranty, to prevent the disruption of employment in Canada.


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