Canada’s top jobs for LMIA-exempt work permit holders in 2021


In 2021, the Canadian Government dropped the Labour Market Impact Assessment for holders of specific work permits. The assessment reviews the type and number of foreign nationals required for the Canadian market.

Last year, some Canadian work permits for foreign nationals were exempted from LMIA. LMIA or Labour Market Impact Assessment is needed to apply for several Canadian work permits.

An employer needs to submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application to the Canadian Government when hiring a foreign national. The Canadian government employee must review the application to determine that employment of the foreign national is justified.

Closed LMIA-exempt work permits authorize a foreign national to work in a specific position for a specific employer, but don’t need a positive LMIA. Usually, whether or not a closed work permit is LMIA-exempt depends on the nature of the job.



The purpose of the LMIA is to ensure that the inclusion of foreign workers will not negatively impact the native workers in Canada.

Canada has TFWP or Temporary Foreign Worker Program to support its workforce. It was brought into effect when no people in the country had the required qualifications to work.


Process of getting LMIA-exempt work permits

There are many LMIA-exempt work permits available. The first step to getting one is to learn your options and determine what exactly you are looking for. You may be able to qualify for an open work permit, which will allow you to hold any job in any Canadian province for any Canadian employer. All open work permits fall under the IMP. There are open work permit options for international student graduates, youth from certain countries with reciprocal agreements to Canada, and spouses of Canadians and temporary residents.

There are also LMIA exemptions for certain professionals, investors, and traders from countries that have free trade agreements with Canada. Canada also offers exemptions to eligible entrepreneurs, French-speaking skilled workers, and workers in occupations that are considered to promote the country’s interests.

Significant Benefits of LMIA exempt jobs:

This exemption can be applied if your employer is able to prove that you will bring an important social, cultural, or economic benefit to Canada. For example:

  • Technical workers, creative and performing artists, self-employed engineers, etc.
  • Intra-company transferees with specialized knowledge that will contribute to the Canadian economy through their specialized skills and experience
  • Workers under Mobilité francophone


Top 5 LMIA except jobs in different provinces:
  • Ontario:Tech occupations were most commonly listed on Ontario IMP work permits. Computer programmers and interactive media developers took the top spot, followed by information systems analysts and consultants, and software engineers and designers. University professors and lecturers were the fourth most common IMP work permit holders, followed by specialist physicians.
  • British Columbia:Software engineers and designers were the most common IMP work permit holders in BC last year. Actors and comedians came in second place, followed by graphic designers and illustrators, university professors and lecturers, and information systems analysts and consultants.
  • Quebec:Graphic designers and illustrators were the top LMIA-exempt work permit holders in Quebec last year. University professors and lecturers came in second, followed by post-secondary teaching and research assistants. Specialist physicians and producers, directors, choreographers, and related occupations held the fourth and fifth positions.
  • Alberta:University professors and lecturers were Alberta’s most common IMP work permits holders. Foodservice supervisors, post-secondary teaching and research assistants, cooks, and transport truck drivers also made their presence in the top five.
  • Manitoba: Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers, and related workers held the most IMP work permits. Transport truck drivers, athletes, cooks, agriculture service contractors, farm supervisors, and specialized livestock workers took the subsequent positions.


Summary of list of jobs that has been exempted from the purview of LMIA:
  • Professionals
  • Investors
  • Traders
  • Self-Employed Engineers
  • Performing artists
  • Technical Workers
  • Intra company transferred employees
  • Workers who come under the francophone of Mobilité
  • Academics
  • Researchers
  • Guest Lecturers
  • Medical residents and fellows
  • Post-Doctoral fellows


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