Jobs in Canada That Don't Need an LMIA

November 3, 2023


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

If you want to work in Canada, you generally require a Canadian work permit and a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Before getting hired by your Canadian employer, they must get an LMIA as proof they attempted but failed to find a local worker to fill in the job vacancy you filled.

However, several jobs in Canada don't require an LMIA. This presents a great opportunity if you’re a worker looking to work in Canada without needing an LMIA.

Looking to work in Canada without the hassle of getting an LMIA? Discover the jobs in Canada that don’t need an LMIA!

Top Jobs in Canada That Don't Need an LMIA

While there are no specific occupations that you don’t need an LMIA for, certain jobs can be LMIA exempt, if they fall under the following categories.

LMIA Exempt Jobs Under Public Policies

Under certain public policies, specific job categories are exempt from the LMIA requirement. These public policies aim to attract foreign workers to key economic sectors or industries in Canada.

Through these public policies, eligible Canadian employers can bypass the LMIA process and hire foreign workers more quickly. You may be exempt from an LMIA if you work in an occupation deemed in high demand by the Canadian government

For example, Hong Kong residents immigrating to Canada or open work applications undergoing a pathway from a temporary resident to permanent in Canada are protected by public policies. Prominent examples of LMIA-exempt jobs under Public policies include:

  • Academic Researchers (NOC 41400),
  • University or College Lecturers (NOC 41200),
  • General Farm Laborers (NOC 85100),
  • Performing Artists (NOC 51120), and
  • Technical Workers (NOC 22221).

LMIA Exempt Jobs Under International Agreements or Arrangements

Canada has entered into various international agreements and arrangements that provide LMIA exemptions for foreign workers in certain job categories. These agreements promote economic growth, cultural exchange, and international cooperation between the participating countries. A prominent example of an international trade agreement that allows for an LMIA exemption for certain occupations is the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). Under CUSMA, you may be exempt from the LMIA process if you're from Mexico or the United States and work as a:

  • Trader (NOC 60020),
  • Investor (NOC 11101),
  • Professionals (NOC is industry dependent), and
  • Executive or Senior Managers (NOC 00012).

Other eligible trade agreements that provide an exemption from the LMIA requirement to certain foreign workers and applicants include.

International Trade Agreements LMIA Exempt Jobs or Applicants
General Agreement on Trade in Services  GATS Professionals
Canada-Peru Free Trade Accord Traders, Investors, Professionals or Technicians, Management Trainees, ICT Executive or Snr Manager
Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement Traders, Investors, Professionals, ICT Executive or Snr Manager
Canada- Korea Free Trade Accord Traders, Investors, Contract Service Suppliers or Independent Professional, ICT Management Trainee
Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) Investor, Contractual Service Supplier, Engineering Technologists and Scientific Technologists, Independent professional, ICT Executives or Senior Manager, ICT Graduate Trainees
Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Investor, Executive and Senior Manager, ICT Management Trainee, ICT Executive and Senior Manager, Professional or technician, Spouse
Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement Independent professionals, Management Trainees, Executives or Snr Managers, Spouses of Intra-corporate transferees, Contractual service suppliers, Engineering Technologists and Scientific Technologists

LMIA Exempt Jobs Under Canadian Interests

In some cases, job positions, specific applicants, and work permit programs that align with Canadian interests are exempt from the LMIA requirement. These positions are typically related to research, academia, and cultural activities.

The LMIA exemption under category R205 plays a vital role in prompting Canada’s economic and cultural interests by enabling Canadian employers to bypass the requirement to obtain an LMIA before hiring a foreign worker. Examples of Canadian Interest LMIA-exempt jobs include:

  • Academic Researchers, (NOC 41200)
  • Film Directors and Producers, (NOC 51120)
  • Atheletes, (NOC
  • Painters, and (NOC 53200)
  • Specialized physicians, (NOC 31100)

LMIA Exempt Jobs Under the Significant Benefit Category

Under the significant benefit category, foreigners and applicants involved in activities deemed crucial in advancing Canada’s athletic, economic, and cultural richness can apply for Canadian interests LMIA exemption. Occupations (with National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes) eligible under this category include the following:

  • Airline personnel (NOC 64311),
  • Interns With International Organizations(NOC is industry dependent),
  • Rail grinder operators, rail welders or other specialized track maintenance workers (NOC 72106),
  • Experts on a mission, working for Canada’s United Nations (UN) office (NOC is industry dependant),
  • Foreign physicians coming to work in Quebec (NOC 31102),
  • Fishing guides, (NOC 64322),
  • Live-in caregivers, (NOC 44100/ 44101),
  • Foreign camp owner or director, and outfitters (NOC 50012), and
  • Foreign freelance race jockeys, (NOC 53200).

Reciprocal Employment

Under the Reciprocal subcategory, an LMIA work permit exemption is offered to foreign workers and applicants only if Canadian citizens and permanent residents can receive similar employment benefits outside Canada.

This generally includes international agreements in the form of youth exchange programs, professional exchanges, and cooperative placements. Occupations and applicants eligible for this LMIA exemption category include:

  • Fishing guides (NOC 64322),
  • United States government personnel (NOC is industry dependent),
  • Residential Summer Camp Counselors (NOC 64310),
  • Coaches and Athletes, (NOC 53200),
  • Academic exchanges (Professors and Visiting Lecturers) (NOC 41200), and
  • Performing artists (NOC 53121).

Designated by Minister

This Canadian Interest LMIA exemptions subcategory is primarily divided as follows.

  • Research Exemption
    • The research exemption is for individuals moving to Canada to conduct research.
    • Examples include Research Chairs or Guest Lecturers at designated learning institutions (DLIs).
  • Competitiveness and Public Policy
    • This subcategory is applicable when the entry of temporary foreign workers enhances the public policy interests and competitiveness of Canada's economy.
    • Eligible occupations under this subcategory include those covered by the Intra-Company Transfer Program or professionals under the international trade agreements.

Charitable or Religious Work

Individuals intending to do charitable or religious work in Canada may be eligible for an LMIA exemption under this subcategory. Individuals should ensure that their work is solely voluntary and non-remunerative and all their activities serve recognizable charitable or religious goals in Canada. Some examples of LMIA-exempt religious or charitable workers, which are all classified under NOC code 42204 include:

  • Brother/sister - Religion,
  • Christian Science Practitioner,
  • Missionary,
  • Corporate Intercessor,
  • Cantor,
  • Mohel,
  • Hazzan,
  • Nun, and
  • Deacon.

LMIA Exempt Jobs for Individuals With No Other Means of Support

This category was designed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to assist individuals who otherwise would have no other means of supporting themselves or their spouses in Canada.

This includes individuals in Canada who have no access to social support services, or public funds and can’t provide for themselves without remunerative work. Eligible applicants include:

  • Refugee claimants,
  • Persons under unenforceable removal orders, and
  • Spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SCLPC) permanent residency applicants (in process).

Vulnerable Workers

Canada has implemented measures to protect vulnerable workers, including those who are at risk of abuse, exploitation, or human trafficking. These may include individuals in employer-specific work permit cases who have experienced abuse or are at risk of abuse due to their immigration status’ dependency on their Canadian employer. The goal is to provide these individuals with the opportunity to work in Canada without fear of further exploitation or harm.

This can be achieved by providing an open work permit that enables workers to switch employers easily if they find their work conditions to pose a risk to their physical and mental well-being. LMIA-exempt jobs in the vulnerable worker category include workers under an employer-specific work permit as:

  • Farm Workers (NOC 85101),
  • General Laborers (NOC 95109),
  • Housekeepers, (NOC 62021),
  • Plant Workers, and (NOC 95107),
  • Live-in Caregivers (NOC 44101).

LMIA Exempt Job Under Humanitarian Reasons

In exceptional cases, individuals may be granted an LMIA exemption for humanitarian reasons. These cases are assessed individually and require compelling evidence to support the request for an exemption.

Humanitarian reasons may include situations where an individual's health or safety is at risk should they leave Canada. This category can include a variety of situations that make an individual eligible for an LMIA exemption.

This makes the purview of individuals it covers and protects very broad encompassing refugees or protected persons and even foreigners already in Canada for reasons they cannot control. LMIA-exempt jobs under this category generally include destitute students and holders of a six month temporary work permit who work as:

  • Retail Assistants,(NOC 64100),
  • Waiters (NOC 65200),
  • Groundskeeper (NOC 85121), and
  • General Laborers (NOC 95109).

5 of the Top Canadian Provinces for LMIA Exempt Jobs

If you're considering working in Canada without an LMIA, it's important to know which provinces offer the most opportunities. Here are five of the top Canadian provinces for LMIA-exempt jobs:


As the leading province in Ontario’s growing technology industry, tech occupations are the most commonly listed on Ontario’s LMIA exempt work permit occupations list. This includes:

  • Software Engineers and Designers (NOC 21231),
  • Computer Programmers, (NOC 21230 & 21232)
  • Interactive Media Developers, (NOC 21234), and
  • Information Systems Analysts and Consultants (NOC 21222).

British Columbia

The most LMIA-exempt jobs In British Columbia are those in highly skilled and professional sectors. As the province's economy continues its’ diversification in the Information Technology industry, British Columbia has placed a premium on attracting foreign,

  • Software engineers and designers (NOC 21231),
  • Graphic Designers (NOC 52120),
  • Illustrators (NOC 52120),
  • Information Systems Analysts and Consultants, (NOC 52120), and
  • University Professors and Lecturers (NOC 41200).


Quebec is a province known for its artistic acumen. This is reflected in its assessment of which jobs it deems to be valuable in advancing its interest, with the common LMIA-exempt job in the province being those involved in creative industries. This includes:

  • Graphic designers and illustrators,
  • Producers, (NOC 51120)
  • Directors (NOC 51120), and
  • Choreographers (NOC 51120).


With its varied and balanced economy, Alberta’s LMIA-exempt jobs reflect its primary industry and research-driven economy. Hence LMIA jobs in Alberta include:

  • Food Service Supervisors (NOC 62020),
  • Post-secondary Teaching and Research Assistants (NOC 41201),
  • Cooks (NOC 63200), and
  • Transport Truck drivers (NOC 73300).


Manitoba, nestled at the center of the Canadian prairies, possesses one of the key agrarian economies in the country. Consequently, its most list of LMIA-exempt jobs includes:

  • Agriculture Service Contractors (NOC 82030),
  • Farm Supervisors, (NOC 82030),
  • Specialized livestock workers (NOC 84120), and
  • Athletes (NOC 53200).

How Can I Work in an LMIA Exempt Job in Canada?

If you are interested in working in an LMIA-exempt job in Canada, there are several work permit applications you can explore. Here are some options, each granting an open work permit that allows you to work for any Canadian employer across Canada:

Post-Graduate Work Permit

If you have recently completed a program of study at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada, you may be eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP).

The PGWP allows you to work in Canada for a duration that is equivalent to the length of your program of study, up to a maximum of three years.

Find out more about the Postgraduate Work Permit (PGWP).

Bridging Open Work Permit

The Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is designed for individuals transitioning from temporary to permanent resident status in Canada.

If you have submitted an application for permanent residence through an eligible immigration program and have a valid work permit set to expire soon, you may be eligible to apply for a BOWP. This work permit allows you to continue working in Canada while your permanent residence application is being processed.

Learn more about the Bridging Open Work Permit.

Intra-Company Transfer Program

The Intra-Company Transfer Program allows multinational companies to transfer employees to Canadian operations. If a multinational company currently employs you and has specialized knowledge or managerial skills, you may be eligible for an Intra-Company Transfer Program work permit. This program streamlines transferring employees across Canada’s borders and does not require an LMIA.

Learn more about the Intra-Company Transfer Program.

International Free Trade Agreements

Canada has entered into free trade agreements with several countries, including the United States, Mexico, Chile, and Peru. These agreements often include provisions for the temporary entry of business professionals.

If you are a citizen of a country with a free trade agreement with Canada and work in an eligible occupation, you may apply for an LMIA-exempt work permit under the provisions of the specific agreement.

Find out more about the International Free Trade Agreements.

Working Holiday Visa Program

Under the International Mobility Program (IMP), if you’re between 18 and 35 and come from one of the 35 participating countries, you can apply for the Working Holiday Visa program, which doesn’t require an LMIA. The Working Holiday Visa program enables one to work and travel in Canada using an open work permit for up to two years.

Learn more about Canada’s Working Holiday Visa Program.


How Can I Find Out if my Job is LMIA-Exempt?

To determine if your job is LMIA-exempt, you can review the LMIA exemption codes and work permit exemptions on the Canadian government's website. Select the LMIA exemption or work permit code that seems most relevant to your hiring situation and read the detailed description. If an exemption code applies to you, you'll need to include it in your offer of employment.

How do I Get Job Offer Points for Express Entry if I Work in Canada on an LMIA-exempt Work Permit?

If you are working in Canada on an LMIA-exempt work permit, you may be eligible to earn additional points toward your Express Entry application. To claim these points, your job must be:

  • Non-seasonal and full-time,
  • for a least one year of employment,
  • Be an occupation in TEER 0,1,2 OR 3, and
  • LMIA exempt.