Do I Need A Job Offer to Get A Canadian Work Permit?

by | Sep 21, 2020

One of the questions often asked is whether or not a person who is looking to come to Canada as a foreign worker, needs an approved job offer from a Canadian employer in order for them to apply for a work permit. The answer is typically, it depends. It is not always the case that a person would need an approved Canadian employer’s job offer.

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Requirement

Generally speaking, persons who are wanting to apply for work permits are required to get a job offer from a Canadian employer. This job offer, more often than not, is going to be one that is supported by a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is where the employer locally advertises the job by posting it on job boards in Canada. 

After doing this unsuccessfully, they then proceed to apply to be exempt from the labour market requirement, and to be allowed to offer the job to a non-Canadian. Typically, employers in Canada are required to go through this process before they are able to provide a job offer. This is known as an LMIA supported job offer. 

LMIA  Requirement Exceptions

In many instances, a person is required to get an LMIA supported job offer and to use that job offer from an employer to then apply for their Canadian work permit. There are some exceptions to this requirement, generally referred to as LMIA exemptions. 

The LMIA exemptions would allow a person to apply for a work permit without their prospective employer having to go through this process. However, even so, in those kinds of situations, the employer is still obligated to provide a person with a job offer.

The LMIA processes are typically done through a stipulated online government website portal. In summary, an employer is required to provide a person with a job offer, which would either be an LMIA supported job offer or a job offer that fits into one of the LMIA exceptions.

Alternative Circumstances When A Work Permit Can Be Issued Without An LMIA Supported Job Offer

There are situations in which a person may be able to secure a work permit without having a job offer from an existing Canadian employer.This is possible in certain situations where a foreign national is wanting to come to Canada to establish their own business. 

LMIA Owner- Operator Business

If you are in business in your foreign country and you want to come to Canada to set up a business, that is possible under some of the programs that are currently in existence in Canada. 

For instance, you may want to come and set up an LMIA owner-operator business. This would allow you first to get the go ahead to get the business set up. Having done that, you can then secure a work permit that would allow you, as the business owner to come and work in Canada.

Affiliate Companies in Canada

Similarly, there are opportunities for individuals who are operating companies outside of Canada to set up affiliate companies in Canada. Having done so, they can then secure a work permit to allow them to work in Canada supporting the affiliate companies set up in Canada.

An Accompanying Spouse

There is also the option of an accompanying spouse. If you are coming to Canada on an approved work permit and your spouse is coming along with you, that spouse becomes eligible for an open work permit. This type of work permit does not have to be supported by a job offer.

Similarly, a person who is coming to Canada as a student and taking their accompanying spouse with them, that accompanying spouse is entitled to an open work permit. This work permit will not in itself require an employer job offer in order for it to be issued.

In conclusion, there are certain situations in which a foreign national may be able to come to Canada and may be issued a work permit without first having had to secure an employer sponsored job offer.

Let Us Help

Getting issued with a work permit is not always dependent on having a Canadian LMIA supported employer’s job offer. It is issued on a case by case basis depending on particular situations.

We are happy to provide advice and the assistance you need to access a Canadian work permit depending on your circumstance. Feel free to reach out in case you need any help.

Be sure to contact us to provide the best legal representation and assistance ideal for your case. Message us on Facebook or book a FREE 15 minute phone call to learn more about applying to have your work permit extended.


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