Closed Work Permit / LMIA

A closed work permit provides an opportunity for foreign nationals to come to Canada temporarily and experience Canadian living before applying for permanent residence. It limits the applicant’s employment to a single employer. Furthermore, having worked for at least a year in Canada will give you an advantage if you are applying for permanent residency.

A closed work permit would contain the following limitation information to establish the closeness:

  1. Name of the employer you can work for
  2. How long you can work for this employer
  3. Location where you can work (if applicable)

Foreign nationals who currently reside in Canada may also be eligible for Canada Closed Work Permit.


The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) regularly assesses the Canadian job market in relation to the available skills in the labour market. This work permit is issued only on the basis of an ESDC labour market impact assessment (LMIA) granted to the Canadian employer that confirms there is no Canadian available to do the job. ESDC will look at the employer’s advertising efforts and the labour market for that job.

As well, ESDC will ensure that the wages and working conditions being offered to a foreign national are equivalent to what a Canadian would be paid for the same work. In addition, ESDC will consider how the employer will transition to a Canadian workforce. Whether skills and knowledge transfer would result from confirming the foreign worker and whether the work is likely to create other jobs for the benefit of Canadians or permanent residents.


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


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.
  • Professional athletes and coaches working with Canadian teams
  • Professors, guest lecturers, and students participating in exchange programs


LMIA Exempted categories:

  • Entrepreneurs & Self-Employed
  • Intra-Company Transferees
  • French-Speaking Skilled Workers
  • International Trade Agreements
  • International Youth Exchange Programs
  • Minister-Designated Exemptions
Check for Eligibility