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Canadian Significant Benefit Work Permits: How Can I Get One?

A permit application for a foreign worker must be reviewed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in light of the impact it may have on Canadians. This is why carrying out a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is often necessary.

There are times, however, when an LMIA doesn’t need to be completed – especially if the benefits to the foreign worker outweigh the costs and potential problems of not admitting or delaying them. If you don’t have an LMIA, you can get a Significant Benefit Work Permit (SBWP). The SBWP is an LMIA-exempt work permit with a much faster processing time.

Generally, foreign workers are not permitted to apply for SBWPs; their employer must submit the application.

What do you consider to be a significant benefit?

Applicants seeking an SBWP in Canada must prove their employment will benefit the Canadian economy, culture, and social welfare.

It can be abstract, but significant benefits are influenced by how international workers boost Canada’s economy.

Contributions like these can generate jobs, develop an industry or sector in a remote area or a specific region, and help promote Canadian goods and services export.

Suppose the employee’s work could assist in the development of a Canadian industry (for instance, through technological advancements, product or service innovation) or enhance Canadian skills. In that case, these work permits may be granted.

Moreover, a foreign national’s work could improve Canadians’ physical and mental health across the country or in certain regions. Adding the foreign worker might also promote tolerance, increase knowledge, or provide opportunities for interaction between people with similar and different backgrounds.

Specific criteria must be met for each type of significant benefit foreign workers can provide.

Applicants must demonstrate notable track records in their respective fields. To demonstrate outstanding track records, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Relevant academic documents demonstrating worker educational credentials in their field of expertise;
  • Experience showing significant (ten or more years) full-time work in the field from previous or current employers;
  • Award or patent recognition at the national or international level;
  • Membership in organizations that demand excellence from their members;
  • Having evaluated the work of others in previous positions,
  • Peers, government, or professional bodies have acknowledged their work, accomplishments, and contributions;
  • Contributions to their field of science or scholarly research;
  • A publication in an academic or industry-specific journal;
  • A leadership role in a reputable organization or
  • Working in jobs classified under National Occupation Classification 0, A, and B outside of Quebec or recruiting foreign workers through Destination Canada or other job fairs coordinated with the government or francophone minority communities.

Canadian authorities consider several factors in issuing work permits, including the foreign worker’s education, work experience, awards and patents, membership in organizations that require exemplary performance, and other achievements and contributions.

Does a Significant Benefit Work Permit apply to everyone?

Immigration officers must consider the following factors when assessing an SBWP application:

  • The application meets all requirements and includes all exemptions (precisely how the application would meet the LMIA requirements);
  • A description of the duties and responsibilities of the foreign worker’s position concerning significant benefit criteria.
  • This significant benefit should be reflected in job requirements;
  • The minimum education requirement for the position and whether it has been met;
  • If the role requires additional training, please provide it, and
  • Work in this occupation in Canada requires Provincial/Federal certifications, licenses, or registrations.

The following individuals qualify for a significant benefit work permit:

  • Internal Transferees – Applicants who are seeking executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge positions with a multinational company’s Canadian parent, subsidiary, or branch.
  • Television and film production workers – TV and film industry workers whose role is essential to a production;
  • Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed Workers – People who are starting businesses in Canada or working for themselves can show that their activities will impact our economy, society, and culture and
  • Staff for emergency repairs – Canada needs workers to repair industrial and commercial equipment urgently to avoid disruptions in employment.

Further, some professionals may qualify for SBWPs and not need an LMIA under unique circumstances.