Significant benefit to Canada [R205(a) – C10] – Canadian interests – International Mobility Program

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

The International Mobility Program lets employers hire temporary workers without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) where there are broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada or there are reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.

Important: This authority should not be used for the sake of convenience, nor in any other manner that would undermine or try to circumvent the importance of the LMIA in the work permit process. Rather it is intended to address situations where the significant social, cultural or economic benefits to Canada of issuing the work permit are so clear and compelling that the importance of the LMIA process can be overcome. The impact on Canada’s labour market should be neutral or positive with the issuance of the work permit.

These are general eligibility guidelines, and applications should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. There are also specific work permit categories under this regulatory section that may be more appropriate.

Paragraph 205(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) is intended to provide an officer with the flexibility to respond in situations where the employment activities of the foreign national would create or maintain significant social, cultural or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens, people registered as Indians under the Indian Act or permanent residents.

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Documents required

Foreign nationals submitting an application for consideration under the work permit category “significant benefit” [LMIA exemption code C10] should provide documentation supporting their claim of providing a significant benefit to Canada.

The following documents are required:

  • LMIA-exempt offer of employment submitted in the Employer Portal (A#######) or approved alternate submission as per note on Client screen
  • proof of employer compliance fee payment
  • detailed evidence of how the foreign national’s work provides a significant benefit economically, socially or culturally (some examples below)
    • Note: A simple copy and paste from the department’s website is not sufficient evidence.

When considering an LMIA exemption for the issuance of a work permit, officers should keep in mind this general principle: authorizing a foreign national to work in Canada has an impact on the Canadian labour market and economy. In general, officers should be reluctant to issue a work permit without the assessment by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that the job offer will have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market.

Most LMIA exemption categories are very specific and clearly defined, such as the public policy or competitiveness exemption for spouses of some foreign workers and students, or the regulations regarding issuance of work permits for refugee claimants, or regarding international agreements. However, circumstances sometimes present officers with situations where an LMIA is not available, and there is no specific exemption category, but the balance of practical considerations would indicate that the work of the foreign national would be a significant benefit to Canada, economically, socially or culturally. Paragraph R205(a) is intended to provide an officer with the flexibility to respond in these situations.

Fields to review in the Global Case Management System (GCMS)

When assessing the significant benefit, officers should review the following fields under the Employment Details tab in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) for information provided by the employer:

Field Considerations
Requirements Exemptions Met

Information in this field outlines how the job position or the foreign national meets the LMIA exemption requirements.

This should not be a cut and paste from IRCC’s website.

Duties These are the activities that the foreign national will be performing. Do they align with the significant benefit and the occupation?
Job Requirements Are there specific requirements that align with the benefit? Proof of cultural status, experience needed for the benefit, etc.
Minimum Education Requirements Are the educational requirements compatible with the stated significant benefit outlined in the offer of employment? The client’s education may have some bearing on whether the client meets the job requirements; however, its relative weight may be less if their work experience is sufficient.
Other Training Required The employer may indicate specialty training as a requirement.
Provincial/Federal Certification, Licencing or Registration Documented evidence should be provided with the application; however, some occupations may require the foreign national to write an exam after they enter Canada, for example, for a licence from a regulated body or a first aid certificate.

Refer to Employer-specific work permits with Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemptions (International Mobility Program) for further guidance.

Significant benefit considerations

Officers may determine a work permit application meets the requirement of paragraph R205(a) if they are satisfied that the work of a foreign national will benefit or provide opportunities for Canadians or permanent residents socially, culturally or economically.

There are several situations that the department has assessed as meeting the requirements of paragraph R205(a): see Unique situations below.

Significant includes but is not limited to an assessment of how the work of the foreign national will provide

  • general economic support for Canada (such as job creation, development in a regional or remote setting or expansion of export markets for Canadian products and services)
  • advancement of a Canadian industry (such as technological development, product or service innovation or opportunities for improving the skills of Canadians)
  • increased health and well-being, meaning the physical and mental health of society either pan-Canada or regionally
  • increased tolerance, knowledge or opportunities to come together with others of similar culture

Economic benefit considerations

Economic benefits are benefits that would contribute to the company’s growth, expansion or continuation and that have fiscal benefits and allow for the competitive advantage of Canada’s business community.

There should be documented evidence that the work of the foreign national will provide a significant economic benefit to Canada by

  • preventing the disruption of employment for Canadians or permanent residents
  • using their considerable work experience in negotiating and concluding business transactions that would benefit the Canadian economy
  • advancing Canadian industry through market expansion, job creation, and product or service innovation
  • preventing a disruption to a major Canadian event with implications for jobs or growth
  • creating employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens, people registered as an Indian under the Indian Act, or permanent residents
  • providing economic stimulus in remote areas
  • etc.

When assessing the social or cultural benefits, officers should examine whether the person’s presence in Canada is crucial to an event, and whether circumstances have created urgency to the person’s entry.

Social benefit considerations

The foreign national’s work will provide significant external benefits to other third parties not directly involved in the transaction. 

This could be evidence that the foreign national’s work will assist in

  • addressing health and safety threats to Canadians or permanent residents
  • promoting the improvement of a community’s image and pride, and a boost in local investments in heritage resources and amenities that support tourism services
  • developing products that will assist in improving environmental considerations
  • strengthening social inclusion in communities

Cultural benefit considerations

Culture is defined in the Canadian Framework for Culture Statistics as creative artistic activity and the goods and services produced by it, and the preservation of heritage.

In addition to its intrinsic value, culture provides important social and economic benefits. With improved learning and health, increased tolerance, and opportunities to come together with others, culture enhances our quality of life and increases overall well-being for both individuals and communities.

This could be evidence that the foreign national’s work will provide a significant cultural benefit to Canada because they

  • have been the recipient of national or international awards or patents
  • are a member of an organization requiring excellence of its members
  • have been a member of a peer review panel or an authority to judge the work of others
  • have been recognized for achievements and significant contributions to their field by peers, governmental organizations, or professional or business associations
  • have made scientific or scholarly contributions to their field
  • have publications in academic or industry publications
  • have been in a leading role in an organization with a distinguished reputation
  • are renowned for their artistic and cultural endeavours

Mandatory case notes

It is mandatory that officers provide a rationale and details for applying paragraph R205(a) in the Application notes. The notes should include information on how the officer was satisfied that the work of the foreign national would provide significant opportunities or benefits socially, culturally or economically for Canadians or permanent residents.

Applicants destined to Quebec

Foreign nationals destined to work in Quebec under paragraph R205(a) do not require a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ).

Work permit issuance in GCMS

Under the Application screen for employer-specific work permits, enter the following:

Field Selection or input

Case type


  • The Case type field must be “52”. No other case type will allow the correct linkage in GCMS. Entering a case type other than “52” will result in incorrect accounting for GCMS, requiring manual corrections to be made and making inspection activities more difficult.

Province of destination

Address of physical job location

  • If there is more than one location, enter the main location in this field and the secondary location in Remarks.

City of destination

Address of physical job location

  • If there is more than one location, enter the main location in this field and the secondary location in Remarks.

Exemption code


  • This code will auto-populate when the work permit is properly matched with the offer of employment.


National Occupational Classification code

  • The NOC code will auto-populate when the work permit is properly matched with the offer of employment.

Intended occupation

Job title

  • The job title will auto-populate when the work permit is properly matched with the offer of employment.

Salary (CAD)

Enter the “Amount per year” as indicated in the offer of employment (the temporary worker’s wage in Canadian dollars and number of working hours)


Business operating name

  • The business operating name will auto-populate when the work permit is properly matched with the offer of employment.

Unique situations

The following foreign nationals may be eligible for an LMIA exemption under paragraph R205(a) (code C10):

Economic benefit

Social benefit

Cultural benefit

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