What is the Process for Obtaining a Canadian Significant Benefit Work Permit?

The Significant Benefit Work Permit is a special work permit available to workers whose hiring would deliver significant economic, cultural, and social benefits to Canada.

Significant Benefit Work Permit (SBWP) applicants with an International Mobility Program (IMP) application will not need to submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). LMIA is an internal assessment that evaluates the effects of hiring a foreign worker (under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)), would have on the Canadian labour market.

The SBWP stream is designed for cases where an LMIA might usually be required, but practical considerations (extended LMIA processing times) or a lack of an appropriate application stream prevent this from being possible; if Canada is to benefit from the presence of the foreign worker. In this case, significant can mean (without limitation): the development of Canadian industries, the support of Canada’s economy, the improvement of Canadian health and well-being, etc.

Eligibility Requirements

If you wish to apply for an SBWP, one is required to fulfill considerations that your arrival in Canada would offer to the country, economically, socially, or culturally. If the application is successful, the usual deciding factors in issuing a work permit (including impact on the Canadian labour market, requirements of Canadian consumers, etc.) would be assessed in your favour.

As an applicant with the potential to contribute significantly to Canada, you must also provide evidence (where relevant) that you are (among other factors):

  • Recognized by an academic institution in or relating to your professional area of expertise
  • A Receiver of national/international awards or patents
  • Member of an organization that requires excellence of their members and/or
  • That one has served in a leadership role in your organization with a distinguished position.

Aspects to Consider

Aside from proving that they are exceptional in your field, applicants to the SBWP must also demonstrate how their arrival and work in Canada will benefit the country economically, socially, or culturally.

Economic Considerations Include:

  • Avoiding the interference of employment for Canadians or permanent residents
  • Evolving Canadian industry through market expansion, job creation, and product/service innovation
  • Offering economic stimulus to remote areas

Social Benefit Considerations Include:

  • Address health and safety threats to Canadians and permanent residents
  • Solidification of social inclusion in communities
  • Increasing products that will assist in improving environmental considerations.

Cultural Benefit Considerations Include: 

  • A member of a peer review panel or authority that judges other people’s work
  • Renowned by their peers, governmental organizations, or professional associations for assistance to their field
  • Renowned for their artistic and cultural activities

Mandatory Documentation

 The process of applying for an SWP is similar to a regular work permit. In order to apply for an SBWP, one will require to offer the following documentation to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

  • LMIA exempt offer of employment submitted in the Employer portal or by approved alternate submission.
  • The applicant must demonstrate accreditation, experience, and/or high-level competence in his or her field
  • A completed application on IRCC’s Global Case Management System (GCMS). GCMS is a universal applicant record platform where cases by IRCC are kept.
  • One will require to enter specific information into the application work permit portal
  • Proof of employer compliance fee payment
  • Detailed evidence of how the foreign national’s work provides significant benefit economically, socially, or culturally.

A Few of the SBWP’s Most Popular Uses

 Some of the most common receivers of an SBWP include:

  • Intra-company transferees, often foreign nationals who are working for a multi-national company and are looking to enter Canada on an executive, senior manager, or specialized role
  • Television and film production workers whose roles are central to the production
  • Entrepreneurs and self-employed workers
  • Emergency repair personnel who work on industrial or commercial equipment.

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