How can I get a Canadian Significant Benefit Work Permit?

Asheesh Moosapeta
Published: November 28, 2022


The Significant Benefit Work Permit (SBWP) is a special work permit available to workers whose hiring would deliver significant benefit to Canada, either economically, culturally and/or socially.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

As part of the International Mobility Program (IMP), applicants for the SBWP will not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) during the application process. The LMIA is Canada’s internal assessment to judge what effect the hiring of 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 (extensive 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 be defined as (but is not limited to): advancing a Canadian industry, general economic support for Canada, increased health and well-being for Canadians, etc.

Eligibility Criteria

If you want to apply for a SBWP, you will need to satisfy considerations that your arrival would provide benefit to Canada, economically, socially, or culturally. If you are successful in doing this, regular deciding factors in issuing a work permit (including: effects on the Canadian labour market, needs of Canadian consumers, etc.) would be weighted in your favour.

To prove your legitimacy as an applicant with potential significant benefit to Canada, you will also have to provide evidence (where relevant), that (among other factors), you are:

  • Accredited by an academic institution in or relating to your professional area of expertise;
  • A Recipient of a national/international awards or patents;
  • Are a member of an organization that requires excellence of their members; and/or
  • That you serve in a leadership position in your organization with a distinguished position.

Consideration Factors

In addition to proving that you are distinguished in you field, as an applicant to the SBWP you will also need to show how your arrival and work in Canada would be to the benefit of the country; either economically, socially, or culturally.

Economic consideration factors include:

  • Preventing the disruption of employment for Canadians or permanent residents;
  • Advancing Canadian industry through market expansion, job creation, and product/service innovation; and/or
  • Providing economic stimulus to remote areas.

Social benefit considerations include the applicant’s ability to:

  • Address health and safety threats to Canadians and permanent residences;
  • Strengthening social inclusion in communities; and/or
  • Developing products that will assist in improving environmental considerations.

Cultural benefit considerations include whether the applicant is or has been:

  • A member of peer review panels or authorities to judge the work of others;
  • Recognized by their peers, governmental organizations, or business/professional associations for contributions to their field; and/or
  • Are renowned for their artistic and cultural endeavors.

Required Documentation

The process of applying to a SWP is the same as the process for applying to a regular work permit.

To apply for a SBWP, you will need to provide 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 as per note on Client screen;
  • Proof of accreditation, experience, and/or high-level competence in the applicant’s field of work;
  • A fully completed application on IRCC’s Global Case Management System (GCMS). GCMS is the universal applicant database platform where all cases handled by the IRCC are kept. You will need to enter specific information into the application work-permit portal
  • Proof of employer compliance fee payment; and
  • Detailed evidence of how the foreign national’s work provides significant benefit economically, socially, or culturally.

Popular use cases for the SBWP

Some of the most common recipients of an SBWP include:

  • Intra-company transferees, often foreign nationals who are employed by a multi-national company and are seeking entry to Canada (in an executive, senior manager, or specialized role);
  • Television and film production workers whose roles are central to production;
  • Entrepreneurs and self-employed workers; and
  • Emergency repair personnel who work on industrial or commercial equipment.

Schedule a Free Work Permit Consultation with the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

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