Last Updated on June 29, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

On June 25, 2021 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“) updated its C-10 Significant Benefit work permit program. The previous information can be found here on my blog.  The new material on the IRCC website can be found here.

Regulation 205(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) states:

A work permit may be issued under section 200 to a foreign national who intends to perform work that

(a) would create or maintain significant social, cultural or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents;

Where IRPR r. 205(a) applies then an employer can hire temporary workers without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA“).

The general requirement of a C-10 work permit is that it “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.”

The IRCC website further states that “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.”


Visa 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.

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; or
  • 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; or
  • 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

In order for there to be a social benefit 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; and
  • strengthening social inclusion in communities

Cultrual Benefit Considerations

According to the IRCC website, 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; or
  • are renowned for their artistic and cultural endeavours.

Officer Notes

Visa officers should input or review the following information into the Global Case Management System prior to approving the work permit:

  • A rationale and details for applying paragraph R205(a). This should not be a cut and paste from the IRCC website;
  • Duties (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.