Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
Helping Foreign Workers Enter the Canadian Job Market
What is an LMIA?
If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer, in a field with
shortages of Canadian or permanent resident applicants, you may be eligible for an LMIA based work permit.
An LMIA-based work permit involves two stages
- Employer: your prospective employer must obtain an LMIA to demonstrate that there is a lack of Canadian and ermanent resident job applicants for a position
- Employee: uses the positive LMIA to apply for an employer-specific work permit. This means you will only be able to work for a specific employer.
NOTE: LMIA expires after 6 months. This means you must submit your work permit application within 6 months after receiving a positive LMIA.
Do I need an LMIA to Apply for a Work Permit?
Not all work permits require an LMIA. It is important to know whether it is required or not from the very start of your application process.
LMIA Advertising Requirements
The employer must show they have met strict advertising guidelines to prove that no Canadians could have done the work required adequately.
This means, in addition to posting the available position on the Government of Canada Job Bank, they must also demonstrate two other recruitment methods, in months prior to submitting the LMIA application. Recruitments are required to achieve the maximum possible reach, and must last at least 4 consecutive weeks. The LMIA application must have proof of this advertising.
Job Posting Details:
This will be closely examined by ESDC and compared with other postings to ensure it is in line with the labour market.
- Hours per week
- Hourly wage
- Any benefits of the position
- Spoken language requirements
- Start date
- Pre-requisite skills and/or education
The offered wage is also very important, as it determines the application stream:
- High Wage
- Low Wage
If the wage is higher or lower than the provincial/territorial median wage, the application requirements will different.
In high wage positions, the application must include a Transition Plan, explaining how the employer will reduce their reliance on temporary foreign workers in the future (there are exceptions for certain positions).
In low wage positions, the employer must show that the worker(s) will have suitable and affordable housing.
What Are Immigration Officers Looking For in an LMIA-based Work Permit Application ?
Factors taken into account include:
- Genuineness of the job offer(is there a real job that needs to be done?)
- Effects of hiring the foreign worker on the labour market
- Any possible benefits to the labour market (the foreign worker training Canadians, for example)
- Previous positive LMIAs and job offers
Have a Question?
How We Can Help
We work with both employers and workers to ensure that they accurately follow the strict requirements and provide them with the best chances of success.
To get started, please contact us at
to book a consultation
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an LMIA?
A Labour Market Impact Assessment is a document that is issued by the government of Canada to a Canadian employer that allows them to hire a foreign worker to fill a position within their company. This document is assessed by Employment and Social Development Canada.
LMIA is issued for the purpose of convincing the government that there are no other Canadian citizens that are able to fulfill this job, so they must hire a foreign national who are highly skilled to fulfill this position.
What are the steps my employer needs to take in order to apply for an LMIA?
The employer has an important role when filing for an LMIA application. The employer part for applying for an LMIA includes:
- The employer need to pick the job title, and NOC number , provide job offer
- The employer needs to be comfortable with the wages offered
- Employer recruitment efforts that were unsuccessful
What is the processing time for LMIA?
Processing time to get a decision for an LMIA application is around four to six months. There are individuals that are able to get a decision sooner but that is dependent on the individual’s situation and if the employer can emphasize that they need the position to be filled as soon as possible.