LMIA & Work Permit Canada

REGULATED CANADIAN Immigration Consultant in Toronto, Ontario

Labour Market Impact Assessment

As part of hiring a temporary foreign worker (TFW) in Canada, under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), companies must submit a request for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This document is needed to determine the impact hiring the foreign worker will have on the Canadian labour market.

In most cases, a Canadian employer wishing to hire a foreign worker must first receive government approval before the hiring can take place. The purpose of this approval is to ensure that no qualified Canadian is available to accept the job. All Canadian employers must provide evidence that they attempted to find qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill the job positions before turning to foreign workers. Employers may be inspected by government officials to ensure they have complied.

For a successful application, LMIA applications should include the following:

  • Documents proving the business and job offer is legitimate.
  • Efforts were made to recruit available Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents.
  • Wages offered for the position are consistent with the prevailing wage paid to Canadians/permanent residents in the same occupation and in the same region.
  • Working conditions for the occupation meets the current provincial labour market standards.
  • Any potential benefits that the foreign worker may bring to the Canadian labour market, such as the creation of new jobs or the transfer of skills and knowledge.
  • Transition plans will be required for high-wage position whereby employers must demonstrate increased efforts to hire Canadians in the long term.

A positive LMIA will show there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job. Once a positive LMIA is provided, the foreign worker can apply for a work permit.

LMIAs are overseen by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and have an associated application fee of $1,000CAD for each position.

The wage being offered for the position will determine if employers need to apply for a LMIA under the stream for High Wage positions or the stream for Low Wage Positions which each have their own requirements. If you are offering a wage to the temporary foreign worker that is:

  • at or above the provincial or territorial median hourly wage, you must apply under the stream for high-wage positions.
  • Below the provincial or territorial median hourly wage, you must apply under the stream for low-wage positions

Recruitment and Advertisement

As part of the TFW program, employers must conduct recruitment efforts to hire Canadian and permanent residents before offering a job to a TFW.

Minimum recruitment requirements

  • Three different recruitment activities are required:
    • Effective August 28, 2017, advertising on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank is required.
    • 2 additional methods of recruitment that are consistent with the occupation (targets an audience that has the appropriate education, professional experience or skill level required for the occupation) is required. One of the methods used must be national in scope, and easily accessed by residents of any province or territory, as people in high wage positions are often mobile and willing to relocate for work. To be national in scope, Canadians and permanent residents must have the capacity to search advertisements for work locations across Canada in a single site, as opposed to referring to individual or regional sub-sites.

Methods of recruitment

  • Acceptable method of recruitment for a job advertisement include:
    • General employment websites
    • Online classified websites
    • Specialized websites which are dedicated to specific occupational profiles (e.g., accounting, marketing, biotechnology, education, engineering)
    • local, regional and national newspapers or newsletters
    • local stores, places of worship, and community resource centres
    • local, regional and provincial or territorial employment centres
    • magazines and journals (for example, national journals or magazines, professional associations magazines, specialized journals)
    • participation at job fairs
    • partnering with training institutions or offering internships
    • professional recruitment agencies
    • consultations with unions for available labour
    • advertising through professional associations
    • recruitment within the company (for example, considering internal candidates for the position). A Human Resources Plan may outline the training opportunities for existing employees, and include:
      • a list of competencies for employees
      • workshops or programs for professional development and career management
      • specific programs to target specific employees for advancement
      • If the 2 additional methods of recruitment are online, they must each have unique value and reach different audiences. In cases where you advertise on multiple websites of the same type, the combined advertisements will only be considered as one additional method of recruitment.


Wages offered to TFWs should be similar to wages paid to Canadian and permanent resident employees hired for the same job and work location, with similar skills and years of experience.

Effective June 10, 2020, the program is prioritizing certain occupations which are considered essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. The listed occupations have been prioritized across all provinces and territories (except in the province of Quebec).

  • 31100 - Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine
  • 31101 - Specialists in surgery
  • 31102 - General practitioners and family physicians
  • 31120 - Pharmacists
  • 31301 - Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • 31302 - Nurse practitioners
  • 31303 - Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals
  • 32101 - Licensed practical nurses
  • 32103 - Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • 32109 - Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
  • 32120 - Medical laboratory technologists
  • 32124 - Pharmacy technicians
  • 32129 - Other medical technologists and technicians
  • 33101 - Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
  • 33103 - Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
  • 33102 - Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
  • 33109 - Other assisting occupations in support of health services
  • 63201 - Butchers - retail and wholesale
  • 65202 - Meat cutters and fishmongers - retail and wholesale
  • 65310 - Light duty cleaners
  • 82030 - Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors
  • 84120 - Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators
  • 85100 - Livestock labourers
  • 85101 - Harvesting labourers
  • 85103 - Nursery and Greenhouse labourers
  • 94141 - Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
  • 94142 - Fish and seafood plant workers
  • 95106 - Labourers in food and beverage processing
  • 95107 - Labourers in fish and seafood processing

New Employers

Employers who have not employed a temporary foreign worker in the past 6 years prior to submitting a LMIA application will be subject to a review. The employer must demonstrate they made reasonable efforts to provide a workplace that is free of abuse and that they were not an affiliate of an employer who is ineligible for the TFW Program or in default of any amount payable in respect of an administrative monetary penalty.

A workplace that is free of abuse includes

  1. (a) proactive efforts made to prevent workplace abuse
  2. (b) reactive measures taken to stop abuse

An affiliate includes an employer that is controlled by another employer

  1. (a) 2 employers that are under common control, or
  2. (b) employers that are not operated at arm’s length

Work permits based on high/low wage streams

  • Hiring TFWs under the High Wage Worker Stream

    A transition plan is a mandatory requirement for employers hiring Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) in high-wage positions. The plan outlines the employer's commitment to recruiting, retaining, and training Canadians and permanent residents to reduce reliance on the TFW program. If the employer has previously submitted a transition plan for the same position and work location, they must report the results of the previous plan.

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  • Hiring TFWs under the Low-Wage Worker Stream

    Hiring under the low-wage worker stream allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers for low-wage positions in Canada. However, there are restrictions in place to ensure that Canadians or permanent residents are given priority for available jobs.

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