LMIA - Labour Market Impact Assessment


What is an LMIA, let's understand it.

If you’re a Canadian employer considering hiring a foreign worker, you may need to undergo a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA, integral to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, ensures that hiring an international worker does not negatively affect the Canadian labour market. In this page, you will learn about various aspects of the LMIA, such as how long it takes to process, specific requirements, the application process, who is eligible, the associated costs, any possible exemptions from the LMIA process, and the likelihood of successful application approval. This comprehensive overview aims to provide clarity and guidance for employers navigating the LMIA process.

LMIA stands for “Labour Market Impact Assessment” in Canada. It is a procedure used by the Canadian government for businesses wanting to hire workers from other countries. This process, conducted by ESDC/Service Canada, evaluates if employing foreign nationals as temporary foreign workers will negatively affect the Canadian labour market. If the employment offer is considered not to have a negative impact, the employer will likely receive a positive LMIA, allowing them to offer the job to a foreign national.

Key Information

Knowing When & Who Needs an LMIA

An LMIA is required in Canada when a company wants to hire a foreign worker for a position that cannot be filled by Canadian citizens or permanent residents. This is typically in situations where there is a labour shortage for a specific skill or trade within the Canadian job market. The LMIA process verifies that no suitable Canadian candidate is available for the job, thereby justifying the need to hire from outside the country. However, not all employment situations require an LMIA; certain jobs, particularly those covered by international agreements or specific programs like the Global Talent Stream, may be exempt.

Understanding who is the 'Employer' and 'Temporary Foreign Worker'?

Employer: This term refers to a business, company, firm, or individual in Canada that is looking to hire a foreign worker.

Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW): Also known as a foreign national or worker, a TFW is an individual from another country who seeks or holds employment in Canada on a temporary basis.

Understanding the Types of LMIA in Canada

The LMIA plays a crucial role in Canada’s immigration and employment processes, ensuring a balanced approach to hiring foreign workers. Each LMIA type caters to specific employment needs and scenarios. Here’s a closer look at these types:

  • High-Wage Workers: For positions paying above the regional median wage. This category includes the Global Talent Stream, high-wage stream (including caregiver positions), agricultural stream, and supports applications for permanent residency.
  • Low-Wage Workers: This applies to jobs paying below the median wage in the region, addressing sectors where there’s a shortage of local low-wage labour.
  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program: Tailored for employers needing foreign workers for seasonal agricultural tasks, necessary for Canada’s farming sectors during peak seasons.
  • Agricultural Stream: For broader agricultural sector hiring, facilitating the process of bringing in needed foreign agricultural workers.
  • Additionally, two specialized categories of LMIA address the needs of foreign workers seeking permanent residency:
    • PR Support LMIA: This is geared towards employers who wish to hire skilled foreign workers and support their application for permanent residency under the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Express Entry system. The job offer must align with the criteria of one of the economic immigration programs, facilitating the permanent residency process for these workers.
    • Dual Intent LMIA: Employers can apply for this type of LMIA when they intend to hire skilled foreign workers temporarily while their permanent residency application is being processed. It supports the foreign national’s application to IRCC for both a permanent residency and a temporary work permit, acknowledging the dual nature of their employment and immigration status.


These diverse LMIA types play an important role in matching Canada’s labour demands with skilled foreign workers, ensuring the nation’s economic and employment stability while providing opportunities for foreign talent.

LMIA Application Process for Canadian Employers: Step-by-Step Guide

Eligibility: Check your company’s eligibility for an LMIA and ensure you have the necessary business legitimacy documents.

Conduct Recruiting and Advertising: Advertise the job vacancy on the Canadian Job Bank and other recruitment channels appropriate for the occupation as per the requirements.

 Screening Candidates: Review applications from Canadian citizens or permanent residents and document the reasons for not selecting applicants. Retain records of interviews and assessments.

 Extending Job Offers to a TFW: If no suitable Canadian or PR candidate is found, and you have now identified a TFW, prepare a job offer for a TFW, ensuring it includes all essential employment details such as job duties and wages. In some cases, a TFW may not have been identified yet; you may proceed without a name, depending on the type of LMIA program.

 Submit LMIA Application: Complete and submit the LMIA application online, along with the necessary supporting documents and the required processing fee.

 Application Assessment by ESDC: Wait for the review of your application by ESDC, which may involve additional inquiries or interviews.

 Decision: Receive the LMIA decision. If the officer finds that you meet the requirements and that it does not negatively impact the Canadian job market, the officer will render a positive decision. A positive outcome will allow you to proceed with the hiring of the foreign worker.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Canadian Experience Class is an immigration category for foreign workers who have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada and wish to become permanent residents.