A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that gives an employer the permission to hire a temporary foreign worker in Canada.

A positive LMIA will show that 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 an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit.

To apply for a work permit, a worker needs:

  • a job offer letter,
  • a contract,
  • a copy of the LMIA, and
  • the LMIA number.

Job Offer vs. Offer of employment

A job offer letter is a document that a Canadian employer gives you (as a temporary worker). It explains the details of your job. Generally, a job offer letter (or “employment letter”) is less detailed than a contract.

The letter includes information about:

  • your pay and deductions from your pay
  • your job duties
  • conditions of employment, such as hours of work

If you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), include a copy of your job offer letter with your work permit application.

An “offer of employment” is not the same as a “job offer letter”. If your employer doesn’t need an LMIA to hire you for the job, they need to submit the offer of employment in the Employer Portal. Once submitted, the portal generates an offer of employment number that you need when you apply for your work permit.

Who gets an exempton from an LMIA?

Some of the more common LMIA exemption codes, to issue a work permit to a worker who does not require an LMIA are listed below:

Intra-company transfereesC12
Spouses of skilled workersC41
Spouses of studentsC42
Post-grad employmentC43
Post-doctoral Ph.D. fellows and award recipientsC44
Charitable or religious workC50
Home Support Worker & Home Child Care ProvidersC90
Refugee claimantsS61
Spouse or common-law partner in Canada classA70
Section A25 exemption (humanitarian and compassionate grounds)A70
Vulnerable workersA72
Destitute studentsH81
Television and film production workersC14

Here is the complete list of LMIA exemption codes.

Are you an employer looking to recruit foreign talent? Do you need a Labor Market Impact Analysis from ESDC? We can help you with your LMIA and Work Permit application process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When can I apply for an LMIA?

Your LMiA application can be submitted up to six months prior to the expected job start date.

How long does it take to process an LMIA application?

The processing times for different streams of LMIA are as follows:
Global Talent Stream – 13 business days
Agricultural Stream – 20 business days
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program – 11 business days
Permanent Resident Stream – 38 business days
In-home caregivers – 35 business days
High-wage stream – 49 business days
Low-wage stream – 64 business days

What is the LMIA fee?

The LMIA application fee is $1,000, which is paid to ESDC. There is no fee for an LMIA application which is for supporting a PR application only.

Can I get an LMIA for a part time position?

No. The job has to be for a full time role, at least 30 hours/week.

Can the employee pay the LMIA fee?

No. The LMIA fee or authorized representative’s fee should not be paid by the foreign worker or taken from his wages.

What is the difference between a PR support LMIA and an LMIA for a work permit?

A PR support LMIA is for supporting a foreign worker’s application for PR e.g. through express entry so they can claim 50 or 200 points in express entry. There is no fee for this. Whereas an LMIA for work permit has a fee of $1,000 and has different streams e.g. high wage, low wage, global talent etc.

What wages should I give for a high wage LMIA position?

Your wages should be above the provincial and territorial median for the High Wage LMIA. In addition to that, you must make sure that the wage offered is equal to or greater than the median wage for the NOC in your area or the wage that is within the wage range that you are paying your current employees hired for the same job and work location, and with the same skills and years of experience. Whichever is higher.

How long is an LMIA valid for?

6 months from the date of issuance.

Can an LMIA application be expedited?

Yes, but only in certain cases. When one of these apply: It is a very high-paid position, the position is on the list of eligible skilled trades, the position is for 120 days or less and the wage is above the provincial median wage or the LMIA is for express entry.

How many employees can I hire through a low wage LMIA process?

There is a 10% cap on the number of temporary foreign workers in low-wage positions if the employers did not employ a temporary foreign worker in a low-wage position prior to June 20, 2014. The cap is 20% if the empoyer did hire a temorary foreign worker in a low-wage position prior to June 20, 2014.