Labour Market Impact Assessment : LMIA in canada

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document a Canadian employer needs to hire most types of foreign workers.

A positive LMIA in canada confirms there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job at hand and that no Canadian worker is available to do the job.

How LMIA in canada Application Decisions is made

The decision on whether or not to issue a positive LMIA in canada is made by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and then issued to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

IRCC then informs the employer of the final LMIA decision. In making an LMIA decision, ESDC considers several factors including:

  • The impact of hiring the foreign worker will have on the Canadian labour market.
  • The wages and working conditions being offered to the foreign worker.
  • The availability of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to do the job in question.
  • Whether a transfer of useful knowledge and skills would result from hiring the foreign worker.
  • Whether hiring the foreign worker will help create jobs for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

LMIA Processing Times

LMIA processing times can be somewhat unpredictable, ranging from a couple of weeks, to a few months. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has pledged to process certain LMIA applications within 10 business days. The following categories will now be processed with a 10-business-day service standard:

  • All LMIA applications for the highest-demand occupations (skilled trades), or
  • Highest-paid (top 10%) occupations, or
  • Short-duration work periods (120 days or less).

LMIA Validity and Duration of Employment

After a positive LMIA is issued, a temporary foreign worker has six months to use it to apply for a work permit. No extensions will be given. If the six-month period expires and the foreign worker does not submit a work permit application, a new LMIA application is required.

In Quebec, there is a separate LMIA application process

Important factors to know about LMIA in canada

The validity of the LMIA is not the same as the duration of employment of the LMIA.

The validity of an LMIA indicates the amount of time that a foreign worker applicant has to use the LMIA and apply for a work permit.

The duration of employment of an LMIA indicates the length of validity of a work permit issued using the LMIA. There are three options relating to the duration of employment for an LMIA:

  1. Temporary duration to support a work permit application only.
  2. Permanent duration to support a permanent residence application. Work permits issued under a permanent duration LMIA will be issued for a maximum period of two years, provided the candidate meets the requirements set out in the LMIA. The work permit will not be extended regardless of whether or not a permanent residence application is underway.
  3. A combination of permanent and temporary duration to support both a permanent residence application and a work permit application.

LMIA Fees and Requirements for lmia

  • A processing fee of CDN $1,000 applies to each Labour Market Impact Assessment application (unless the application is made strictly in support of permanent residency).  A CDN $100 Privilege Fee is also required.
  • Canadian employers must undertake advertisement efforts (Canada Job Bank) for at leastfour weeks prior to submitting an LMIA application. Employers are further required to demonstrate at least two other recruitment methods used to target potential hires, other than the Canada Job Bank website.  ESDC will also be looking for evidence that underrepresented groups of Canadians were pursued and considered for the position (e.g. disabled people, aboriginals, youth).
  • English and French are the only two languages eligible to be listed as employment requisites, for the purpose of LMIA application. ESDC officers are largely hesitant to approve an LMIA application if the employer has indicated a language other than English or French was used as a determinant.
  • Canadian employers must attest that they are prohibited from laying off, or reducing the hours, of Canadians if their company employs temporary foreign workers.


Leave a Comment