What is LMIA and how to get your work permit in Canada?

 Want to Migrate to Canada with a Job offer for a Better living? We try to cover all the information required in this article.

 What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker.

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. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.

If the employer needs an LMIA, they must apply for one.

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

Find out if you need an LMIA

Most employers need an LMIA before they can hire a temporary foreign worker. Before you start the hiring process, you must determine if you need an LMIA.

An LMIA confirms

  • There is a need for a temporary foreign worker
  • No Canadians or permanent residents are available to do the job

To see if you and the temporary foreign worker you want to hire are exempt from needing an LMIA or work permit, do one of the following:

  1. Review the LMIA exemption codesand work permit exemptions
  • Select the LMIA exemption or work permit code that seems most relevant to your hiring situation and read the detailed description
  • If an exemption code applies to you, you’ll need to include it in your offer of employment


  1. contact the International Mobility Workers Unitif you’re hiring a temporary foreign worker who is both
  • Currently outside Canada
  • From a country whose nationals are visa-exempt

How to get an LMIA

You’ll need an LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

The LMIA application process depends on the type of program you’re hiring through.

Find out how to apply for an LMIA to hire

  • High-wage workers
  • Low-wage workers
  • Workers through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
  • Workers through the Agricultural Stream

How to hire if you need an LMIA

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) lets you hire temporary foreign workers to fill labour and skill shortages.

Once an LMIA has been issued, you should provide a copy of the confirmation letter to each temporary foreign worker and tell each of them to apply for a work permit.

You’ll need an LMIA from ESDC, Service Canada.

Assessing the Merits of an LMIA Application

Obtaining a Canada work permit is typically a two-step process.   First, the Canadian employer must submit a qualifying LMIA application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). It is incumbent on the Canadian employer to also submit a detailed list of Canadians who applied for the position; the number of Canadians interviewed for the position, and detailed explanations for why the Canadian candidates considered were not hired. Canadian employers may be subject to inspection for compliance once a work permit has been issued.

When assessing the merits of the applicant ESDC will consider:

  • Are there Canadians in the region available and willing to fill the job on offer?
  • Has the employer made sufficient efforts to fill the position with a Canadian worker?
  • Will hiring a foreign national help create or retain jobs in Canada?
  • Is the employer offering a wage or salary that is consistent with the regional average for the position at hand?
  • Are the working conditions acceptable by Canadian labour standards?
  • Is the employer or the industry in which the job sits engaged in ongoing labour disputes?

If ESDC is satisfied that a given region and industry are healthy enough to sustain foreign labour, a positive LMIA will be issued.

LMIAs are specific to employers, the position being offered, and the region in which the job is located. Obtaining a positive LMIA does not allow you to change your job or employer, or move to another Canadian region after acquiring a work permit. In any of those instances you are required to seek a new LMIA.

The LMIA process distinguishes between “high-wage” and “low-wage” employees. Temporary foreign workers whose remuneration is below the provincial/territorial median wage are considered low-wage. Temporary foreign workers whose remuneration is equal to or above the median wage are considered high-wage.

High-Wage Workers

The submission of a transition plan is a compulsory requirement for all Canadian employers seeking to employ a temporary foreign worker(s) at a wage that is equal to or above the provincial/territorial median hourly wage. Transition plans exist to ensure the employer intends to reduce their reliance on temporary foreign workers in favour of Canadians.

Low-Wage Workers

Canadian employers looking to hire low-wage workers do not need to submit a transition plan when applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Unlike high-wage workers, however, they are subject to a cap that limits the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers a given business can employ. Canadian employers with more than 10 employees will be restricted to a maximum 10% cap on low-wage temporary foreign workers.

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).


New Rules for LMIA Canada 2021

Recently there have been slight changes to the LMIA process in 2021! Under the new LMIA system job positions are to be divided into just two categories: high-wage and low-wage. Jobs are considered high wage if the salary meets or exceeds the median wage in the province where the job will be performed, and low-wage if the salary is below the median.

The application fee for LMIA requests is now $1000 per worker, an increase from the $275 per worker fee for LMOs.

After An LMIA is Approved, What Is the Next Step?

Once your LMIA application is approved, you will want to send a copy of this letter and Annex A to the foreign worker. Then, the foreign worker can apply for a work permit! Processing times for work permits can vary depending on where the application was submitted.

Need Help With Your LMIA Application? We Can Help!

Applying for LMIA in Canada can be tricky and confusing if you are not completely sure what you are doing. Emigrantz Global Consultancy has been helping clients complete their LMIA applications with ease. Our immigration professionals are standing by to assist with your LMIA and Temporary Work Permit Applications.



Emigrantz Global Consultancy registered and partnered with ICCRC (ICCRC – R407847) has more than a decade’s experience in the immigration industry. We have been fulfilling the needs of Permanent residency, student visa, business visa and work permit aspirants for Canada along with other countries.

We are just a call / email away to help you in making your dreams come true.

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