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LMIA: Labour Market Impact Assessment

Sometimes, a Canadian employer is in need of a foreign worker to complete a specific task or project. Here's how to navigate applying for an LMIA!

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) formerly known as “LMO” is a document that an employer in Canada will need to get before hiring a foreign worker in most cases. A positive LMIA is also known as a “confirmation letter” 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

Do I Need An LMIA?

Before you start hiring as an employer, you need to determine id it is necessary. The LMIA will simply confirm that the temporary work is needed and that no Canadians or permanent residents are available to do the job.

There are a few ways to check if an LMIA is needed. These ways include:

  • review the LMIA exemption codes and work permit exemptions OR
  • contact the International Mobility Workers Unit (IMWU (available only if you’re hiring a temporary foreign worker who is both currently outside Canada and from a country whose nationals are visa-exempt.

Who is Eligible for an LMIA/LMO?

After you have submitted your LMIA application, it will be sent to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). When reviewing your application, a few things will be taken into consideration. These factors include:

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

How to Get An LMIA

Needing an Labour Market Impact Assessment depends on the program you are hiring through. You will also need to determine if you are hiring high-wage workers, low-wage workers, workers through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, or 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 the 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.

How to Hire if You Don’t Need an LMIA

The International Mobility Program (IMP) lets you hire temporary foreign workers without an LMIA. If you hire an employee through this program you will need to

  • pay an employer compliance fee
  • submit an offer of employment form through the Employer Portal

Hiring High-Wage Workers

When hiring high-wage foreign workers, a transition plan is an important 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. 

The Transition Plan is a Schedule C form to the Application for a LMIA. The Transition Plan represents commitments that an employer has agreed to undertake specific to the occupation and work location for which they are seeking TFWs.

Hiring Low-Wage Workers

When hiring low-wage workers, a Transition Plan is not needed when applying for an LMIA. Unlike high-wage workers, low-wage workers are subject to a cap that limits the number of workers a business can employ. 

Canadian employers with more than 10 employees will be restricted to a maximum 10% cap on low-wage temporary foreign workers.

This cap will be phased in over the next two years, to allow Canadian employers time to transition to a Canadian workforce.

Am I a High-Wage or Low-Wage Worker?

These Canadian wage rates were set by the ESDC to determine whether a worker is a high-wage or low-wage worker.

If you are below the provincial/territoral wage then you will be considered low-wage worker.

If you are above the provincial/territorial wage then you will be considered a high-wage worker.

Province/Territory

Wage CAD$

Alberta

$27.28

British Columbia

$25.00

Manitoba

$21.60

New Brunswick

$20.12

Newfoundland and Labrador

$23.00

Northwest Territories

$34.36

Nova Scotia

$20.00

Nunavut

$32.00

Ontario

$24.04

Prince Edward Island

$20.00

Quebec

$23.08

Saskatchewan

$24.55

Yukon

$30.00

8 Types of LMIA Applications

High-Wage LMIA

A temporary worker's hourly compensation is equal to or higher than the provincial or territorial median hourly rate.

Low-Wage LMIA

If a foreign worker's compensation is less than the provincial or territorial median hourly wage.

LMIA for Agricultural Workers

Employers that seek to engage a temporary foreign worker (TFW) under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) must submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application to Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada, along with the needed supporting paperwork.

Employers are essentially requesting an evaluation of the impact that hiring a TFW might have on the Canadian labor market. As a result, it's critical that employers take all of the appropriate measures and submit all of the essential paperwork.

LMIA for Seasonal Agricultural Workers

Employers that seek to engage a temporary foreign worker (TFW) under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) must submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application to Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada, along with the needed supporting paperwork.

Employers are essentially requesting an evaluation of the impact that hiring a TFW might have on the Canadian labor market. As a result, it's critical that employers take all of the appropriate measures and submit all of the essential paperwork.

LMIA to Support a Permanent Residency (PR) Visa Application

Employers who wish to engage a foreign worker must submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada, together with any needed supporting paperwork.

Employers are essentially seeking an opinion on the implications of recruiting a foreign worker on the Canadian labor market. As a result, it's critical that employers take all of the appropriate measures and submit all of the essential paperwork.

Dual Intent LMIA

Both a work permit and an Express entry application are supported by this kind. An LMIA like this can help with a Permanent Residence application in Canada. Depending on the National Occupation Classification (NOC) type, this kind may assist an applicant in obtaining 50-200 CRS points. As previously said, the company must decide whether to recruit the foreign worker on a high or low pay basis, depending on the wage given.

LMIA for Global Talent Stream

The Global Talent Stream provides a quick, responsive, and predictable client-focused service to assist you in gaining access to highly-skilled global talent in order to increase your workforce in Canada and remain competitive globally. This Stream, which is part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, is for innovative Canadian businesses that have been referred to Employment and Social Development Canada by a recognized referral partner and require unique and specialized foreign nationals to scale up and flourish. It's also for Canadian businesses looking to fill a highly-skilled position on the Global Talent Occupations List.

LMIA for In-Home Caregivers

Employers who wish to engage a temporary foreign worker (TFW) must submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada, along with the needed supporting paperwork.

Employers are essentially seeking an opinion on the impact of hiring a TFW on the Canadian labor market. As a result, it's critical that employers take all of the appropriate measures and submit all of the essential paperwork.

LMIA/LMO Processing Time & Fees

When applying for an LMIA, you can expect to get approved or denied within 10 business days on average. In some cases, due to delays, it can take up to a couple of months. 

LMIA Cost:  $1000/per employee request

After Your LMIA Application Has Been Approved

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.

To apply for a work permit, a worker needs

  • a job offer letter
  • a contract
  • a copy of the LMIA
  • the LMIA number

Learn more about Canadian Work Permits.

Need Help Getting An LMIA? Let Us Help!

As an employer seeking to hire foreign employees overseas, one of the most important steps is obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) so let us help get it done correctly! 

All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for VisaPlace Legal an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

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