What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

Most Canadian Employer need to obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (or LMIA), in order to hire a temporary foreign national for a Canadian position.

A positive LMIA is issued to employers who can successfully show that is a labour shortage within the Canadian market and the foreign worker is necessary to fill this gap. The foreign worker can only apply for a work permit once a positive LMIA is obtained by the employer.

Who needs an LMIA?

Most employers need an LMIA in order to hire a Temporary Foreign worker, however, there are a number of workers and employers who are exempt from the LMIA requirement.

Some examples include:

  • Investors under the international Free Trade Agreement.
  • Intra-Company Transferee
  • Caregivers
  • Researchers
  • Spouses of skilled workers/students
  • Religious/Charity Work
  • Refugee Claimants
  • Holders of Temporary Resident Permits.

If you are not sure whether you need an LMIA before you can extend a job offer to a foreign worker, get in touch with YIC and our Immigration Specialists will access your unique circumstances and advise you of the next steps.

How do I get an LMIA?

Unlike other immigration application, an LMIA is not obtained from Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), instead you must apply to the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

There are four different streams/program, each with its own set of requirements:

  • High-Wage Workers
  • Low-Wage Workers
  • Seasonal Agricultural Workers
  • Worker via the Agricultural Stream.

For majority of the occupation, you will fall under either the High-Wage or Low-Wage Worker stream, depending on the wage you are offering to the temporary foreign worker.

  • If you are offering a wage that is below the provincial and territorial median hourly wage, you must apply under the Low-Wage Stream,
  • On the other hand, if you are offering a wage that is at or above this median hourly wage, then you are required to apply under the high-wage stream.

Basic Requirements for an LMIA

Each program has its own set of unique requirements, the following table compares the requirement of the two major streams majority of the applications fall under:

Stream/Requirements High-Wage Workers Low-Wage Workers
Recruitment You are required to conduct at least 3 different recruitment
 to recruit Canadians/PRs for the point, including posting the job
on Government of Canada’s website called “Job Bank.”
One of these activities must be national in scope, accessible to
residents of all provinces and territories
You must use Job Bank’s Job Match services, whereby you have to invite
job seekers who have obtained a rating a 4 star or higher to
apply for the position.
2 of your recruitment activities must target a
specific underrepresented group
You must use Job Bank’s Job Match services, whereby you have to invite
job seekers who have obtained a rating a 2 star or higher to
apply for the position.
Advertisement All recruitment activities must actively advertise the job for a period
of 4-consecutive weeks.
1 of the advertisement must remain active until a final decision on
the application is made.
Transition Plan Have a detailed transition plan, for the entire proposed duration of the temporary worker’s
The plan includes activities that you will engage in to:

  • Recruit
  • Retain and
  • Train

Canadian/PR employees.
You are promising to undertake these activities to reduce your reliance on foreign workers.

No transition Plan required.
Cap on the Proportion of Temporary Worker (TFW) of the Stream No Cap in place If you have hired a TFW in a low-wage stream, prior to June 20, 2014:
o   There is a 20% cap on the number of
TFWs you can hire in this position.If you did not hire a TFW in a low-wage stream, period to June 20, 2014:
o   There is a 10% cap on the number of TFWs you can hire in
this position.

Requirements that are same for all Streams

  1. Proof of Business Legitimacy
  • You must provide documents with respect to your business that show both your business and job offer are legitimate.
  • You must provide documentation that show:
    • You are able to able to provide employment and fulfil all the conditions of the employment offer.
    • You are operating a business that provides good and services to Canadian.
  1. Wages and Working conditions
  • You must offer a wage to your employee that is comparable to the median wage paid to Canadian or PR employees hired for the same job.
  • You must provide your employee with all the benefits that will be available to Canadian or PR employees.
  • The same provincial and federal employment standards are applicable to temporary foreign workers.

Recruitment requirements for the Agricultural Streams

The Seasonal Agricultural Workers and Worker via the Agricultural Stream have additional requirements that must be met at the time of the application. If you are applying under these streams please get in touch with YIC, so we can advise you on the requirements of the programs.

You must similarly advertise the position to Canadians/PR and make reasonable efforts to recruit a local worker:

  • You are required to conduct at least 2 different advertising activities, including a posting on Job Bank.

The activities must actively advertise the position for a period of 14-consecutive days.

How Do I apply for an LMIA?

You must submit an LMIA application for your stream along with the supporting documentations including proof of your recruitment efforts, business legitimacy and other documents to the appropriate case processing centre via email or fax.

You must submit your application up to 6 months before the proposed start date of the employee and must submit it within 3 months following the completion of your recruitment efforts.

It is critical to complete the application package properly, as incomplete LMIA applications will not be processed at all or returned to you. Get in touch with the YIC immigration specialist to do this right the first time and avoid unnecessary delays.