Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is throwing its meaning through its name. If you’re looking to hire a foreign worker, an LMIA is a crucial document that you’ll need. Here’s how to get LMIA. 

The LMIA is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada that gives employers the go-ahead to hire foreign workers. It can be attained if some specific requirements are fulfilled. 

The process starts when an employer submits a job offer to the government and a complete application, including the required fee. Once the job offer is approved, the employer will receive an LMIA confirming that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the position.

Now we understand you have many queries about this as an employer and foreign worker. So let’s get started to clear all your queries. 

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What Is LMIA:

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer wants before appointing any foreign worker. It is a confirmation letter that confirms that the foreign worker has to fill this job. So, it is designated as positive LMIA, which shows that not any worker or permanent resident of Canada is free to do this job.

LMIA analyzes the effect of hiring temporary foreign workers on the Canadian labour market. Employers must put some effort into finding Canadian workers for the relative job before hiring any foreign individual. 

But in any case, if no Canadian resident is available, he needs to get an LMIA for the foreign applicant. If LMIA turns out to be positive or neutral, they are permitted to do this job. The government then verifies all the efforts made by employers to search for Canadian workers for this post, i.e., ads, recruitment, etc.

After getting approval, the applicant has to submit a copy of the LMIA, LMIA number, job offer letter, and contract. You can start work in Canada after getting permitted. 

Requirements For LMIA:

The wages of the workers can be categorized into two types. It makes it easy to observe all the needs and the requirement of LMIA as shown:

Hiring High-Wage Workers:

While hiring a high-wage worker, there is a transition plan to enlist Temporary Foreign Worker(s) (TFWs). It requires a salary equal to or higher than the territorial average hourly wage.

The transition plan is C form to the LMIA approval application. It shows all those commitments an employer has made according to the terms and conditions of the specific vocation for which TFWs are enrolled. 

Hiring Low-Wage Workers:

Hiring low-wage workers do not require any transition plan. Rather, it is subjected to a cap, where you need employees 10 or more 10. Here, the employers enroll the employees in areas with a shortage of workers.

This phase is then continued for up to 2 years until the return of Canadian employees to the Canadian workforce.

How To Apply For LMIA:

You can apply it while choosing any method according to your ease and comfort:

Online Portal Of LMIA:

To access this online portal, the employers and other parties must have a bank account to get authentication. If an employer still does not have a job bank account, then this site offers you to sign up now. It will take only 10 minutes. Your job bank account will be ready, and then feel free to apply for LMIA.

Apply On Application Form:

If you choose this, you must ensure that all the required documents are attached. Otherwise, you will face a delay in your form submission. Complete the attestation where it is required and submit the following documents:

1- LMIA form: The employers must mention the foreign country from which they wish to hire the workers. It will not require the processing fee if you also apply for the worker’s permanent visa.

2- Skilled trades job offer schedule D.

3- The job offer form shows employer and foreign worker signs.

4- Affidavit of business legality.

5- Proof of ads the employers have put for the vacant post.

You must send the application to the service Canada center that processes skilled worker applications. A complete application means that:

  • The employers have used all the new application forms.
  • They have filled out all the boxes with needed and important data.
  • They have stuck all the important documents.
  • All the attestation has been done.
  • The fee is submitted if required.

But before going direct, you must also have some basic information. So, the following are the steps that are necessary to create ease for having LMIA:

1- Check To See Whether You Require An LMIA:

In most cases, the employers need LMIA. But sometimes, you will not require it from those workers who are highly skilled from those countries with which Canada has free trade agreements like America. In addition, the youngsters participating in the international experience Canada program, or the employees in any specific work situation.

2- Check To See If Processing An LMIA Is Prohibited In Any Way:

Firstly, The employer has to analyze whether they have to process LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) or not. But the government may deny this processing for various posts in certain regions of Canada. Some of the major prohibitions are:

Prohibition No-1: Low-Wage Posts In Various Food Services And Market Trade Sectors:

ESDC will not approve the demand of LMIA if both:

A- The submitted application is for one of the positions below NOC-National Occupational Classifications. In essence:

  • All security-related occupations.
  • Light duty cleaners.
  • Bank clerk or cashier.
  • Other clerks and order fillers.
  • Labour in the construction trade.

b- For those posts in regions with unemployment of 6% or more. For the unemployment survey, ESDC issues an overview in April for the next whole year.

Prohibition No-3: Cap On Low-Wage Posts:

An LMIA will not be approved if all the low-wage posts outdo the described percentage of employees in a certain location. There lies an exceptional case in many posts like agricultural and caregiving positions, applying for permanent Residence in companies with less than 10 employees, and positions in seasonal industries.

Prohibition No-3: Various High And Low-Wage Posts In Alberta Province:

The application will not be commanded for several occupations in Alberta. But exceptions lie in electricians and industrial operators.

3- Limit On The Percentage Of Low-Wage Jobs:

Equal wages should be given to foreign employees like Canadian internees for the same post and work area. It may surely not be more or higher than the current workers’ wages according to their skills and experience.

4- Identify The Minimum Wage That Firms Must Offer To International Employees:

Most of the LMIA applications are for high and low-wage positions. Employers have to do advertisement and marketing to get approval for permanent residences. They can also get special streams for foreign academics, agricultural posts, and caregivers.

For the temporary foreign worker program, they have to pay a wage that is the highest median wage on job banks or the same wage criteria as experienced internees for the same post. 

In essence, if you give a worker wage of about 24$ per hour, then the LMIA application will follow a high-wage position’s criteria. You can check the following average wages per hour provided by a few provinces, and you may improve your observation:

ProvincesWages of April 2019 ($/hour)
Nova scotia20$

5- Choose The Appropriate LMIA Stream Based On The Occupation And Salary Rate:

The employers can enroll an employee under any of the 8 streams of LMIA. Selecting the right stream of LMIA is very necessary. It will indirectly define the requirements that must be followed, the eligibility criteria for employers to hire an employee, advertisements, and the right form to be filled out.

Following are 8 streams of LMIA:

Low-wage LMIA: If the employees are offered a wage less than the average hourly wage set by provinces or territories of Canada, then the employer will request to get LMIA under the low-wage LMIA.

High-wage Canada: If the employees are offered a wage higher than the provincial or territorial per-hour wage range, then the employer will submit an LMIA form under this category.

Agricultural workers: To apply for this stream, the employer’s business must have enough production in specific trade sectors. The employer can hire a foreign employee for on-farm primary agriculture when no Canadian is available. If this post is high-wage, then the employer can get the LMIA for 3 years. 

Seasonal agricultural stream: As the name indicates, employers need to get LMIA to hire temporary foreign workers. It is also for on-farm agriculture, and the business must have enough production in trade sectors. 

Under this stream, the employer can get the LMIA for foreign employees for at least 8 months. In this case, the employers offer 240 hours of work to complete within at least 6 weeks or less. The hired employee can be from Mexico or any other Caribbean country.

Global talent stream: A designated referral partner has designed this stream for those Canadian firms with innovative ideas. These firms are referred to as Employment and Social Development (ESDC). Under this stream, the employer needs foreign workers who have special skills to make progress and grow.

Some Canadian companies demand highly skilled workers to fill the highly-skilled vacant post on the “Global Talent Occupation List.” The employer can demand an LMIA duration of about 3 years, which must follow the duration of need of employment.

Dual intent: This stream is for two purposes; to get PR (permanent Residence) support and work permit applications simultaneously.

In-home caregivers: In some private houses, some caregivers are needed for infants, older adults, and patients. So the employer can hire foreign employees for this post. 

PR visa application: To get LMIA for applying for a PR visa. This opportunity is for NOC or National Occupational Classification as a high-wage post.

6- Create A Recruitment And Advertising Campaign In Accordance With The LMIA Stream Requirements:

The employers must ensure that they have selected the advertisement method relevant to the vocation or the occupation, and it must reach the right audience for further processing. 

Whether you are hiring a Canadian or foreign worker, you must post a recruitment advertisement. Following are some requirements that are to be fulfilled while creating an ad according to the LMIA stream:

  • There must be 3 sources mentioned for high-wage posts.
  • At least 5 sources must be offered for low-wage posts.
  • The ad for a job should circulate for 4 consecutive weeks or 1 month.
  • The LMIA application must be submitted within 3 months after the advertisement is posted.

However, the advertisement requirements may vary among LMIA streams. Sometimes, they make it harder to get LMIA, and in some cases, it is easier to obtain. For example, they can overview the following given format of advertisement information for high-wage positions:

  • Company name.
  • Accurate business address.
  • Post title.
  • All job duties; if you are advertising for more than one seat, explain each.
  • Nature of employment, i.e., whether it is project-based or permanent criteria.
  • Work language.
  • Wage; plus, it should contain annual bonuses, performance-based income, or increments.
  • Packages with benefits must be offered.
  • Good work area like any town or city etc.
  • Contact information such as fax number, mailing address, phone number, etc. must be included.
  • Skill requirements like qualification data or experience.

A successful LMIA requires a very well-prepared advertisement. Suppose an employer puts inaccurate or irrelevant stuff in ads. In that case, the LMIA application will be refused, so it is pivotal to follow all the prescriptions about job advertisement information by ESDC.

In addition, to follow all the requirements for the LMIA stream, the employer has to choose their enlisting activities carefully. They can put the relevant ad on GC, ca, and many more.

Put your pure efforts into going high in this campaign! 

7- Run A Recruitment And Advertising Campaign During The Allotted Time:

The additional requirement of LMIA is the specific time duration in which employers have to advertise for the vacant post before getting approval of LMIA from ESDC. Frankly speaking, you must have to put the affidavit of the summary of your campaign struggle with the LMIA application to be submitted. Also, the employer has all the authority to analyze the best applicants and interview them.

If the applicants are not enrolled, their reason must be mentioned in the summary attached. They can also continue this campaign during the whole LMIA application process.

8- Complete The Application Package With All The Requirements:

The completed application package must include all the documents and proof that the employers have put an ad to hire the employees. It must also be mentioned that the worker is hired, or the interviews were conducted through this process. The added proofs must include all the time duration in which the ad was posted and how much it was available to the applicants.

It must also include all the company’s financial documents, and the employer must attach all those documents explaining the shortage of employees in the selected company.

9- Identify Associated Expenses:

A fee payment form must be attached with the application. The cost to process LMIA has increased in previous years, and now it is 1000$. It is increased from 275$, and the fee must be paid for individual workers. If an employer puts an ad for 2 Computer-Aided Design (CAD) programmers, they have to pay 2000$ for an LMIA application. The application can be submitted via fax or mail.

Exceptions go with posts for agriculture or home caregiver posts.

10- Keep Up The Advertising And Recruiting Campaign And Track The Outcomes:

After submitting the application, ESDC issues an LMIA file number to the employer. Its processing time differs for different streams and may vary from 10 working days to a few months. But then, employers must be in touch with the responses from advertisements and recruitment and stick to the posted ads.

When the employer interview is conducted by LMIA officers, they ask them to present all the proof of their efforts in advertising and recruiting. It may be a verbal submission or in written form. As you are already informed of the time duration of LMIA processing, there is a criterion of 10 days for speedy approval of LMIA.

Eligibility Criteria For 10 Days Speedy LMIA Processing:

Sometimes, the application is preferred to be done in 10 days. These cases are:

Highest paid posts:

Those employers who are eligible for this service are offering wages above the top 10 or more than 10% of wages earned by the citizens (Canadians) in the area of required jobs. They can apply for this service if they are willing to offer wages more than a province’s wage limit.

Talented trades:

Employers can avail of this opportunity when applying for the post of eligible occupation that is enlisted. In this case, too, the employers have to provide wages above the province’s wages.

Short period:

You can avail of this 10 days-service if you submit the application regarding the post for only 120 days or less. Simultaneously, you must offer wages higher than the average provincial wage rate.

Top 10% wage earners’ eligibility criteria for 10 days of speedy service:

ProvincesWages of April 2019 ($/hour)
Nova scotia20$

11- Take Part In The ESDC Officer’s Final Phone Interview:

Here comes the final step: the employers receive a phone call from an LMIA ESDC officer. This communication deals with the confirmation of the submitted application. This call discusses any alteration that may occur during submission, the trading campaign, and its outcomes. They then request the updated summary containing marketing data. So, the officer will decide according to this interview.

Communication is key, and employers must have the talent to be eloquent about their business challenges. You can easily get a positive LMIA. ESDC bases its decision when the internal market indicators and the information submitted by employers intersect. Then they may issue a positive LMIA.

It May Get Cancelled:

If the employer has not mentioned all the details correctly in the ad, provide the wrong NOC. If the correct NOC is mentioned, then the duties and work responsibilities may not be mentioned correctly. The LMIA application may get cancelled due to these errors in all these cases.

12- Obtain The LMIA Ruling:

After the interview, the employer will get a letter via fax within various days. A copy of the LMIA decision is also delivered to the company in a week. 

13- Give Your Foreign Counterpart A Copy Of The LMIA Judgement:

Finally, the foreign workers get a permit letter to do the job after the LMIA approval. After this approval, the foreign individual may start work in Canada.

Check Out How to file for an LMIA in Canada:

What Must Be Done By The Employer?

The government officers review the LMIA application to ensure whether the employer has put enough effort into finding Canadian employees. The employers must provide an affidavit regarding this via an ad, recruitment, etc. 

If no Canadian internee is available for the same post, then the employer goes for the LMIA application for foreign workers. Then lastly, the ESDC officer will verify the pay and work criteria that must meet the provincial standards.

After getting approval, the positive LMIA is issued. They can contact foreign nationals now. But on getting a negative LMIA, the employer cannot proceed further to hire any foreign worker.

After receiving the positive LMIA, the employer asks the foreign application to apply for their permission letter of work or PR. In other words, the employer then completes the remaining steps of this procedure. 

What Must Be Done By The Worker:

The worker has to request the employer to forward them the confirmation letter received by the ESDC. It is then attached with the work permit application and all other documents to start work in Canada.

When To Submit An LMIA Request?

LMIA pre-approval phase allows the employer to apply for LMIA 6 months before the expected joining date of the worker. But it does not allow the employer to appoint the worker before LMIA approval. As mentioned earlier, placing ads for vacant posts is compulsory. 

So, whenever the employer submits an LMIA application, they must put the regarding ads. LMIA approval goes for one or more seats for the same post. 

After facing many harsh circumstances in the company, employers often decide to enroll workers from foreign nations. Therefore, asking for LMIA does not seem to be surprising. But the government appreciates the employers who use this option of getting LMIA.

If you, as an employer, follow this option to enlist these workers, you have completed your first step towards a successful LMIA.

What Takes Place If The Employer Receives LMIA Approval:

An employer’s LMIA file number from ESDC should be sent to a foreign national. They will attach it with the LMIA work permit form and submit it for approval. After this, foreign employees can start work in Canada.


How Many Bands Are Required For LMIA:

The workers who want to immigrate to Canada temporarily do not require IELTS or other tests. Because according to the 2022 rules, there is no need to have any English language test to work in Canada. But if LMIA is granted an employee’s PR (permanent residency) visa, then it may require these tests.

If the employer is applying for LMIA to get a PR visa for a foreign employee in Canada, it can be easily obtained through the Express Entry Program. To apply for Canadian permanent residency, an employee needs six of each band (level 7), IELTS, or CLB. 

It is to be noted that the English tests are not a requirement for immigration, but it can be the demand of the employer under whom the employee is going to work. They want to ensure the worker’s competency in English or French.

How Can I Get 50 Points On LMIA?

Canada needs highly skilled workers to raise the economy of the country. It can be done via the Express Entry Program, which offers the speedy approval of PR visas in Canada via LMIA. Until now, Canada has welcomed 430,000 immigrants for the next whole 3 years. By 2024, this figure will be increased up to 110,000 per year.

Many foreign employees may not know they may get 50-200 points under the express entry, but it is not quite often. In 2019, 13% of the workers got additional points on job offers. If they qualify for a valid job offer (full-time and paid) from the Canadian employer, they receive 50 points as an award. 200 points can be obtained when the worker has a job under 6 selected occupations.

How Much Does LMIA Cost Canada?

It costs $1000 for LMIA processing per worker. The employer must pay the applicable employer compliance fee and all the related services. The price has increased in the past few years from $230 per worker. It is a great rise in this cost.

If an employer wants to hire 5 foreign internees, they must pay for each worker. For example, 5*1000$=5000$ will be paid by the employer. If they get a skilled worker, then this penny never goes wasted.

How Long Is LMIA Valid For?

Most employers have doubts about this, and the answer is that they have a validity of an LMIA for 6 months after its issuance. But it can be extended to 18 months. Before the expiry date, the employee has to apply for a work permit. Otherwise, a new LMIA has to be issued.

An employer can request for the extension of the validity time of LMIA for 18 months if:
• The last issued LMIA has validity for 6 or 9 months.
• The service Canada receives the request for an extension before the expiry date of the previous LMIA.

Final Thoughts:

Canadian immigration is one of the most complicated immigration systems in the world. Among them, LMIA is very common. To get LMIA, the employer has to encounter its specific requirements, applications, assessments, eligibility criteria, costs, exemptions, and the interview done by the immigration panel.

We understand that the process is very lengthy and crucial, but if the employers follow and take each step carefully, all the hurdles will be removed. We hope all the major and minor details of the procedure to get LMIA is explained well. The purpose of opening every piece of information here is to create ease for you. 

If you still have some questions, please don’t hesitate to explore OnTheMoveCanada