Labour Market Impact Assessment

An LMIA is a labor market verification process whereby Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) assesses an offer of employment to ensure that the employment of a foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labor market. Employers will be required to provide a variety of information about the position for which they want to hire a foreign worker, including the number of Canadians who applied for the position, the number of Canadians who were interviewed, and detailed explanations for why the Canadian workers considered were not hired.

ESDC will consider the following elements in their analysis of the offer of employment:
  • Salary offered to the foreign worker consistent with the average for the occupation in the area the position is located.
  • Working conditions consistent with labor laws and/or collective bargaining agreements.
  • Labor shortage for that occupation in the area the position is located.
  • Ongoing labor dispute in the company and/or industry.
  • Recruitment efforts to find a Canadian to fill the position.
  • Foreign worker ability to transfer unique skills or expertise to Canadians.
  • Creation or retention of jobs for Canadians.

ESDC has committed to a 10-business day service standard for certain LMIA applications. The 10-day processing will only be available for applications pertaining to jobs in high demand (such as skilled trades), jobs offering wages in the top 10% of wages earned by Canadians in that province or territory, and for jobs with a short duration work period (less than 120 days). ESDC offices are responsible for processing LMIA applications, and there are ESDC offices exist in every Canadian province.

Eligibility Criteria for Employer

  • They have no past compliance issues as an employer.
  • They can fulfil all the terms of the job offer (they would need to submit official tax documents to support this).
  • They are providing a good or service in Canada.
  • If they are hiring a skilled foreign worker to support his or her application for permanent residence in Canada, they must submit proof that the business has been in operation for a minimum of one year (does not apply for positions in Quebec).
  • They have carried out three different recruitment activities to try and fill the position, if applicable.
  • They are offering employment that is consistent with the needs of their business.

The employer would also need to provide a Transition Plan, describing the activities they are agreeing to undertake to recruit, retain and train Canadians and permanent residents and to reduce their reliance on foreign workers. This requirement can be waived in certain situations.

The government fee for this application is $1,000 for each position. This fee would be waived if the LMIA was to support permanent residence through Express Entry and the applicant would not be applying for a work permit as well.

If the employer receives a negative outcome it means they cannot employ a foreign national as they were not able to meet the requirements of the Labour Market Impact Assessment they applied for.

The requirements for a Labour Market Impact Assessment vary depending on the type of position that is being offered to a foreign national. The requirements for each type of position vary in terms of the employer’s requirements in terms of advertising, application fees, the wage being offered, and the application processing times.

LMIA Based Work Permits

Foreign workers and employers must go through a two-step process to receive a Canadian work permit. First, the applicant must apply to ESDC for a Labor Market Impact Assessment, followed by a second application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for the actual work permit. The LMIA is issued by ESDC who, after considering numerous protective labour market factors, authorizes the Canadian employer to hire a foreign worker.

How can we help?

Employers who are looking for assistance bringing a temporary foreign worker to Canada or who wants to learn more about the LMIA process, contact, or 905-564-1888. Click here to book an appointment for in person counseling with one of our business consultants.