Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

An LMIA is a document from the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) allowing Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers due to the shortage of a particular skill in the Canadian economy. They may be allowed to hire temporary foreign workers without an LMIA if:

  • The employment can contribute to a broader economic and cultural benefit to Canada.
  • Canadians and PR enjoy equal benefits from such employment.

Recruitment without an LMIA can be done through the International Mobility Program (IMP) by paying a compliance fee of $230 before the worker applies for a work permit.

Who needs an LMIA?

Most of the Canadian employers who are facing a labor shortage can apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). In most cases, LMIA is required before a foreign worker can apply for a work permit. You can find out whether you need an LMIA by reviewing the LMIA Exemption Codes or by reviewing information on the International Mobility Workers Unit section.

How to review the LMIA Exemption Codes:

  1. Go to the LMIA exemption table and review the regulations.
  2. Chose an LMIA exemption code relevant to your hiring conditions and read its description.
  3. Note the exemption code and mention it in your offer of employment.

Contacting the International Mobility Workers Unit:

The International Mobility Workers Unit will help employers determine if the temporary worker they want to hire can be exempt from an LMIA or a work permit. This can be done by requesting an opinion from IMWU to determine whether the employee belongs from:

(a) visa-exempt country, or

(b) currently outside of Canada.

The opinion shall take 14 days to be issued. Requesting an opinion must be done at least 30 days before the worker decides to enter Canada. In case the worker is already present inside Canada his/her status shall be determined at the port of entry by the immigration officer.

Revoked LMIAs:

Revoked LMIAs are the result of the cancellation of one or more positions which restricts a foreign worker from obtaining a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenships Canada (IRCC). An LMIA may be revoked be if:

  • Additional new information is provided after the employment of a worker indicating potential negative effects on the labor in Canada.
  • Information provided by the employer is fraudulent.
  • The employer’s name is on the list of revoked LMIA.

Recruitment of Temporary Foreign workers based upon Wages:

The need for an LMIA is determined according to the wage being offered under the stream for High-wage positions or Low-wage positions. If the wage being offered is:

  • Above or at the provincial median hourly you must apply under the stream for high wage positions.
  • Below the provincial median hourly wage, you must apply under the stream for low wage positions.
Temporary Foreign Agricultural Worker:

Temporary foreign workers can be hired under the following streams:

  1. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program :

This program is for workers from Mexico or from participating Caribbean countries whose production is included in the National Commodities List.

  1. Agricultural Streams:

This stream is for temporary workers from any country whose production is included in the National Commodities List.

  1. High-Wage Stream:

This stream is for temporary foreign workers whose production is NOT included in the National Commodities list and is hired on a high-wage agricultural position.

  1. Low-Wage Stream:

This stream is for temporary foreign workers whose production is NOT included in the National Commodities list and is hired on a low-wage agricultural position.

Temporary Foreign In-home Caregiver:

When Canadians and permanent residents are not available families may hire foreign caregivers for children under 18, the old or people with certified medical needs. The employer can hire caregivers on a live-in or live-out basis. The worker will be responsible for:

  1. Providing full-time care (min 30 hrs. per week)
  2. Working in the private household
  3. Meet the requirements of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Since June 18, 2019, an outside Canada applicant whose LMIA was even issued will not be able to apply for a work permit under LMIA based work permit application route, but Canadian employer who is facing labor shortage for Caregivers for Children or Caregiver for Elderly/Patient can continue to hire caregivers from within Canada.

Canadian employers who wish to hire foreign workers who are outside Canada can hire them through New Caregiver Pilot Program i.e. Home Child Care Provider Pilot (HCCPP) or Home Support Worker Piot (HSWP) Programs. 

Temporary Foreign Academic:

Degree-granting postsecondary educational institutes can hire foreign academics to meet staffing needs. This can help attract diverse knowledge and fulfill teaching needs in Canadian institutes. The criteria to hire foreign academics are versatile and designed by the ESDC and IRCC in cooperation with universities and degree-granting institutes. To hire a foreign academic the following has to be taken into consideration:

  1. The foreign academic must have at least one postgraduate degree after a pertaining bachelor’s degree. The academic must earn the majority of his/her income from teaching or conducting researches.
  2. This type of recruitment is only for academics and not for other departments of universities/colleges.

This criterion aims to take the career development and employment of Canadian academics in Canada.

Temporary Foreign worker through Global Talent Stream:

This program was launched on June 12, 2017, for Canadian firms to be able to attract and hire high-skilled global talent. This program falls under the Temporary Foreign Worker program and is designed for innovative firms who need specialized foreign nationals for development or need to fill the in-demand highly skilled positions on the Global Talent Occupation List. They are referred to the Employment and Social Department Canada (ESDC) by a designated referral partner. The criterion for the program is as follow:

  1. If you hire a worker you must develop a Labor Market Benefits plan that states the employer-specific commitment to activities that will benefit the Canadian Labor Market. Your plan will be reviewed annually to assess how far the commitments are being met.
  2. This plan is distinctive from all compliance-related activities that will be done under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.