Things to Know About Canada Labour Market Impact Assessment

When considering how to hire international labour for your Canadian firm, you must consider the LMIA. This term is Labmda Impact Assessment, and it is significant since it assures that your staff have legitimate work permits in Canada.

Obtaining an LMIA is essential before adding foreign workers to your Canadian staff, according to immigration lawyers in Canada. This process requires meeting specific requirements set forth by the Canadian government, and it could take a long time.

By law, employers are usually obliged to first get the LMIA to foreign workers from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, or India. The understanding of the basic principles of LMIA is what is needed for the fastening of the procedure of getting foreign workers for your Canadian enterprise. A positive LMIA, also known as a validation letter, certifies that it is legally necessary for a foreign employee to have a specific position within the company.

Understanding the Labour Market Impact Assessment, or LMIA

The labour market impact assessment, or LMIA, is the document that Employment and Social Development Canada officially issues. It is the rule that a Canadian firm may hire a foreign worker. A positive LMIA, also known as a validation letter, certifies that it is legally necessary for a foreign employee to have a specific position within the company.

Who Requires an LMIA?

Canadian employers aiming to recruit foreign workers temporarily for positions in their firms must secure an LMIA. Likewise, foreign workers pursuing job opportunities in Canada necessitate a favourable LMIA from their potential Canadian employer to meet the criteria for a work permit.

Dissimilar to an employer-specific one, an open work permit offers the freedom to toil for any Canadian employer across diverse sectors. If eligible for or possessing an open work permit, foreign workers are exempt from obliging an LMIA from their Canadian employer for employment authorization.

LMIA Exemptions for Work Permits

Some categories of foreign workers are exempt from requiring an LMIA to obtain a work visa. Listed below are a few exclusions:

Foreign Academics and Their Partners

International students studying in Canada who have a valid study permit and are enrolled in courses that will last at least six months are allowed to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week. In addition, these scholars’ spouses or common-law partners may work under an open work visa.

Partners of Overseas Employees

Partners and companions of foreign adept workers possessing specific permits like AIP work permits, provincial nominations, bridging open work permits, or Quebec Selection Certificates (QSC) are eligible for spousal open work permits. These permits authorize them to work in Canada without the necessity of an LMIA.

LMIA Exemptions Based on Public Policies

Certain public policies allow for exemptions from requiring an LMIA when issuing open work permits to temporary residents who have applied for Canadian permanent residency. Additionally, Hong Kong residents seeking work permits for a limited duration are also exempt from LMIA requirements.

Exceptions for Humanitarian Reasons or Lack of Support

Under this category, exemptions apply to individuals facing humanitarian situations or lacking support. This includes refugees, refugee claimants, vulnerable workers, individuals under an unenforceable removal order, and destitute students.

International Agreements

Among the international accords, the exempting the LMIA obligations from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement (CUKTCA), and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) are the CETA, the Canada-UK Trade Continue LMIA limitations do not apply to capitalists travelling to Canada under the said agreements, professionals, technicians, and their spouses, or intra-company transferees.

Getting Around the LMIA Application Process

Evaluating the LMIA Prerequisite

Canadian employers have to prove that the LMIA is a necessity before they can start the application process. The employers should communicate their contacts with the International Mobility Workers Unit to find out whether an LMIA is needed for the specific job. Employers can, through this exchange, find out if the bona fide temporary foreign worker hired for the job is exempt from the need of an LMIA.

Submission of an LMIA to ESDC

When an LMIA is deemed necessary, employers are required to apply for Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) in addition to the required paperwork. The classifications under which temporary foreign workers are enlisted affect the application process.

Four LMIA classifications are available: Agricultural Stream, Seasonal Agricultural Worker Programme, Low-Wage Workers, and High-Wage Workers. Companies that plan to hire high- or low-wage workers may submit an LMIA application up to six months before the employee’s projected start date.

Some of the essential documents for submission encompass:

  • Proof of business legitimacy
  • Evidence of recruitment efforts
  • Completed and signed application form
  • Processing fee for each requested position
  • A copy of the employment contract

Evaluation of LMIA Application

Upon the employer’s submission of the LMIA application, ESDC will scrutinize the application to ascertain the legitimacy of the enterprise and the employment proposition. Additionally, an evaluation of the impact on the labour market resulting from the recruitment of a temporary foreign worker will be conducted.

The employer will be provided with either a favourable or unfavourable outcome, enabling them to advance with the recruitment process based on the particulars of the application and documentation submitted.

Timeframe for Processing

The duration for processing the labour market impact assessment varies depending on the category in which the foreign worker is being employed. Typically, the processing period of the LMIA spans from 5 to 46 business days.

LMIA Requirements for Applications

Hard copy LMIA submissions are sent via postal mail to the relevant Service Canada Processing Centre. These submissions need to include evidence that the following requirements have been met:

Processing Fee

CAD 1000 is required for all LMIA submissions, and this money is not refundable if the outcome is not favourable. This fee may not apply to certain applicants under LMIA for in-home carers.

Business Authenticity Documents

Records validating the employer’s designation as a legitimate Canadian enterprise.

Progression Blueprint

Employers are obliged to present a blueprint delineating how they aim to progressively shift towards enlisting Canadian citizens and permanent residents rather than temporary foreign workers.

Recruitment Endeavours

Employers must provide proof of substantial initiatives made to recruit Canadian citizens and permanent residents for the role before turning to recruiting a temporary foreign worker.


LMIA submissions must incorporate details regarding the remunerations extended to temporary foreign workers. This ensures differentiation between high-wage and low-wage positions and assures that temporary foreign workers receive fair compensation compared to their Canadian counterparts.

Occupational Safety

Employers must exhibit that temporary foreign workers will receive commensurate workplace health and safety standards as Canadian employees in analogous roles. This encompasses furnishing proof of insurance coverage for temporary foreign workers commensurate with the health coverage tendered by the province or territory where the enterprise is situated.


Working in Canada can considerably increase a person’s eligibility for permanent residency. Acquiring an LMIA can benefit both organisations and employees equally. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with important facts regarding LMIA for optimal outcomes. If you’re seeking further information about LMIA or are interested in applying to work as a temporary worker and require immigration services, don’t hesitate to reach out to the best immigration lawyers in Ottawa today. Book an appointment with them to receive expert guidance and support tailored to your specific needs and circumstances!