LMIA-Labour Market Impact Assessment

The purpose of the LMIA is to ensure the arrival of foreign workers will not hurt workers in Canada. Canada operates the TFWP as a means to supplement its workforce when there is no qualified worker in Canada to do a job. An employer looking to hire a foreign worker in Canada often needs to submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application to Service Canada. The Service Canada employee reviewing the application must determine that the hiring of the foreign worker will have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market. Among other factors, it must be clear that no qualified Canadians were passed up in favour of the foreign worker, and that the foreign worker will be given a salary and benefits that meet federal and provincial standards.

Temporary foreign workers being paid under the provincial/territorial median wage are considered low-wage, while those being paid at or above the median wage are considered high-wage. 

Employers must provide evidence that they have attempted to find qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill job positions before turning to foreign workers. Also, employers may be inspected for compliance with government regulations after their employee has begun working in Canada.

High Wage Workers

Employers seeking to hire high-wage workers must submit transition plans along with their LMIA application to ensure that they are taking steps to reduce their reliance on temporary foreign workers over time. Employers can demonstrate how they are assisting their high-skilled temporary foreign worker(s) in becoming Canadian permanent residents.

The transition plans are designed to ensure that employers seeking foreign workers are fulfilling the purpose of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). This entails that they are using the TFWP as a last and limited resort to address immediate labour needs on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians are not available, ensuring that Canadians are given the first chance at available jobs.

Low Wage Workers

Employers offering a wage that is below the provincial/territorial median hourly wage must:

  • pay for round-trip transportation for the temporary foreign worker;
  • ensure affordable housing is available;
  • pay for private health insurance until workers are eligible for provincial health coverage;
  • register the temporary foreign worker with the provincial/territorial workplace safety board; and
  • provide an employer-employee contract.

LMIA applications for these sectors will not be processed in economic regions where the unemployment rate is 6 percent or higher. Given its unique labour market conditions, and as requested by the Government of the Northwest Territories, applications in these sectors for positions located in Yellowknife will be accepted for processing.

Fast Processing of LMIA applications

LMIA’s in the following categories can be provided in 10 business days:

  • Highest Demand Occupations

The 10-day service standard for this category is limited to skilled trade positions where the wage offered is at or above the provincial/territorial median wage. These positions are essential to the development of major infrastructure and natural resource extraction projects and are therefore considered vital to Canadian economic growth.

  • High Paid Occupations

The 10-day service standard for this category is limited to employers hiring temporary foreign workers in the highest-paid occupations that offer wages in the top 10 percent of wages earned by Canadians in a given province or territory where the job is located. This wage level indicates that a temporary foreign worker is the highest-skilled in their occupation and that those skills are difficult to find in the Canadian labour market.

  • Short Duration Jobs

The 10-day service standard for this category is limited to employers requesting temporary foreign workers for a short duration, defined as 120 calendar days or less, in any occupation where the wage offered is at or above the provincial or territorial median wage. Positions falling under this category include those related to repairs or manufacturing equipment and warranty work.

After receiving a positive LMIA, the employer should send a copy to their identified foreign worker. The positive LMIA must be included in the worker’s application for a Temporary Work Permit.

Fee for the LMIA Application

Employers wishing to hire a temporary foreign worker to Canada must pay a processing fee of CDN $1,000 for each request for a Labour Market Impact Assessment.