A Complete Guide to LMIA Work Permit Canada

Canadian employers need a positive LMIA to hire temporary foreign workers. Here is a comprehensive guide to LMIA Work Permit and its types.

Most foreign workers who wish to work in Canada require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This unique document is issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). It allows Canadian companies to hire foreign workers to fill labour shortages in certain occupations. This guide will examine the different types of LMIA, their requirements, and the application process.

What is LMIA Work Permit Canada?

The ESDC requires employers to complete the LMIA process to demonstrate that hiring a foreign worker won’t negatively impact the Canadian economy. This includes demonstrating that there were no Canadian permanent residents or citizens available to fill the position the company is trying to fill. Foreign workers who receive a positive LMIA can then apply for a work permit for their new Canadian employer.

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What does the LMIA Analysis Include?

The ESDC examines various elements during the LMIA assessment process. This includes:

  • Whether the salary offered to the foreign worker is consistent with the occupation average in the region.
  • Whether working conditions are consistent with local labour laws and relevant bargaining agreements.
  • Whether there is a labour shortage for the occupation position, the employer is trying to fill it.
  • Whether any labour disputes are currently ongoing at the employer’s company.
  • Whether the employer has undertaken sufficient efforts to demonstrate that no Canadian permanent residents or citizens were available to fill the position they are advertising.
  • Whether the foreign worker can transfer their skills or expertise to local workers.
  • Whether the foreign worker will be counted as an official employee of the Canadian employer hiring them.

LMIA Employer Requirements

Employers who wish to complete an LMIA must meet the following requirements:

  • Be willing to pay a $1,000 CAD processing fee. This applies to all LMIA categories except for caregivers working for low-income families and LMIA meant to support permanent resident applications.
  • Advertise their job position for a minimum of four weeks before providing an offer to a foreign worker.
  • Offer evidence they have used two or more recruitment outlets in addition to the Canadian Job Bank’s website.
  • Offer a transition plan that describes how they will reduce their reliance on foreign workers.
  • Offer evidence they have invested in training the worker.
  • Prove that they will not lay off Canadian workers after hiring the new foreign worker.
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Types of LMIA Work Permits

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program enables recognized Canadian employers to temporarily hire foreign workers to fill shortages in certain positions. This program consists of many LMIA subcategories. The different types of LMIA Work Permits are:

1. Low-Wage LMIA

This LMIA Work Permit process must be completed if the foreign worker is paid a wage lower than the provincial median wage.

2. High-Wage LMIA

This type of LMIA must be completed if the foreign worker is paid higher than the provincial median wage.

3. LMIA for Agricultural Workers

This type of LMIA is for employers who wish to hire foreign labour to work in primary agriculture positions on farms. It includes different subcategories, such as:

  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program: This category is for foreign workers from Mexico or specific Caribbean countries.
  • Agricultural Stream: This category is for foreign workers from any country.

4. Global Talent Stream

This LMIA type must be completed if the employer intends to hire a highly-skilled foreign worker in the specific field. This includes:

  • Information system managers
  • Database analysts
  • Software designers and engineers
  • Web developers and designers
  • Information systems analysts

This category is also open to workers in other occupations that have been chosen by a Global Talent Stream partner organization, such as:

5. Facilitated LMIA (Quebec)

The facilitated LMIA process is for Quebec employers who wish to hire foreign workers. This LMIA process is different from the others because it doesn’t require employers to demonstrate they made efforts to recruit Canadian permanent residents or citizens for the position they intend to fill.

Some of the requirements for the Facilitated LMIA include the following:

  • The LMIA application must be submitted in French.
  • There must be high demand and labour shortages for the position the employer intends to fill.
  • The occupation must fall under an approved list of occupations.
  • These occupations vary depending on the Quebec region the employer is in.
  • Provincial and Federal Authorities must approve the LMIA application.

What happens After LMIA Approval?

If the employer is issued a positive LMIA, they can hire a foreign worker. They must also inform the worker about the LMIA decision and instruct them to apply for their work permit. The worker must wait until they are issued this work permit before starting work at their Canadian employer.

What are LMIA-exempt Work Permits?

Foreign workers in specific occupations or situations aren’t required to apply for LMIA to obtain work permits. This includes:

  • Workers who significantly benefit the Canadian economy.
  • Entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals who may start their own businesses in Canada.
  • Skilled workers who speak French and possess a valid job offer in a territory or province outside Quebec.
  • Workers under international-specific international trade agreements.
  • Special exemptions are offered by the Minister of Immigration.
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Need help with LMIA Work Permit Process?

Prospective Canadian employers and foreign workers who intend to go through the LMIA process should Book a consultation with our experts. We have a professional and experienced team led by a Regulated Immigration Consultant. We understand the LMIA process and can help ensure the employer and the employee meet the ESDC’s requirements.


FAQ: LMIA Work Permit


What impact does an LMIA have on getting a work permit?

The foreign worker can utilise this document to apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) once an employer receives a positive LMIA. The approved LMIA and any additional required documentation must be submitted with the work permit application.

Exist any situations in which an LMIA is not required?

Indeed, there are circumstances in which the LMIA is not necessary. These could include specific employment categories, such as those covered by international agreements (like NAFTA), transfers within the same organisation, or positions that are part of specific federal or provincial initiatives.

How much time does an LMIA last?

Normally, an LMIA is good for six months after it is issued. It is necessary to submit the work permit application within this time frame of validity.

Can an LMIA result in Canadian permanent residence?

A job offer backed by an LMIA may be a first step towards permanent residency, but it is not a guarantee. On the other hand, it may help an applicant qualify for several immigration programmes that give preference to talented workers with Canadian work experience.

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