Understanding LMIA For Canada Work Permit! Things You Need To Know!


The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that a Canadian employer may need before hiring a foreign worker in Canada.

LMIA assessment is done by the Employment and Social Development of Canada (ESDC).

LMIA basically ensures that a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) who is moving to Canada will not be the burning spot of other workers.

It should also prove that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident can fill the specific position. Therefore, the employer needs to hire an immigrant as a worker.

Generally, for an employer to be eligible to get an employee through LMIA, they should advertise the position for a minimum of four weeks.

Moreover, they should also interview Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill the position. If none of the applicants fulfill the job description, only then can the employer hire an immigrant worker.

Employers should have a positive LMIA from ESDC to hire a temporary foreign worker. Positive means that new temporary foreign workers will have a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labor market.

However, a negative LMIA will negatively impact the Canadian labor market.

We have come across some of our readers who have been victims of fraud with negative LMIA. So, we would suggest our readers do their own due diligence.

Below are different categories of LMIA.

Categories of LMIA

There are different categories of LMIAs-

High-wage workers

Employees who are hired at a wage rate higher than the prevailing rate in the provincial/territorial median wage rate are called high-wage workers.

Any employer who wants to hire such workers needs to submit a transition plan with their LMIA application. Therefore, they would not be totally reliant on foreign temporary workers.

Providing training or hiring Canadian apprentices can help employers prove this. Moreover, they can also show how they are helping the immigrant workers in getting their permanent residence.

An employer chosen for inspection will need to show the progress they have made on their transition plan. This report is also needed when renewing their LMIA.

Low-wage workers

Employers who are looking to hire low-wage workers are not needed to submit any transition plans

However, to ensure that Canadians are given first priority for any listed jobs, the Government has set a maximum number of low-wage workers an employer can hire.

Also, some of these occupations might get rejected for LMIA. Employers who hire low-wage workers need to pay for the transportation of the employees- both ways.

Moreover, they need to make sure that the employees have affordable housing and health insurance.

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program

The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) lets employers hire foreign workers from Mexico and the Caribbean to work in Canada.

This is when local workers are not able to fulfill the labor demands. These employers can hire workers for a maximum of 8 months, between January 1 and December 15.

Also, they should be able to offer at least 240 hours of work to the workers within 6 months or less. Lastly, the workers must have some experience in the farming sector.

Agricultural Stream

The Agricultural Stream also lets employers hire Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) when no Canadian citizens or permanent residents are available.

To be eligible to apply to this stream the employer needs to be in the production of specific commodities.

Some examples of these commodities are fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, flowers, dairy, and so on. The production must be related to on-farm primary agriculture.

LMIA application fee under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is $1,000. Getting an LMIA is the employer’s responsibility.

Furthermore, fees should also be paid by the employer. The processing times of LMIA are unpredictable. They can be anywhere between a few weeks to a few months.

Documents needed

Foreign workers can apply for their employer-specific work permit once their employer gets a positive LMIA. You need the following to apply for a work permit-

  • A valid job offer letter
  • A contract
  • A copy of the LMIA

Thank you for reading!


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