Labour Market Impact Assessment - LMIA

Canadian employer wishing to hire a foreign worker must first receive government approval before the hiring can take place.


In order to receive a positive LMIA, the Canadian government employee reviewing an application must determine that the hiring of a foreign worker will have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market.


The LMIA process is different depending on whether the targeted employee is classified as “high-wage” or “low-wage”. Temporary foreign workers being paid under the provincial/territorial median wage are considered low-wage, while those being paid at or above are considered high-wage.


Generally speaking, all Canadian 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. In addition, employers may be inspected for compliance to 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 Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application to ensure that they are taking steps to reduce their reliance on temporary foreign workers over time.


Low-Wage Workers

Employers seeking to hire low-wage workers do not need to submit transition plans with their Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).


To restrict access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), while ensuring that Canadians are always considered first for available jobs, the Government of Canada has introduced a cap to limit the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers that a business can employ. Furthermore, certain low-wage occupations may be refused for LMIA processing. Employers with 10 or more employees applying for a new LMIA are subject to a cap of 10 percent on the proportion of their workforce that can consist of low-wage temporary foreign workers. This cap will be phased in over 2015 and 2016 in order to provide employers who are above the 10 percent cap time to transition and adjust accordingly.


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.

Advertising Requirements

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.


English and French are the only languages that can be determined as job requirements, both for LMIAs and for job vacancy advertisements, unless the employer can prove that another language is otherwise required for the position.


Employers must advertise all job vacancies across the Canadian job market for at least four weeks before applying for a LMIA. Towards this end, employers are required to prove that they have used at least two other recruitment methods in addition to having posted an advertisement on the Canada Job Bank. Employers must focus advertising efforts on groups of Canadians who are under-represented, such as First Nations or persons with disabilities.


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