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Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), formerly called Labor Market Opinion (LMO) is a permit that aids in hiring foreign workers on temporary basis in Canada.

Here the Canadian employer submits 2 applications, first to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for Labor Market Impact Assessment, next to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to obtain the actual work permit.

The verification process assesses that a foreign worker hired will not impact Canada’s labor market in a harm’s way.


  • Application fee for LMIA submission is $1000.
  • English and French are the languages to be included in job requirements/advertisements unless the employer proves another language is needed for the position.
  • The advertised job must be present in the Canadian job market for minimum 4 weeks before applying to LMIA. Also the employers must prove that 2 other recruitment methods/media were used besides posting on Canadian Job Bank website.
  • When submitting LMIA for high-wage positions, employers should forward a transition plan to ESDC along with. The transition must state how the employer plans to reduce reliance on foreign workers. Ex. showing proof of investment in training Canadian job force.
  • Employers must not fire or reduce work hours of Canadian workers in order to hire foreigners.
  • Information like what job position/ designation is opened, number of Canadians applied for the same, who were interviewed, and other below mentioned aspects on why the foreign worker is preferred over a Canadian citizen is to be explained in detail.
  • Other points include occupation listed on the LMIA that defines a job in Accommodations, Food Service or Retail Sales or the job listed under Skill Level D in the NOC.
  • The location where the job will be taken by foreigner must have an annual unemployment rate of over 6%.
  • Airline jobs have more requirements.

Types of LMIA

  • High Wage
  • Low Wage

Aspects Considered for LMIA Approval

  • Salary offered to foreign worker is same in particular location.
  • Suitable working conditions complying with labor laws, collective bargaining agreements.
  • Labor shortage due to dispute/other reasons to hire foreigner.
  • Hire of foreign worker will help gain unique skills to Canadians.
  • Foreign hiring will help create more jobs in the country.
  • Steps were taken to recruit Canadian to fill the position but nobody got selected.
  • Other facts.

Time Period for LMIA Approval

Usually 10 standard business days is the time period to approve LMIA on

  • High demand skilled trades.
  • Jobs with wages in the same category of top 10% wage earning Canadians.
  • Jobs with work period of less than 120 days.

Upon considering favorable labor market factors, ESDC issues LMIA to the Canadian employer. After which he/she forwards it to the foreign worker, to come to work in Canada via work permit.

LMIA Exemption for Foreign Workers

Canadian employers can recruit foreign workers without LMIA under following treaties or category

  • Foreign workers covered under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • Intra-company transferees.
  • IEC participants (International Experience Canada, referred as Working Holiday permit holders).
  • Post-Graduate & Bridging Open works permit holders.
  • Academic exchange participants, doctoral fellows, professors.

All such programs come under International Mobility Programs.

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