Applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

On June 20, 2014, the Government of Canada announced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Visit Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for more information.

As an employer, you must apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before you can hire a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW). A positive LMIA will show that:

  • there is no Canadian worker available to do the job
  • there is a need for the foreign worker to fill the job you offer
  • hiring a TFW will not negatively affect the Canadian labour market

Some work categories are exempt from the LMIA process. See Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) How to Hire a Temporary Foreign Worker guide.

How to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment

  1. Refer to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system to determine the skill level of the occupation.

    The NOC is Canada's nationally accepted system for organizing job titles into occupational group descriptions, each of which has a four-digit code. This coding is used to classify occupations according to skill type (i.e., the nature of the work performed) and skill level (i.e., education or training required).

    To learn more, review the NOC 2011 Matrix, which provides an overview of the entire occupational classification structure based on skill levels and skill types.

    You may also wish to watch our NOC video tutorial to learn more about NOC codes and the NOC 2011 matrix. 

  2. Meet minimum advertising requirements. Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada  (ESDC) reserves the right to require alternative or additional advertising if it believes that broader advertisement would find qualified Canadians or permanent residents.

  3. Meet or exceed the prevailing wage rate for the position. Prevailing wage rate is identified as the average hourly wage for the requested occupation in the specified geographical area.

  4. Special conditions apply if you hire foreign workers in some industry sectors and occupations, including seasonal agriculture, live-in caregivers and occupations requiring lower levels of formal training (NOC C and D; review the NOC 2011 Matrix).

  5. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) allows eligible foreign workers to work in Canada for an authorized period of time if employers can demonstrate that:

    • they cannot find suitable Canadians/permanent residents to fill the jobs
    • the entry of these workers will not have a negative effect on the Canadian labour market.

    For more information, see CIC’s How to Hire a Temporary Foreign Worker guide.

  6. Submit an application for an LMIA to Service Canada. You can submit this application before identifying the Temporary Foreign Worker.

  7. If Service Canada approves the job offer, send a copy of the LMIA confirmation letter to the foreign worker.

  8. Advise the foreign worker to apply for a work permit from CIC.

  9. CIC must be satisfied that the foreign worker is qualified and meets certification and licensing requirements for regulated occupations in Canada. Consult the professional association's website to determine the process for foreign-trained workers.

Additional criteria

You must use the new LMIA application form specific to each stream of the TFWP: the application form includes a signed statement that the employer will abide by the program requirements. Choose the correct application form for the type of worker you need.

  • If you have not previously applied for an LMIA, you must provide a business licence or permit.

  • If you have previously applied for an LMIA and are applying for another LMIA, you must demonstrate that you have met the terms and conditions of employment set out in previous LMIA confirmation letters.

    Learn more about the supporting documentation required.