About labour market impact assessment (lmia)

What Labour Market Impact Assessment stands for | Experts explain

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is an official document verified and issued by the Canadian government under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). A positive LMIA also called a confirmation letter, says that the country is running out of skilled workers for specific occupations and it needs Labour from outside the country. It is issued to Canadian employers on submitting the Labour market impact assessment application form. It provides legal rights to employers in Canada to hire skilled workers from other countries.


Purpose of LMIA

The objective of implementing the concept of LMIA is to be fair with the natives and provide them the preference to get selected for the unfilled positions. The document proves that employers need a more skilled workforce for a particular vacancy in Canada. It restricts Canadian employers from giving favors to foreigners on a work basis. There is also a strict and step-by-step procedure that the officials follow to ensure the application for LMIA is genuine and can be approved to get Labour from non-native countries. The LMIA also ensures that there will be no impact on the Canadian Labour market by bringing Labour outside the nation.


Labour market impact assessment categories

The process of approving the LMIA request can be categorized in two ways that are low-wage and high-wage workers. Employees paid under the limit of provincial/territorial median wage fall in the category of low-wage employees, and those paid at or above the limit come into the high-wage employees’ category.   

In both categories, employers need to prove that they have done enough searches for deserving candidates but ended with no recruitment. Along with it, some more restrictions also apply to ensure no employer is partial to foreign workers. These conditions are also based on categories illustrated below.

Conditions apply to High-wages workers: Employers need to put the LMIA application along with a transition scheme to allow candidates to enter the country on a work permit. The transition scheme/plan ensures that the LMIA applicants have taken the necessary steps to generate skilled workers in the country through a training program or hiring of freshers temporarily. A valid proof is required to submit verifying your activities for the transition plan.

Conditions apply to Low-wages workers: Employers looking to hire low-wage workers under labour market impact assessment don’t need to submit transition plan. They need to put in the application. But they also need to agree to some restrictions the Government of Canada sets. It restricts employers with ten or more employees to employ only 20% of low-wage foreign workers of total workforce strength.


Below is the list of Median hourly wages (offered by the IRCC)


Median hourly wages effective May 11, 2020 (2019 Wage)



British Columbia




New Brunswick


Newfoundland and Labrador


Northwest Territories


Nova Scotia






Prince Edward Island









Foreign workers paid under the provincial/territorial median hourly wage limit are provided some benefits listed here.

  1. They are paid for round trips transportation
  2. They are offered affordable accommodation
  3. They are paid for private health insurance
  4. Employer-employee agreement also gets singed


Who need LMIA

Most employers who want to hire a foreign worker to run their occupation or business need LMIA. But there might be a case when employers or workers don’t need the document. To check your eligibility for labour market impact assessment

  • You can check the LMIA exemption codes and LMIA-based work permit exemptions.
  • OR contact International Mobility Workers Unit.

Here are few categories for which employers need to apply for the application

  • Hiring In-Home Caregivers
  • Hiring Agricultural Workers
  • Hiring Foreign Academics
  • Hiring within the province of Quebec


How to apply for LMIA

An employer could present an LMIA application as early as six months before the actual start date of the job. The wage of the person being employed affects the application process. Employers must review the median hourly wages of their state or territory in order to determine whether their position is considered high-wage or low-wage, as low-wage positions will need the employer to meet additional criteria.

The labour market impact assessment online application portal provided by the TFWP provides a secure, easy, and reliable way of applying electronically. Once you create the account on the portal, you can access the following features.

  • Please put in your LMIA application (For the timely evaluation of an LMIA application, the employer needs to submit it at least 30 days before the actual start date for the position)
  • Submit supporting documents (that No Eligible Canadian citizen or resident is available to fill the required post)
  • Pay the LMIA fee if you are eligible
  • Track the application
  • Review already submitted applications
  • It is mandatory to have a legal job bank account for official formalities that can be created on the official IRCC website.


LMIA Processing time

As per the IRCC website information, the processing time is tabulated below

Application type

Average processing time

Global Talent Stream

10 business days

Agricultural stream

19 business days

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program

14 business days

Permanent residence stream

20 business days

In-home caregivers

25 business days

High-wage stream

31 business days

Low-wage stream

35 business days



LMIA fees and other requirements

  • The processing fee for each Labour market impact assessment is Can $1000. Employers also need to pay extra Can $100 privilege charges.
  • Valid proofs that showcase your potential engagements to generate skilled Labour within the country that should be conducted at least four weeks prior.

Once the employers get the positive LMIA document, they must provide a copy of confirmation to the recruited foreign worker. Only then the selected candidate for the job will be able to proceed with applying for a work permit.

For any doubt related to LMIA processing or applying for LMIA work permit, feel free to consult us. We are the best Canadian immigration consultants and offer our VISA services in different categories.



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