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A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) evaluating the influence of employing a foriegn worker for a job position in Canada. A positive LMIA reflects that there are no eligible Canadian nationals to fill the required job position and therefore enabling the employer to hire a foriegn national for work. A negative LMIA however states that a Canadian citizen or permanent resident has to be hired for the job opening.


An LMIA application could be presented by an employer as early as 6 months before the actual start date of the job. The wage of the person being employed has an effect on the application process. Employers should consult the median hourly wages of their province or territory in order to determine whether their position is considered high-wage or low-wage, as low-wage positions will require the employer to meet additional criteria. There are specialized streams for employers wishing to obtain LMIAs for certain areas of employment. These include:

  • Hiring In-Home Caregivers

  • Hiring Agricultural Workers

  • Hiring Foreign Academics

  • Hiring within the province of Quebec



  • 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.

  • No eligible Canadian citizen or resident is available to fill the required post.

  • Employers should provide a copy of the confirmation letter to each temporary foreign worker.

  • In order to qualify for an LMIA-exemption under the category of significant benefit for Canadians, the employment of a foreign national must demonstrate significant social or cultural benefit to Canada.


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