Work – Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker (formerly known as a Labour Market Opinion – LMO)
Employers of some types of temporary workers need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before the worker applies for a work permit. An LMIA is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada that gives the employer permission to hire a temporary worker.
A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.
Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit.
To apply for a work permit, a worker needs:
• a job offer letter,
• a contract,
• a copy of the LMIA, and
• the LMIA number.
What are assessed in a LMIA application?
When assessing the merits of the applicant ESDC will consider:
• Are there Canadians in the region available and willing to fill the job on offer?
• Has the employer made sufficient efforts to fill the position with a Canadian worker?
• Will hiring a foreign national help create or retain jobs in Canada?
• Is the employer offering a wage or salary that is consistent with the regional average for the position at hand?
• Are the working conditions acceptable by Canadian labour standards?
• Is the employer or the industry in which the job sits engaged in ongoing labour disputes?
If ESDC is satisfied that a given region and industry are healthy enough to sustain foreign labour, a positive LMIA will be issued.
LMIAs are specific to employers, the position being offered, and the region in which the job is located. Obtaining a positive LMIA does not allow a worker to change his/her job or employer, or move to another Canadian region after acquiring a work permit. In any of those instances he/she is required to seek a new LMIA.
While an LMIA is usually required for a Canadian employer to hire a temporary foreign worker, there are a number of exemptions to the LMIA requirement under International Mobility Program, international agreements, Canadian interest, or intra-company transferees.
While the majority of LMIA-exemptions are granted due to either international agreements or Canadian interest, there are a number of LMIA-exemptions outside of these categories. In some cases, LMIA-exemptions are granted for humanitarian and compassionate reasons. As well, certain candidates for Canadian permanent residency may be eligible to apply for LMIA-exempt work permits
Want to find out if you need an LMIA for your employment or need help with your work permit application?