The Complete LMIA Guide 2021


So you have your eyes set on working in Canada – good for you!

The country is known for its demanding workforce and booming economy, and its scenic backdrops are a bonus.

Before you are hired by a Canadian employer, the employer must be able to obtain a positive LMIA. But what exactly is an LMIA? How does it affect your employment in Canada?

We’ll answer all these questions and more in this article.

What is LMIA Canada?

Before we begin, we must first discuss the LMIA meaning.

LMIA simply stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment.

It is a document issued by the Employment and Social Development Canada or ESDC that shows that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively affect the country’s labor market.

This assessment was previously known as LMO Canada or a Labour Market Opinion.

To increase your chances of being hired, you will need to obtain a positive LMIA if your employer asks for one.

LMIA Work Permit

To obtain a Canadian work permit, Labour Market Impact Assessment Canada plays an important role in being employed in Canada.

If you obtain a negative LMIA, this means that foreign workers are not given priority for the specific labor market you’re applying for.

This reflects how crucial a positive LMIA is in obtaining Canadian work permits.

LMIA Application

Applying for an LMIA Canada is the responsibility of the employer.

The employer must first seek the opinion of the ESDC as to the feasibility of employing a foreign worker for a particular position.

The employer must submit a formal application along with documents and other employer requirements LMIA.

LMIA requirements include: A filled out Labour Market Impact Assessment Application Form

  1. Proof of Business Legitimacy
  2. Proof of Advertisement
  3. Job Offer
  4. Skilled Trades Job Offer or Schedule D

LMIA Confirmation Letter

If the employer obtains a positive Canada LMIA, this means that he is allowed to hire a foreign worker.

The LMIA confirms that hiring a foreign worker will not have any negative impact on the current labor market.

This is why a positive LMIA is often referred to as a Confirmation Letter.

LMIA Process

The issuance of an LMIA has to go through a rigorous assessment process.

It includes the following steps undertaken by the ESDC:

  1. Verify the Employer Eligibility to Apply for LMIA;
  2. Assess if the job order is genuine;
  3. Assess if the job offer is consistent with Federal-Provincial-Territorial agreements;
  4. Verify and ensure that the language requirement is English and French; and
  5. Assess the overall impact of hiring a foreign worker in the labor market.

Once a positive LMIA is issued, the employer must inform the foreign worker to obtain an LMIA visa to complete his Labour Market Impact Assessment Canada immigration.

LMIA Employer Requirements

To be eligible, there must be proof of the following employer requirements for Labour Market Impact Assessment:

  1. There is a need for a foreign worker;
  2. The employer can pay the salary to a foreign worker;
  3. The employer runs a legitimate business;
  4. The employer offers goods or services to the public; and
  5. The employer has not laid-off any employees within 12 months before submitting an LMIA application.

LMIA Exemption

You must note, however, that not all job offers in Canada require an LMIA. The following are jobs that are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment requirement:

  1. Those under an international agreement;
  2. Those under an International Mobility Program;
  3. Those under an agreement between Canada and a territory or province;
  4. Those that will bring important cultural, economic, or social benefits to Canada;
  5. Those under Reciprocal Employment Agreements with other states;
  6. Those designated by the Minister; and
  7. Those that are considered as religious and charity work, except volunteers.

To be more specific, you may check out the LMIA exemption code found on Canada’s official immigration website.

Jobs with LMIA

In general, you will need a positive LMIA to hire a foreign worker in Canada, unless the job falls under one of the exemptions.

Thus, Labour Market Impact Assessment jobs range from truck drivers to healthcare workers, to software engineers.

As long as it is not exempted, you will need an LMIA to hire a foreign worker.


How Long Does it take to Obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

Ideally, obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment takes an average of 10 days. But depending on the gravity of the assessment, some applications take up to 3 months to process.

How can I get an LMIA job from Canada?

To get a Labour Market Impact Assessment job in Canada, the employer must first obtain a positive LMIA to be eligible to hire foreign workers.

How much time does it take to get LMIA in Canada?

Getting a Labour Market Impact Assessment in Canada can range somewhere between 10 days to 3 months.

What is the duration of LMIA?

If a positive LMIA is issued, it is valid for up to 6 months from the date of its issuance.

Who can give LMIA in Canada?

The Labour Market Impact Assessment is issued by the Employment and Social Development Canada or ESDC.

When I can apply for LMIA in Canada?

You can apply for the Labour Market Impact Assessment in Canada if you plan to hire a foreign worker, provided that you did not lay-off employees within 12 months.

When do you need an LMIA work permit?

Employers need a Labour Market Impact Assessment work permit before hiring a foreign employee, unless the job is listed as LMIA-exempt.

Who needs a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

Every employer who wants to hire a foreign employer must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment, unless the job is one of those exempted under law or international agreements.

How to get an LMIA?

To obtain an LMIA, an employer must submit an accomplished LMIA application form along with the necessary documents to the Service Canada Center. Then, the ESDC will issue the Labour Market Impact Assessment after its assessment.

How to hire if you need an LMIA?

If you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment before hiring a foreign worker, it is necessary to obtain a positive LMIA first before applying for a work permit.

How to hire if you don’t need an LMIA?

If the job does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment, the foreign worker can directly apply for a work permit in Canada.

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