Employers & Labour Market Impact Assessment

Employers wishing to hire foreign workers must provide the foreign candidates a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), in order for them to apply for a Work Visa. This is a document that Employment and Social Development Canada issues to employers who have applied for it and meet all their requirements. Their mandate is to protect the Canadian labour force, therefore they must ensure that no Canadians/Permanents Residents are available to do the job.

There are various LMIA streams available and some requirements vary between streams, but there are some that pertain to all of them:

  1. Foreign workers must be on Payroll (deducting CPP, EI, Income Tax), they cannot be hired as contractors.
  2. The position offered must be a full-time position - min. 30 hours/week.
  3. The wage offered must be the prevailing wage for that occupation and job location, as regulated by the Canadian Government or higher.
  4. Payment of recruitment costs related to the hiring of a temporary foreign worker are full responsibility of the employer and is unable to recoup, directly or indirectly, any of these costs from the worker. Professional consulting fees and the Government fee are both considered a recruitment cost.

The additional requirements for each stream are as follow:

High Wage and Low Wage positions

Depending on the occupation that is being applied for, they are classified as Low Wage or High Wage.

Low Wage occupations are those that pay below the Median Wage of the Province.

  • There is a cap of 10% of the company's workforce that may be foreign workers with a low wage.
  • The employer must pay round-trip transportation costs between the country of origin and the work location in Canada.
  • The LMIA supports a work permit of 1 year.

 High Wage occupations are those that pay above the Median Wage of the Province.

  • A Transition Plan must be included with the application, detailing the efforts that the employer will undertake to attract, retain and train Canadians/Permanent Residents to replace the foreign workers.
  • The LMIA supports a work permit of 2 years.

Requirements for both streams:

  • Advertising must run for 4 weeks in 3 sources.
  • There is a government application fee of $1,000/worker, that is non-refundable if the LMIA is refused.
  • Processing time varies depending on Province and occupation.

Skilled Worker - Support Application of Permanent Residency

  • This program is intended for Skilled Workers regardless of wage.
  • Advertising must run for 4 weeks in 3 sources.
  • There is a government application fee of $1,000/worker, that is non-refundable if the LMIA is refused. The fee requirement does not apply to employers choosing only to support a foreign national's application for a permanent resident visa and no work visa will be required.
  • The LMIA supports a work permit of 2 years.
  • Processing time varies, depending on occupation.

In-Home Caregiver

  • Advertising has to be run for 4 weeks in 3 sources, 2 of which have to target under-represented groups.
  • There is a government application fee of $1,000/worker if the family income exceeds $150,000/year.
  • The employer has to provide the Notice of Assessment of the past year in order to proof that the family income is sufficient to pay the wage of the in-home caregiver.
  • The employer may provide optional in-home accommodation, it is not mandatory.
  • The employer must pay round-trip transportation costs between the country of origin and the work location in Canada.
  • The LMIA supports a work permit of 2 years.
  • Processing time is 6-8 weeks.

Agricultural Stream

  • This program is for agricultural jobs that must be performed within the boundaries of a farm, nursery or greenhouse and production must be included on the National Commodities List.
  • Advertising must run for 2 weeks in 2 sources.
  • There is no government application fee.
  • The employer must pay round-trip transportation costs between the country of origin and the work location in Canada.
  • Employers must provide foreign workers with adequate, suitable and affordable housing. Some exceptions apply.
  • The LMIA supports a work permit of 1 year.
  • Processing time is 6 - 8 weeks.