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  • Canada offers various options for individuals looking to migrate and work in the country.
  • One such option is getting sponsored by an employer. This allows a Canadian employer to hire a foreign worker.
  • A positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) can also expedite the visa process, potentially leading to approval within two months.
  • Additionally, based on eligibility, individuals may also have the opportunity to obtain Permanent Residency in Canada.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

An LMIA, or Labour Market Impact Assessment, is a crucial step for Canadian employers who wish to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis. The purpose of an LMIA is to ensure that the hiring of foreign workers will not negatively impact the local job market, while also protecting the rights of the foreign workers. In certain situations, exemptions to the LMIA process may be granted, but this is not typical.

Advantages of an LMIA Application

To obtain a Canada work permit, a two-step process is required. First, the Canadian employer must submit an eligible LMIA application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This includes providing a list of Canadian citizens who applied for the position, the number of Canadians interviewed, and reasons for not hiring them. The employer may also be subject to compliance inspections after the work permit is granted. ESDC will also consider factors such as the applicant's qualifications when assessing the application.

  • Are there Canadian residents in the area who are qualified and willing to accept the job opportunity?
  • Has the employer made a sufficient effort to hire a Canadian employee before considering foreign workers?
  • Will hiring a worker from abroad result in the creation or preservation of jobs within Canada?
  • Does the salary or wage offered by the Canadian employer match the local average for the position?
  • Does the workplace comply with Canadian labor laws and regulations?
  • Does the employer or the industry where the job is located have a history of ongoing labor disputes?

The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will grant a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) if it determines that a specific industry and region have a need for foreign labor.

LMIAs are specific to the employer and position offered, and the location is determined by the employer. Once a positive LMIA is obtained, the worker is not allowed to change their job, employer, or location without obtaining a new LMIA.

There is a distinction made between "high-wage" and "low-wage" foreign workers. Low-wage workers are those who earn less than the median wage in their province or territory, while high-wage workers earn at or above the median wage.

Medium Hourly Earnings by Province/Territory


Wage ($/hr)

Newfoundland and Labrador


Prince Edward Island


Nova Scotia


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British Columbia




Northwest Territories




High-Wage Employees

Canadian employers who wish to hire foreign workers at a salary that is equal to or higher than the median hourly wage for their province or territory are required to submit a transition plan. These plans are implemented to ensure that employers are working towards reducing their reliance on temporary foreign workers and instead hiring Canadian citizens.

Low-Wage Employees

Canadian employers who wish to hire low-wage workers do not need to submit a transition plan when applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). However, they must adhere to a limit on the number of temporary foreign workers earning low wages they can hire. Employers with more than 10 employees will be restricted to a maximum of 10% of low-wage temporary foreign workers. This limit will be gradually lifted over the next two years to encourage the use of a more Canadian workforce.

Processing Times for LMIA

The processing time for Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) can vary from two weeks to several months. However, the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has committed to processing a specific number of LMIA applications within ten business days. This new 10-day service standard will apply to the following categories of applications.

  • All applications of LMIA for the highest-demand jobs (skilled trades), or
  • Highest-paid (top 10%) careers, or
  • Work periods of short duration (120 days or fewer)
LMIA Fees and Further Requirements of Employers 

When applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), Canadian employers must pay a fee of CAD 1,000, except for applications for permanent residency. An additional fee of CAD 100 is also required. Prior to submitting an LMIA application, the employer must advertise the job on the Canada Job Bank for at least four weeks and provide evidence of using at least two other methods of recruiting potential employees. The Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will also require proof that the employer attempted to hire underprivileged Canadians, including those with disabilities or from ethnic or indigenous backgrounds. Only English and French are considered acceptable languages for job requirements when applying for an LMIA. ESDC may not approve an application if an employer has listed a language other than English or French as a requirement. Employers must also provide assurance that they will not reduce the hours or terminate Canadian citizens when hiring temporaryforeign workers.

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Steps to apply for the express entry program

canada-lmia has one of the world's most forward thinking immigration programs. There are multiple programs by which one can apply ot migrate to canada-lmia.

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  • coaching to improve scores on standardized tests used in the visa evaluation process
  • determining eligibility for work in Canada through the Canada Immigration Points Calculator
  • job search assistance to find employment in Canada
  • complete assistance and guidance in completing the visa application form
  • free counseling from Canada immigration experts on how to begin the process and identify suitable job opportunities
  • free webinars on Canada work and immigration led by our immigration professionals to help reach professional goals
  • step by step guidance on working in Canada through Y-Path
  • assistance in gathering supporting documentation
  • visa interview preparation if required
  • updates and follow-up with the consulate.

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