LMIA – hiring foreign worker / owner operator

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Labor Market Impact Assessment – What is LMIA?

Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that a Canadian employer need to get before hiring a foreign worker. Where in case the foreign worker owns the business, (s)he is an owner operator, he is eligible to apply the LMIA as well. Labor Market Impact Assessment is by Service Canada. It is an employer driven application. However, employers may hire temporary workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program (IMP). However, if the employer choose TFWP to hire foreign worker, the employer will need a positive LMIA.

Once an employer gets the LMIA, the foreign worker can apply for a work permit through IRCC.

A positive LMIA means:

  • No Canadian worker available to do the job
  • Foreign worker is justify to fill the job
  • No negative effect to Canadian labour market

LMIA minimum recruitment requirements

  • Ad in the Job Bank
  • At least two additional methods, one national in scope
  • Must consider the under represented groups

Some jobs are LMIA exempt. Seek advice to a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) or Immigration Lawyer for more in details.

Process of LMIA application

Employers will be required to provide a variety of information about the position for which they want to hire a foreign skilled worker, including the number of Canadians who applied for the position, the number of Canadians who were interviewed, and detailed explanations for why the Canadian workers considered were not hired.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC or Service Canada) will consider salary, working conditions, area of position, employer’s recruitment efforts, benefit the foreigner will bring in Canada, etc. However, over the years, ESDC/ Service Canada has evolved their assessment through asking boarder and more specific evidences which attribute to the complexity of such application. It is wise to seek help from either an immigration lawyer or RCIC (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant) for this type.

In general, based on experience of NLAi immigration services, for jobs located in one of Canada’s major cities, the more specialized the position and the higher the salary offered, the higher the chances of obtaining a positive LMIA will be. And of where less populated cities and regions, obtaining an LMIA tends to be easier.

LMIA exempted

While employer struggle between the talent recruitment and needed LMIA process, there are certain work permits are LMIA exempted should the foreigner be eligible. Intra-company employee transfer, post-graduate work permit (PGWP) are examples. Besides, Canada has treaty with some economic regions, e.g. USA, EU and other developed countries, you may hire foreigner and apply work permit to IRCC without the headache of applying LMIA. Find an Immigration Lawyer or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) for more in depth information.

High wage stream & Low wage stream

EDSC use the provincial or territorial median hourly wage as definition for high or low wage position. The wage being offered for the position will determine if you need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment under the Stream for High-wage Positions or the Stream for Low-wage Positions, each with their own requirements. A prudent immigration services provider should give you advice on how to best present your interests.

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