Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

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Definition of Labour Market Impact Assessment?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that a Canadian employer may require before hiring a foreign worker. A positive LMIA will demonstrate the need for a foreign worker to fill the position. It will also demonstrate that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available for the position. A positive LMIA is also known as a confirmation letter.

If an LMIA is required, the employer must apply for one.
Once the LMIA is obtained by the employer, the worker can apply for a work permit.
A worker must first apply for a work permit.

  • A Job offer letter
  • A contract
  • A copy of the LMIA, and
  • The LMIA number

Who require a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

Before a temporary worker can apply for a work permit, employers must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An LMIA is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada that allows an employer to hire a temporary worker.

Most employers require an LMIA before hiring a temporary foreign worker. Before you begin the hiring process, you must determine whether you require an LMIA.

An LMIA confirms:

  • there is a need for a temporary foreign worker
  • no Canadians or permanent residents are available to do the job

Do one of the following to see if you and the temporary foreign worker you want to hire are exempt from the need for an LMIA or work permit:

  • review the LMIA exemption codes and work permit exemptions
    • select the LMIA exemption or work permit code that seems most relevant to your hiring situation and read the detailed description
    • if an exemption code applies to you, you’ll need to include it in your offer of employment


  • contact the International Mobility Workers Unit if you’re hiring a temporary foreign worker who is both
    • currently outside Canada
    • from a country whose nationals are visa-exempt


Book a Consultation to assess your Credentials to find out if you are eligible to Apply LMIA?

LMIA Application Processing Time

It takes up to 10 minutes to initiate your LMIA application through an LMIA Online Portal. The application and supporting documents can take hours to prepare. LMIA is a high-tech application.

Depending on the stream you choose, the processing time for your application can range from 10 days (Global Talent Stream) to 60 days (Low Wage Stream).

The general rule of thumb is that the occupations with the highest demand, highest pay, and shortest duration (the so-called “skilled trades”) are usually processed as quickly as possible. In contrast, applications to hire low-wage, long-term workers are processed more slowly.

LMIA Processing Fees

Each temporary foreign worker must pay a $1000 processing fee. The only exceptions are when families apply for a carer to care for someone who has medical needs or when the family income is less than $150,000.

Validity of a Work Permit

Work permits are typically issued for a period of no more than two years. Depending on the length of validity of the passport and the type of LMIA. Work permits issued under NAFTA or GATS, for example, are typically valid for 12 months. The total length of stay for executives and top managers cannot exceed 7 years.

lmia employer in edmonton

Employer Requirements for LMIA Edmonton

Employers must demonstrate that they are actively conducting business in order to apply for an LMIA in Edmonton. Furthermore, the employer must meet the following requirements:

  • Employer must be actively engaged in business: must have a legal status and must have active operations, providing goods and services
  • Must have a physical location in Edmonton, where the employee will work and must be able to provide stable employment for the period requested. 
  • The company must not be sex-industry related, in the non-compliance list or in default of a non-compliance financial penalty 
  • Must prove that s/he has taken reasonable efforts to hire Canadian citizens/Permanent residents by showing advertising and interview records. Must also substantiate why other candidates cannot be hired after the interviews. 
  • The job must not be on the list of low wage positions, be located in a region with 6%+ unemployment rate, certain food & retail positions or above a certain cap. 
  • Cooperate with an on-site inspection if required
  • Must pay the employee not less than prevailing wage  on the Offer of Employment
  • Any deductions must be agreed on in the Offer of Employment
  • Any changes that negatively affect the employee may require a new work permit. 
  • If the employee is unsure if they are violating the terms of employment, they can voluntarily disclose information to ESDC. 


How do I get LMIA in Alberta?

Visit - Job Bank to find jobs where employers have already obtained or applied for an LMIA. For more information, go to the IRCC Help Centre.

What is the cost of LMIA in Alberta?

Employers must pay $1,000 for each position requested (for example $1,000 x number of positions=total payment) to cover the cost of processing a dual intent LMIA application. Visa can be used to pay the processing fee (in Canadian dollars). MasterCard.

Is it simple to obtain LMIA in Alberta?

Although each province, including Alberta, may have specialised foreign worker programmes, an LMIA is usually one of the key documents required. Obtaining an LMIA is not only necessary, but it can also be difficult. The immigration law team at Kahane Law Office in Calgary, Alberta will help you through this process.

Can LMIA lead to PR?

To become permanent residents, skilled foreign workers must meet all of the requirements outlined in the Express Entry immigration process.

How long is LMIA valid?

In general, the LMIA is valid for 18 months to support a work permit application. ESDC may issue LMIAs that expire in less than 18 months in certain cases where an employer has specific timelines for a short employment opportunity.

Can LMIA be refused?

If you have had an application revoked in the last two years for providing false, misleading, or inaccurate information, we may refuse to process your Labour Market Impact Assessment application for any position.

Can we apply LMIA by ourself?

1) Yes, you can register a business and obtain a work permit through the IMP C11 LMIA exemption code Program. You must demonstrate that your new business will benefit the Canadian economy significantly. 2) Alternatively, many provinces have a programme for International Graduate Entrepreneur Nominees.

Why would an LMIA be refused?

If the employer has had an application revoked in the last two years for providing false, misleading, or inaccurate information, ESDC may refuse to process the LMIA application for any position.

Is LMIA distinct from a work permit?

Before a temporary worker can apply for a work permit, employers must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An LMIA is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada that allows an employer to hire a temporary worker.

What are the LMIA eligibility requirements?

An employer must submit an LMIA application that meets the following criteria: Maintains a legal and active business. Provides products or services to the general public. Has the financial means to pay a foreign worker's salary.