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LMIA – All You Need To Know


It’s always exciting when you get a job abroad, especially in a country like Canada. A country full of abundant opportunities! It paves the way for a global workforce and for exploring new career opportunities. As exciting as it sounds, however, there are a lot of processes one must go through before flying to start their career. 

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If you’re one of those people who are looking for employment opportunities in Canada or a Canadian employer planning to hire a foreign skilled hand, this blog could be a valuable piece of information for you.

What is LMIA?

The Labour Market Impact Assessment is an official, legit document from Employment. Social Development Canada permits a Canadian employer to recruit a worker from another country. A positive LMIA, also called a confirmation letter, indicates a need for a foreign worker to fill the required position.

Who needs an LMIA?

Employers who hire foreign workers temporarily for a job in Canada. To fill a job position in their company must first obtain an LMIA. If you’re a foreign worker, you must receive a positive LMIA from your Canadian employer to qualify for a work permit. 

An open work permit, unlike an employer-specific work permit, allows you to work for any potential Canadian employer in almost any field. However, if you have an open work permit or are eligible for one, your Canadian employer will not require an LMIA to hire you.

Who gets a work permit without an LMIA?

Foreign workers are issued work permits without an LMIA, or a work permit is not required for them under certain exceptions. Some of the exceptions are:

International students in Canada and their spouses

International students who have enrolled in a minimum of six months of study programs and have a valid study permit are permitted to work off-campus for up to 20 hours a week. Spouses or common-law partners of these students can also work under an open work permit. 

partners of foreign workers

Spouses and partners of foreign skilled workers who have an AIP work permit, provincial nomination, bridging open work permit, or a Quebec Selection Certificate (QSC) are eligible for spousal open work permits.

Exceptions under public policies

Open work permits are issued without LMIA to applicants who are temporary residents. who have applied to become permanent residents in Canada and to Hong Kong residents applying for a work permit for a limited time. 

Exceptions for humanitarian reasons or individuals with no support

This exception includes refugees, refugee claimants, vulnerable workers, people under an unenforceable removal order, and destitute students. 

International agreements

Capitalists who go to Canada under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement (CUKTCA), Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), or other free trade agreements do not require an LMIA. This exception includes intra-company transferees, professionals or technicians, and their spouses under some international agreements.

Application Process for LMIA

Before you start applying for an LMIA, any Canadian employer must substantiate if it is required. Then, gather all the documents required to apply, and submit your application to the ESDC. 

Ascertain if you require an LMIA

Before recruiting, you must first determine if you require an LMIA for the position. To ascertain whether a temporary foreign worker recruited for the job position will be absolved from requiring an LMIA. Employers must contact the International Mobility Workers Unit to confirm whether an LMIA is needed and must be heedful about reviewing the requirements Furthermore exceptions of work permits. 

Apply to ESDC

If the employer requires an LMIA, they must apply to the Employment and Social Development Canada along with the required documents. The application process varies based on the categories under which the temporary foreign workers are being recruited. 

There are four LMIA categories: High-Wage Workers, Low-Wage Workers, Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, and Agricultural Stream. Employers hiring high-wage or low-wage workers can submit an LMIA application up to six months before the joining date of the employee. Some of the documents that have to be submitted are:

1. Business legitimacy proof
2. Recruitment proof
3. Filled-in and signed application form
4. Processing fee for each requested position
5. a copy of the employment contract

LMIA application will be assessed 

Once the employer submits the LMIA application, ESDC will assess the application to determine the legality of the business and the employment offer. The impact on the labor market by recruiting a temporary foreign worker will also be assessed. 

The employer will receive either a positive or negative they can proceed with the hiring process Based on the application details and documents submitted. 

Processing time

The Labor Market Impact Assessment’s processing time varies depending on the stream under which the foreign worker is being hired. Generally, the processing time of the LMIA ranges between 5 and 46 business days. 


Lastly Moving to Canada for work is a great way to discover new career horizons. By working in Canada, you can also become a permanent resident there. As long as your job role is in an in-demand occupation and you can envisage yourself as an ideal candidate for jobs in Canada, you will get an LMIA and a work permit to work in Canada. If you’re looking for more assistance about settling in Canada, talk to our immigration experts at CanApprove. we’d love to hear from you!


How long is an LMIA valid?

Generally, The validity of an LMIA to support a work permit application is 18 months. 

IS IELS required for LMIA?

The LMIA-based visa does not require applicants to take the IELTS exam for language proficiency.

What is the age limit for LMIA in Canada?

There is no maximum age limit for Canadian work permits. The only exception is for work permits issued under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program, where applicants must be between 18 and 35 years old.

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