What is an LMIA? What does it mean for me as a worker/student in Canada?

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What Is LMIA?

LMIA or Labour Market impact Assessment, simply put, is an approval by the Canadian government, for an employer to be able to hire foreign workers for specific jobs, and support their application for a Work Permit or PR.


An LMIA Application is an Employer’s Application to ESDC- basically confirming and providing evidence that they could not find Canadian PRs or Citizens to do a particular job, which is why they need foreign workers to fill that position (or positions).


If approved, employers can use it for hiring foreign workers who do not have a valid Open Work Permit or need to extend their Work Permit in Canada.


What it means to the Worker:

As a worker, if an employer offers to hire you using an LMIA, it means they are willing to support your application for a Closed, Employer-specific Work Permit and/or support you for your PR Application.

To apply for a work permit on the basis of an LMIA, a worker needs a job offer letter, a contract with the company that is hiring, a copy of the LMIA, and the LMIA number.


Work Permits without an LMIA?

Under the Canadian Immigration Law, there are a number of Work Permit Options that do not require a worker to have an LMIA based job offer. These are called LMIA Exempt Work Permit options and can be great for many workers who are in Canada on Open or Closed work permits. These are the preferred options for a number of workers and employers in Canada over an LMIA based work permit, if eligible, as in this way they allow for the employer and the employee to skip the often cumbersome, lengthy, and relatively expensive LMIA application process, and straightaway has the employee work at their new job upon getting their work permit. Thereby, making LMIA exemptions a more efficient way of recruiting.


To discuss if any of these work permit options suit your specific circumstances, talk to one of our consultants for a complete assessment. Our experienced consultants understand your requirements, your circumstances, and sit with you to discuss potential immigration options for your temporary or permanent residence goals in Canada.