Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

Hire a Skilled Foreign Worker and/or Support Their Permanent Residency


The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is an important requirement for Work Permits, Live-In Caregiver applications, and confirming current/future employment to obtain points under the Express Entry system when applying for Permanent Residency in Canada. In fact, because the LMIA gives an applicant under Express Entry 200 points, a positive LMIA will in most cases result in a successful application for Permanent Residency.


Program Description

In short, the LMIA demonstrates to the Canadian government (Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) / Service Canada) that a qualified Canadian employer was unable to find a suitable candidate in the Canadian job market amongst permanent residents and citizens. As such, the employer requests authorization to hire a foreign worker to meet their needs. In turn, ESDC will evaluate the potential impact of that hiring the foreign worker would have on the Canadian labour market.

Components Of The Application

The LMIA application is usually quite large, and is typically over 100 pages in length. The components can be broken down into the following broad categories:

Employer/Business Information

A significant amount of information from the employer must be provided to confirm that the business supporting the application has been in existence for at least one year, maintains a physical place of operation, pays workers appropriately, etc. In addition to these basic details, financial information about the company will be required to confirm not only that the company is actively engaged in business, but also that the company WILL BE ABLE TO PAY the additional employees that it wants to hire.

Recently, ESDC requests additional information BEYOND documentation outlined in the application forms. Specifically, if a business is not showing large profits, a letter from a licensed accountant will be required to confirm that the business has sufficient income to pay additional employees.

Job Information

It is expected that a foreign worker if hired will be paid what the government considers to be the prevailing wage for that job in the region of employment. In addition, if special characteristics offered by foreign workers are required (e.g. language, etc.) these must be clearly explained. For example, if a particular business has a large volume of clients that cannot speak English or French, this would be an acceptable reason for hiring someone with foreign language skills. However, proving that the business has a large volume of such clients can be challenging and evidence should be collected to make a convincing argument.

A clear connection between the job and the business itself needs to be established. This may seem obvious, but it should be remembered that ESDC officers may not be thoroughly familiar with the requirements of a particular business. Moreover, if the situation is unusual, caution must be taken to ensure that the application does not appear dubious and an officer will have to be convinced of the genuine necessity for an unusual new employee.

Recruiting Efforts

Depending on the position the employer is seeking to fill, advertising will usually be required to confirm that the employer has tried to recruit permanent residents or Canadian citizens. If advertisements are required, specific timelines and procedures must be followed depending on the position. If advertisements are not required, the specific program governing this exception must be clearly cited and confirmation that the position qualifies for this program must be provided.

In addition to advertising, there are some alternatives that can be used to demonstrate that sufficient recruiting efforts have been undertaken. In these cases, the ESDC officer must be convinced that the alternative was appropriate, necessary, and/or superior to basic advertising in the given situation.

Candidate Screening

Finally, after receiving a reasonable number of resumes, an application will need to show why certain applicants were unsuitable and why others were suitable. Sufficient efforts will need to be shown to screen and contact all qualified applicants. In the end, there will need to be a justification for why the employer seeks to hire a foreign worker, especially if there were qualified Canadian applicants for the same position.

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