LMIA Explained: When You Need It and How to Get It for Hiring Foreign Workers

by | Apr 14, 2023

Canadian employers wanting to hire foreign nationals may need to apply for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This assessment involves the employer stating to Canadian immigration authorities that they have not been able to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the job position they wish to hire the foreign national for. In this blog post, we will explore the LMIA application process, requirements, types of LMIA, and employer responsibilities and costs.

LMIA application process

The LMIA application process varies depending on the category of workers being applied for. There are LMIAs that target specific tech and engineering jobs, which can be processed quickly, and there are general LMIAs, which can take a longer duration. The standard LMIA requires the employer to advertise the position locally in Canada on at least three different online job boards. The job advertisement must be posted for at least one month, and it must meet certain requirements.

Requirements for LMIA application

The job advertisement must state the salary, location, duties to be performed, and how applicants can apply. The idea behind this is to ensure that any suitably qualified Canadian permanent resident or citizen is given the opportunity to apply for the job first. The recruitment requirement is mandatory for an employer to meet as part of the LMIA application. Another requirement is that the employer needs to show that they have business legitimacy domestically. This means they must be a properly registered business in Canada and have the financial means to take care of any employees they hire within Canada.

Types of LMIA

There are two types of LMIAs – the high wage LMIA and the low wage LMIA. The high wage LMIA is for workers whose salary is at or above the provincial or territorial median wage, while the low wage LMIA is for workers whose income is below that of the provincial or territorial median wage. The requirements for each type of LMIA may vary slightly depending on the application’s subcategory.

Employer responsibilities and costs

The employer is responsible for the LMIA application, including its associated costs. There is a government fee of typically a thousand dollars per application, and there may be legal fees if done by an attorney. Employers should bear in mind that they should not push these costs onto the employee. There is a duty on the employer to meet the recruitment requirement, show business legitimacy, and meet whatever the provincial or territorial salary requirements are.


In conclusion, the LMIA is a necessary process for Canadian employers wanting to hire foreign nationals. It ensures that Canadian citizens or permanent residents are given the opportunity to apply for the job first before it is offered to a foreign national. It is essential for employers to meet the requirements of the LMIA application, including the recruitment requirement and showing business legitimacy, and bear the costs associated with the application.


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