LMIA Fees: Who Pays?

by | Jun 13, 2023

If you are a Canadian employer who wants to support the work permit application of a foreign employee by applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), then you will want to know that there are fees associated with that LMIA application. There will be LMIA fees and legal fees. So the question is, can you push those fees onto the employee? The answer is no. Those costs will have to be absorbed by you, the employer.

Understanding the LMIA Application Process

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required when a Canadian employer wants to hire a foreign national. However, before hiring, the employer needs authorization from the Canadian authorities. This authorization, often referred to as a positive LMIA, is a result of the Labour Market Impact Assessment conducted by the authorities. It signifies that the employer is approved to hire a foreign national because the role they’re trying to fill will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market.

Associated Costs and Legal Representation

When an employer submits an LMIA application or even before they submit it, there are likely going to be costs involved. The LMIA application is a complex process that takes a considerable amount of time. Therefore, many employers opt to hire a lawyer or some other legal representative to support their LMIA application. This incurs additional legal costs.

Apart from the legal fees, the employer will also have to pay a fee for each LMIA application, with a few exceptions. In most cases, the employer is responsible for paying a fee of a thousand Canadian dollars per LMIA application. These costs, along with the legal fees, must be borne by the employer and cannot be passed on to the employee.

Employer Responsibility for LMIA Costs

It is common for employers to ask whether they can pass on the LMIA fees to the employee, particularly when hiring multiple employees under the LMIA. However, the rules clearly state that the employer is responsible for offsetting the costs associated with the LMIA as part of the application process. The forms explicitly state that an LMIA application can only be submitted by the employer, not the foreign national, and any fees linked to the application must be paid by the employer as well.

Provincial Regulations on Cost Recovery

In addition to the above, provincial regulations also limit an employer’s ability to recover the costs associated with recruiting or hiring a foreign national. For instance, in the province of Ontario, the Ontario Employment Standards Act prohibits employers from attempting to recoup costs such as the LMIA fees or any expenses related to the LMIA application process from the employee.

Ensuring Compliance and Protecting Employers

It is crucial for employers to be aware of these regulations to protect themselves and ensure compliance with the rules set by the immigration authorities. By understanding their responsibility for covering the LMIA costs and legal fees, employers can avoid potential issues and ensure a smooth and compliant hiring process for foreign nationals.


In conclusion, when applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, Canadian employers need to be prepared for the associated costs. The LMIA fees and legal fees must be borne by the employer, and they cannot be passed on to the employee. It is essential for employers to familiarise themselves with these regulations and provincial rules to remain in compliance and avoid any legal complications. By understanding and fulfilling their obligations, employers can navigate the LMIA process successfully and hire foreign nationals within the framework of the law.


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