What is LMIA or Labour Market Impact Assessment?


What is LMIA?

LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment. LMIA is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and is required by a Canadian employer who needs to hire a foreign temporary worker. A positive LMIA from an employer means that:

Hiring a temporary skilled worker will positively impact the Canadian Labour Market.

There were no Canadian citizens or permanent residents who could fill the job vacancy. Hence, the foreign temporary worker will not adversely impact the employment opportunities of Canadian workers.

Who needs to apply for an LMIA?

The LMIA is required by an employer who needs to employ an international skilled worker to fill a job vacancy. It is a document that is applied for by the employer, not the worker, and must be applied within 6 months of the beginning of the job. The LMIA fee must also be paid by the employer. An employer is required to apply for LMIA when he/she hires:

  • High-wage workers
  • Low-wage workers
  • Workers through the Seasonal Agricultural Program
  • Workers through the Agricultural stream

A temporary worker requires the 7-digit LMIA number to apply for the work permit.

How does the Employer apply for LMIA?

To apply for the LMIA, the employer has to register with the LMIA portal. To access the LMIA portal, they need to create an account with Canada Job Bank in order to authenticate themselves. Once your employer has an account with Job Bank, he/she will be able to apply for the LMIA on the online portal. While applying for the LMIA, the employer must submit:

  • LMIA application that includes all the information of the worker
  • Proof of business legitimacy
  • Proof of recruitment

Upon receiving an employer’s LMIA application and the associated fee, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) processes and reviews the application. If ESDC determines that the employment of the foreign worker will positively impact the Canadian economy, they issue a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) report to the employer in the form of a letter. Upon receiving a positive LMIA report, the employer must:

  • Provide a copy of the positive LMIA report to the temporary worker
  • Inform the worker to apply for PR or a work permit before the expiration of the LMIA 

Once the temporary worker receives a copy of the LMIA report, he/she can apply for the work permit.

What is an Unnamed Labour Market Impact Assessment?

An Unnamed Labour Market Impact Assessment is applied by an employer before they have determined a worker. In this case, the name of the worker is not included. An unnamed Labour Market Impact Assessment is valid for 18 months.

It can be submitted for the following positions:

  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
  • Agricultural Stream (excluding the province of Quebec)
  • Caregiver Program (excluding Quebec)
  • Low-wage stream (excluding Quebec)
  • High-Wage stream (excluding Quebec)

An Unnamed Labour Market Impact Assessment in Quebec can only be submitted for the positions if the duration of employment is 30 days or less. It is eligible for:

  • Agricultural Stream
  • Caregiver Program
  • Low-wage stream
  • High-wage stream

Processing time of Labour Market Impact Assessment

Type of applicationAverage processing time
Low-wage stream35 business days
High-wage stream 34 working days
In-home caregivers 24 working days
Permanent Resident stream 18 working days
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program 10 working days
Agricultural stream 15 working days
Global Talent Stream 10 working days

What is the LMIA exemption?

There are certain occupations that do not require the employer to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment before hiring a foreign skilled worker. These occupations are tabulated below.

Canada International Exemption codes

OccupationsLMIA exemption code
If you are employed with Canada-International Non-Trade Agreements such as:
  • Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques
  • Canada-U.S. Understanding of Agreement
  • Public Safety Canada
  • Fulbright Program between Canada and the U.S
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA)
  • International Pacific Halibut Commission
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
  • North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES); North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission (NPAFC) and Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO)
  • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC)
  • Roosevelt Campobello International Park
  • Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreements
  • Telefilm
  • U.S government Personnel


Traders in International Free Trade Agreements (FTA) such as:
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)
  • Canada-Chile FTA/Canada-Peru FTA/ Canada-Colombia FTA/Canada-Korea FTA
  • Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
  • Agreement on Trade Continuity between Canada and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (CUKTCA)
  • General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
  • Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement
  • Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)


Investors in International Free Trade Agreement(FTA) as mentioned aboveT22
Professionals or Technicians in International Free Trade Agreement(FTA)T23
Intra-company transferee (FTA) T24
Spouse (Columbia or Korea FTA) T25
GATS or General Agreement on Trade in Services professionals T33
Investors in CETA or CUKTCA T46
Contractual Service Supplier with CETA or CUKTCA T47
Engineering and scientific technologists at CETA or CUKTCA T48
Independent professional at CETA or CUKTCA T43
Intra-corporate (company) transferee (CETA/CUKTCA) T44
Spouses of professionals employed in (CETA/CUKTCA) T45
Investors (CPTPP) T50
Intra-company transferee (CPTPP) T51
Professional or technician (CPTPP) T52
Spouses (CPTPP) T53

Provincial or territorial LMIA exemption codes

Type of applicationAverage processing time
Occupations under federal-provincial foreign worker agreementsT13
Atlantic Immigration Program (if applied on or before 5th March 2022) C18
LMIA exemptions for occupations that are of significant benefit to Canadian interests

These occupations are those that provide crucial economic and cultural benefits to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Type of applicationAverage processing time
Airline Personnel in foreign airline security guards

Interns with international organizations under the  Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act.Rail grinder operators, rail welders, or other specialized track maintenance workers Experts on mission, working for a United Nations office in CanadaForeign physicians coming to work in QuebecCaribbean Agricultural Liaison Officers


LMIA exemption codes for foreign nationals who enter Canada and create or maintain business and are also supported by a Canadian province or territory
Type of applicationAverage processing time

Entrepreneurs in self-employed immigration program

Entrepreneurs who have applied through a Provincial Nominee ProgramFishing guides in Canadian lakes

Foreign camp owners, directors and outfitters Foreign freelance race jockeys (NOC 53200)


Other occupations that have a significant impact on the Canadian economy and are LMIA exempt
OccupationsLMIA exemption code
Intra-company transferees (includes GATS)

Airline personnel (station managers)

Emergency repairers for out-of-warranty equipmentC13
Television and film production workers C14
PR applicants under Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot C15
Spouses of Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot C17
Francophone mobility C16
PR applicants of the Live-in caregiver program A71
PR applicants of the Home Child Care Provider Pilot (HCCPP) or Home Support Worker Pilot (HSWP) C90
Spouses of PR applicants under the HCCPP or HSWP program C91
Foreign workers who have a Quebec Selection Certificate or (CSQ) but are outside Quebec A76
LMIA exemptions on the basis of Permanent Resident facilitation
Type of applicationAverage processing time
Workers with Bridging Open Work Permits (BOWP)

Caregivers under the HCCPP or HSWP

Eligible Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) holders who are in Quebec

Yukon Community Pilot (YCP)

Start-up Business class (SUV) PR visa applicants


LMIA exemption on the basis of reciprocal employment
OccupationsLMIA exemption code
Reciprocal employment and Unique work situations such as:

Fishing guides at border lakes
Residential summer camp counselors
United States government personnel (Family members)


International Experience Canada ProgramC21
Professors and visiting lecturers in Academic exchanges C22
Performing arts C23
LMIA exemption on the basis of research, designated by the Minister
OccupationsLMIA exemption code
Research C31
Research in educational co-op at the post-secondary level C32
Research in educational co-op at the secondary level C33
LMIA exemption on the basis of public policy and competitiveness, designated by the Minister
OccupationsLMIA exemption code
Spouses or legal partners of skilled workers C41
Spouses or legal partners of full-time students C42
Post-graduate employment C43
Post-doctoral Ph.D. fellows and award recipients C44
Medical residents and fellowsC45
LMIA exemption on the basis of charitable or religious work
OccupationsLMIA exemption code
Religious work C50
Charitable work C50
LMIA exemption for workers with no means of support, vulnerable workers, and on humanitarian grounds
OccupationsLMIA exemption code
Workers with a refugee claim S61
Persons under an unenforceable removal order S62
Vulnerable workers and their family members A72
Destitute students H81
Temporary resident permit holders with a minimum validity of 6 months H82
LMIA exemption for Permanent Residence applicants staying in Canada
Type of applicationAverage processing time
Live-in-caregiver class

Spouse or legal partner in Canada classProtected people under subsection A95(2)Section A25 exemption (humanitarian and compassionate grounds)Family members of the above


Hiring a foreign worker in case of LMIA exemption

If your occupation is LMIA exempt, your employer will be required to pay an employer compliance fee of $230 and submit an offer of employment in the Employer portal. This offer of employment will include all your information and must be submitted before you apply for your work permit. The International Mobility Program (IMP) allows employers to hire temporary workers without an LMIA.

LMIA for Canada Immigration

The Labour Market Impact Assessment is one of the most important documents for an immigrant who is applying for Canada PR through an immigration program that requires a job offer and a work permit. If your Canada immigration pathway requires a work permit, it is highly likely to also require an LMIA (unless it is LMIA exempt). Canada immigration programs like:

It is only the Skilled Worker stream of the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) that does not require LMIA.
The Labour Market Impact Assessment is a document that only ensures the security of opportunities for Canadian workers, it also provides safety to foreign skilled workers.