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FAQs on How to Get LMIA Jobs in Canada

Securing a job in Canada through the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process can be complex and requires a clear understanding of various steps and requirements. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help guide you through the process:

1. What is an LMIA?

Q: What does LMIA stand for?

A: LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment. It is a document that a Canadian employer may need to obtain before hiring a foreign worker. The LMIA is issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and confirms that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill a job because no Canadian worker is available to do so.

2. Who needs an LMIA?

Q: Who needs to get an LMIA?

A: Canadian employers need to get an LMIA if they want to hire a temporary foreign worker for most jobs, except for certain categories under the International Mobility Program (IMP), which are exempt from the LMIA process.

3. How does an employer obtain an LMIA?

Q: What steps must an employer take to get an LMIA?

A: The steps include:

  1. Advertising the job position to show that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available to fill it.
  2. Submitting an LMIA application to ESDC, including proof of recruitment efforts and other required documentation.
  3. Awaiting the decision from ESDC. If approved, the employer receives a positive LMIA.

4. How can I find a job that offers an LMIA?

Q: How can I find a Canadian employer who will offer me an LMIA job?

A: To find an LMIA job:

  1. Use job search websites like Job Bank, Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn.
  2. Network with professionals and employers in your field.
  3. Work with recruitment agencies that specialize in placing foreign workers in Canada.
  4. Look for jobs in high-demand occupations where employers are more likely to need foreign workers.

5. What are high-demand occupations for LMIA?

Q: Which occupations are more likely to get a positive LMIA?

A: High-demand occupations often include:

  • Healthcare professionals (nurses, doctors)
  • Information technology specialists (software developers, IT analysts)
  • Skilled trades (electricians, welders, plumbers)
  • Agriculture and farming roles
  • Truck drivers and logistics workers
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6. How long does it take to get an LMIA?

Q: What is the processing time for an LMIA?

A: Processing times for an LMIA can vary depending on the type of job and the volume of applications being processed by ESDC. On average, it can take from a few weeks to several months. For high-wage and low-wage positions, it usually takes about 8-10 weeks, while the Global Talent Stream aims for a 2-week processing time.

7. What are the costs associated with an LMIA?

Q: What costs are involved in obtaining an LMIA?

A: The application fee for an LMIA is CAD $1,000 per worker. There may also be additional costs related to recruitment efforts and, if applicable, legal or consulting fees.

8. Do all jobs in Canada require an LMIA?

Q: Are there jobs in Canada that do not require an LMIA?

A: Yes, certain jobs do not require an LMIA under the International Mobility Program (IMP). Examples include:

  • Intra-company transferees
  • Workers covered by international trade agreements (e.g., CUSMA/NAFTA)
  • Participants in exchange programs (e.g., International Experience Canada)
  • Spouses of highly skilled foreign workers

9. What documents are required for the LMIA application?

Q: What documents does an employer need to submit for an LMIA application?

A: An employer needs to submit:

  • Proof of recruitment efforts (e.g., job advertisements)
  • The job offer letter
  • Detailed job description
  • Information about the business and financial capability to pay the worker
  • The completed LMIA application form

10. Can I apply for an LMIA on my own?

Q: Can a foreign worker apply for an LMIA by themselves?

A: No, only the Canadian employer can apply for an LMIA. However, the foreign worker needs to assist the employer by providing necessary information and documentation to support the application.

11. What happens after a positive LMIA is issued?

Q: What is the next step after receiving a positive LMIA?

A: After a positive LMIA is issued:

  1. The employer sends a copy of the LMIA and a detailed job offer letter to the foreign worker.
  2. The foreign worker uses these documents to apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  3. The work permit application can be submitted online or at a visa application center.
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12. How does the Global Talent Stream differ from regular LMIA?

Q: What is the Global Talent Stream and how is it different from the regular LMIA process?

A: The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a faster LMIA process aimed at helping Canadian employers hire highly skilled foreign workers in certain tech and innovation sectors. It has two categories:

  • Category A: For companies referred by a designated partner that are seeking to fill highly specialized positions.
  • Category B: For companies hiring highly skilled workers in occupations listed on the Global Talent Occupations List. GTS applications have expedited processing times, often within two weeks.

13. Can my spouse and children accompany me to Canada if I get an LMIA job?

Q: Can my family accompany me if I get an LMIA-based work permit?

A: Yes, in many cases, spouses and dependent children can accompany you to Canada. Spouses may be eligible for an open work permit, allowing them to work for any employer in Canada, while children can study in Canada.

14. What if my LMIA application is refused?

Q: What should I do if my LMIA application is denied?

A: If an LMIA application is refused, the employer should review the refusal reasons provided by ESDC and address any issues. They can reapply with additional information or consider other immigration pathways that might be available.

15. Are there any exemptions to the LMIA requirement?

Q: Are there any exemptions from needing an LMIA?

A: Yes, there are exemptions under the International Mobility Program (IMP). Common LMIA exemptions include:

  • Intra-company transferees
  • Certain professionals under international agreements (e.g., CUSMA)
  • Participants in international exchange programs
  • Spouses of skilled workers

16. What is the role of a recruitment agency in the LMIA process?

Q: How can a recruitment agency assist in obtaining an LMIA?

A: Recruitment agencies can:

  • Help match foreign workers with Canadian employers.
  • Assist employers with the LMIA application process.
  • Provide guidance on compliance with recruitment and advertising requirements.
  • Facilitate communication between the employer and the foreign worker.
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17. Can LMIA lead to permanent residency?

Q: Can having an LMIA job lead to permanent residency in Canada?

A: Yes, having a job supported by an LMIA can help in applying for permanent residency. Certain immigration programs, like the Federal Skilled Worker Program and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), award points for having a valid job offer, which can improve your chances of being selected for permanent residency.

18. Are there special LMIAs for certain sectors?

Q: Are there specific LMIA programs for particular sectors?

A: Yes, there are sector-specific LMIA programs, such as:

  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP): For agricultural employers to hire temporary foreign workers for seasonal work.
  • Stream for Lower-skilled Occupations: For employers hiring workers in lower-skilled jobs with specific requirements.

19. What are the key responsibilities of employers in the LMIA process?

Q: What responsibilities do employers have when applying for an LMIA?

A: Employers must:

  • Conduct genuine recruitment efforts to hire Canadians or permanent residents first.
  • Offer wages and working conditions consistent with Canadian standards.
  • Submit a detailed LMIA application with all required documentation.
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Comply with all federal and provincial employment standards.

20. What can increase my chances of getting a positive LMIA?

Q: What can I do to improve my chances of getting a positive LMIA?

A: To increase your chances:

  • Target high-demand occupations with labor shortages.
  • Ensure your resume and credentials meet Canadian standards.
  • Obtain language proficiency scores (English or French) to demonstrate communication skills.
  • Seek guidance from immigration consultants or lawyers.
  • Look for jobs through reputable recruitment agencies specializing in foreign workers.


Navigating the LMIA process requires careful planning, understanding of the requirements, and proactive steps to secure employment in Canada. By focusing on high-demand occupations, utilizing expedited streams like the Global Talent Stream, and leveraging professional assistance, you can improve your chances of obtaining a job supported by an LMIA and making a successful transition to working in Canada.

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