LMIA Work Permit

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LMIA Work Permit

Program Status:

Program Description:

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Work Permit is an employer-specific work permit that allows you to work in Canada. You will be allowed to work with a specific employer and follow other work permit conditions, such as how long you can work and the particular location you can work (if applicable).

Key Program Highlights
  • Under this program, Canadian employers are allowed to hire temporary foreign nationals to meet their labor needs. Most employers need an LMIA before hiring a temporary foreign worker, and most foreign nationals need an LMIA work permit to work in Canada. An LMIA indicates that no Canadian citizens or permanent residents are available to do a particular job and, therefore, a need to hire a temporary foreign worker. Before the employer can hire a temporary foreign national through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), certain steps must be taken to obtain a positive LMIA from the Employment and Social Development Canada.


Furthermore, before an applicant can apply for an LMIA work permit or an employer-specific work permit, they must receive an offer of employment from an employer with a positive LMIA. In 2019, about 190,000 employer-specific work permits were issued to foreign nationals.

Program Eligibility Requirements
  • Your employer must get a positive LMIA.
  • You must prove to a visa officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires.
  • You must show that you have sufficient funds for yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada.
  • You must be law-abiding and have no record of criminal activity and not be a security risk.
  • You must be in good health.
  • You must not plan to work for an employer on the “ineligible” status list.
  • You must not plan to work for an employer who regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages.
  • You must provide other documents if the visa officer asks you for further proof to enter the country.
  • Meet other eligibility requirements depending on the country you are applying from. Select the country you are applying for here to get other requirements.
Program Specific Data Analysis

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that most employers in Canada must get before hiring a foreign worker.

A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no Canadian worker can do the job. If LMIA is required, the employer must send an application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

The employer must comply with the Program requirements. These requirements may vary depending on the position being filled.

List of requirements

  • Pay the processing fee of $1000.
  • Proof of business legitimacy.
  • Proof of recruitment activities and advertisement.
  • Transition plan for hiring temporary foreign workers in high-wage positions.
  • Offer wages to temporary foreign workers similar to wages paid to Canadian and permanent resident employees hired with the same criteria.
  • Job duties and working conditions must correspond to the occupation they were hired for Ensure workplace safety.
  • Employment contract.

Learn more about employer requirements.

The processing time for Labour Market Impact Assessment varies depending on the program. Find below the average processing time for the various streams:

Application type

Average processing time

Global Talent Stream

15 business days

Agricultural stream

17 business days

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program

9 business days

Permanent residence stream

18 business days

In-home caregivers

12 business days

High-wage stream

34 business days

Low-wage stream

34 business days

Program Specific Data Analysis

Top Lowe Skilled NOC Occupation for LMIA Work Permit

Data Source: Temporary Foreign Workers with LMIA Low Skilled NOC Classification Open Data.

LMIA Work Permit by Province 2016 - 2019

Data Source:  Number of temporary foreign worker (TFW) positions on positive Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) by province/territory TFWP 2019-Annual Table -01-e Open Data

Key Candidates for the Program
  • High skilled occupations ( Work experience must be skill type/level NOC 0, A, B, or C).
  • Low skilled occupations (NOC C & D).

Candidates must ensure their job duties on the employment offer match the NOC code for their primary occupation. Use the following links to determine your NOC. National Occupational Classification – Canada.ca  Find your NOC – Canada.ca

Step by Step Process
Step 1

Search and receive an LMIA approved employment.

Ensure your employer gives you a copy of the positive LMIA and your employment letter.

Step 1
Step 2

Gather your documents:

Use the document checklist to gather all the required documents for your open work permit application.Document checklist for outside of Canada work permit and Document checklist for inside Canada work permit.

Step 2
Step 3

Fill out the forms:

Read the instruction guide carefully before filling out all the required forms. Ensure the forms are complete and accurate. You must sign and date the application forms. Follow the links for more information Instruction guide for work permit inside Canada and Instruction guide for work permit outside Canada.

Step 3
Step 4

Pay your fees & submit your application:

The necessary fees must be paid before submitting your application. There is usually an application processing fee, a work permit holder fee, and a biometric fee. See the breakdown of the fees. After completing the above steps, the next step is to submit your application online or at a Visa application centres (VACs).

Step 4

Apply Now!

Professional consulting at your fingertips.

There are two methods of applying for an LMIA work permit. You can either apply online or submit a paper-based application at a visa application center in your Country.


To make an online application, you will be required to complete the necessary form, validate, print, sign, and upload the forms and the supporting documents.

To successfully submit an online application, you need the following:

  • A scanner or camera to scan or capture the electronic copies of all your supporting documents which must be uploaded.
  • A valid credit card to make payment online.

The first step will be required to create an account online. Follow this link to create an account online.

Once the account has been created, you will start an application for an open work permit by answering some questions. Your answers to these questions will be used to create a personalized document checklist for you.

Submit your application, upload all your supporting documents, and make payment for your application online. You can use your online account to get messages related to your application, check your application status, and update your information if necessary.


To submit a paper-based application, applicants must read the instruction guide to get all the details to apply on paper. Complete all your forms and gather all your supporting documents. Visit a Visa application center (VACs) to submit your paper application. The service fee charged by VAC differs from one country to another. Follow this link to find out about VAC in your country. Read the instruction to apply on paper (In Canada applicants) and instruction to apply on paper (Outside Canada applicants).

Payment of Fees

The fees you have to pay to the government include your application processing fee of $155 for one individual. You Might need to pay other third-party fees directly to the third party depending on your situation, including the Visa application center fee, medical examination fee, police clearance certificate fee.


If required, applicants must give their biometrics. Fingerprints and photos will be taken. Visit this link to learn more about how to give your biometrics. Estimated Cost – $85 Individual, $170 Family.

Processing TImes

Work Permit applications’ processing times vary from one country to another. Follow this link to check the processing time for your Country.

Latest Program Updates

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many temporary workers with employer-specific work permits lost their jobs. In May 2020, the government announced a new policy that will allow Canadian businesses to recruit the workers quickly and help unemployed workers contribute to the Canadian economy during this pandemic. Under this policy, a temporary foreign worker can get approval to start working in their new job, even while his/her work permit application is being processed. To qualify under the new policy, a worker must be in Canada already and must have secured a new LMIA job offer. For more information, see news release.

Historical Program Data

Top Source Country with LMIA Work Permit 2014 - 2016 Open Data

Data Source: Top Source Country with LMIA Work Permit 2014 -2016 Open Data.

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