The following guide is for jobs that require a positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) before applying for a Work Permit
In most cases, employers are required to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before they can hire foreign workers (see exemptions including NAFTA and GATS). In order to obtain a positive LMIA, a Canadian employer must prove that there is no Canadian or permanent resident worker available to complete the job in question and a foreign worker is therefore required.
LMIA applications should show the following:
The positive LMIA is provided to the foreign worker to submit with his/her application for a work permit, which is typically issued for one year if granted.
LMIAs are overseen by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and have an associated application fee of $1,000 for each temporary foreign worker position applied for.
There are shorter processing times of 10 days available for highest-demand, highest paid and shortest duration occupations, i.e. skilled trades within top 10% of pay bracket and for positions that are less than 120 days.
The LMIA process is different depending on whether the targeted employee is classified as “high-wage” or “low-wage”. Temporary foreign workers being paid under the provincial/territorial median wage are considered low-wage, while those being paid at or above are considered high-wage. Depending on whether a prospective employee is classified as high-wage or low-wage, certain specific provisions apply.
LMIA Exempt Jobs & Foreigners
There are cases where a positive LMIA is not required in order to be eligible to apply for a work permit.
The following categories are exempt from requiring a positive LMIA- a work permit can be obtained without one.
Note: Being exempt from obtaining a LMIA does not mean the individual is exempt from obtaining a work permit. All streams on the LMIA exemption list still require the individual to obtain a work permit to work in Canada legally.
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