Find out if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment
Employers can hire temporary workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program (IMP).The TFWP lets employers hire temporary workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages. You will need a document from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada stating that you can hire the temporary worker. This is known as a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An LMIA verifies that there is a need for a temporary worker and that no Canadians are available to do the job. If you hire a temporary worker through the TFWP, you will need to apply for an LMIA and pay the related fee.The International Mobility Program (IMP) lets employers hire temporary workers without an LMIA. Exemptions from the LMIA process are based on:
- broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada; and
- reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.
If you hire a temporary worker through the IMP, you will need to pay an employer compliance fee and submit an offer of employment form to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). This must be done before the foreign national can apply for a work permit. You will submit the offer of employment through CIC’s Employer Portal.
Do you need an LMIA?
There are two ways you can find out if you need an LMIA. You can review the list of LMIA exemption codes yourself, or you can contact an International Mobility Worker Unit for help.
Review the LMIA exemption codes
- Go to the Labour Market Impact Assessment exemption codes table, and review the list of regulations.
- Select the LMIA exemption code that seems most relevant to your hiring situation, and read the detailed description provided.
- Take note of the exemption code that applies to you. You will need to include this code in your offer of employment.
To help determine if you need an LMIA, contact the International Mobility Worker Unit in your province or territory.
Contact an International Mobility Worker Unit
International Mobility Worker Units (IMWU) help employers determine if the temporary worker they want to hire is exempt from the LMIA process or exempt from a work permit.
If you believe an LMIA or work permit exemption applies to your situation, you can request an opinion from an IMWU if the temporary worker is:
- from a visa-exempt country; and
- currently outside of Canada.
If the temporary worker you want to hire is not from a visa-exempt country, or is already in Canada, the processing officer reviewing their work permit application will determine if an LMIA exemption applies to their situation.
The border services officer at the point of entry will consider the opinion given by the unit when the temporary worker applies for their work permit. The opinion does not guarantee entry into Canada.
Requested information and supporting documents must be submitted to the IMWU at least 30 days before the date that the worker plans to enter Canada.
You can reach the IMWU serving your province or territory by email.
- Toronto International Mobility Worker Unit serves
- British Columbia,
- Northwest Territories and
- Montréal International Mobility Worker Unit serves
- Nova Scotia,
- Prince Edward Island,
- New Brunswick and
- Newfoundland and Labrador.
The units will respond to LMIA and work permit exemption inquiries only.