Hiring a candidate through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Last updated: November 30, 2018

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Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

If you are hiring a temporary worker through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, you will need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is a document that verifies that there are no Canadians or permanent residents available for the position.

There are several LMIA streams, including a stream for:

  • Temporary contract offers of employment (“Temporary LMIAs”)
  • Permanent ongoing offer of employment (“Permanent LMIAs”)

Each stream has a slightly different process and different application packages.

Once the LMIA is approved by Service Canada, the employee is eligible for a work permit specific to the employer.

Relevant occupations:

Any occupation is eligible for the LMIA process.


  • Offer from a Canadian employer for a temporary contract or permanent ongoing position.
  • The salary offered must be at the median prevailing wage or higher for the role and job location. This means that: 1) the salary offered to the employee must be at the median prevailing wage or higher for that role (based on NOC code) in that job location and 2) the salary advertised on the job posting must also be at the median prevailing wage or higher.
  • The employer must fulfill the recruitment requirements before submitting the LMIA application (see below).
  • The employee meets the minimum education and experience requirements for the occupation, as set out in the NOC description.
  • For Temporary LMIAs, the employer must provide a Transition Plan to outline how they will fill this role with a Canadian/permanent resident.

Recruitment Requirements:

Before applying for the LMIA, employers must conduct at least three different recruitment activities:

  1. Advertise on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank website.
  2. Advertise the job using a method that is national in scope, meaning that the job is searchable by all Canadians or permanent residents in a single site. The method must be appropriate for the occupation.
  3. Advertise the position using a method that is appropriate for the occupation and that has a different reach and unique value than the other two methods chosen above.

Postings on the Make a Future website fulfill one of the three required advertising methods.

Duration: Postings must be live for a minimum of four consecutive weeks within the three-month period before the LMIA application is submitted. At least one of the postings must remain active while the LMIA application is in process. It can be removed once a decision is made on the application.

Content: Job postings must contain these details:

  • Employer name
  • Employer address
  • Job title
  • Job duties
  • Skills required
  • Terms of employment (e.g., temporary contract or permanent ongoing)
  • Language of work
  • Wage or wage range, as well as any incremental raises or bonuses; it must also meet the prevailing wage requirement
  • Benefits package offered (if applicable)
  • Location of work
  • Contact information

Proof: To prove that the advertising requirements were met, a copy of the posting should be made on the first day of the posting period and another copy four weeks later. The copy should clearly show the website, content of the posting and date the copy was made.

Alternatives to job postings: Service Canada will also accept proof of these alternative methods of advertising:

  • Newspaper or newsletter ads
  • Magazines and journal ads
  • Participation in job fairs
  • Partnering with training institutions or offering internships
  • Professional recruitment agencies
  • Consultations with unions of available labour
  • Recruitment within the organization (internal candidates) – a Human Resources plan outlining opportunities for existing employees must be included in the application.

Application process:

1.   The employer determines the NOC code and median prevailing wage for the role and ensures the prevailing wage requirements are met.

2.   The employer completes the recruitment requirements, gathers proof that the requirements have been met, and creates a recruitment summary of candidates and how they did in the recruitment process.

3.   The employer completes the LMIA application form:

  • Permanent LMIAs:Permanent ongoing offers use the EMP5593 form

4.   The employer must also gather the required supporting documents as described in the document checklist attached to each application form. Temporary LMIAs also require the Schedule C – Employer Transition Plan, EMP5594 form.

5.   The complete application will include:

  • LMIA application form, including the fee payment form
  • Schedule C Transition Plan form (for Temporary LMIAs)
  • Copies of the job postings (from day 1 and four weeks later)
  • Recruitment summary
  • Supporting documents as per the document checklist

6.   Applications can be faxed or couriered to the appropriate Temporary Foreign Worker Office. Temporary LMIAs are usually processed by the Vancouver office and permanent LMIAs are processed by the centre of specialization in Saint John, NB.

7.   Employers may receive an Acknowledgement of Receipt fax once the application is entered into the system. Applications that are incomplete are destroyed and an email sent to the employer noting what was missing. Employers can address the deficiencies and re-apply.

8.   The Temporary Foreign Worker Officer assigned to the application will call the employer to review the application. The call will verify the employer’s details and may probe into recruitment efforts or other aspects of the application that require clarification. The Officer will fax or mail their decision to the employer within a week of the interview.

9.   The employer sends a copy of the LMIA approval (if it was a positive decision) to the employee to proceed with the work permit portion of the process.

10.   The employee may submit the work permit application in one of the following ways:

  • At a Canadian Consulate:
  • Online through a MyCIC account
  • In person at a Visa Application Centre
  • By mail directly to a consulate
  • At the place of entry (border or airport)
    • Non-American citizens must have an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to apply upon entry
    • Employees requiring a medical exam must have taken the exam 4 weeks prior to applying upon entry

The application will include application forms and supporting documents, including the e-Medical information sheet if applicable.

  • If the employee submits the work permit application at a Canadian consulate, online or by mail, they will be issued a work permit approval letter. The actual work permit document is issued upon entry to Canada. If the employee submits the work permit application at the place of entry, their application will be reviewed by the first available Immigration Officer; if the application is approved, the work permit is issued immediately.

11.   Employees wishing to apply for permanent residence may use their LMIA-based work permits to obtain additional points and increase the likelihood of being invited to apply for permanent residency.

Processing times:

  • LMIA applications take a minimum of four weeks to process. Applications that require additional time from the Officer may take several months.
  • Processing times for work permit applications made at a Canadian consulate, online or by mail vary by location and volume.
  • Work permit applications made at the point of entry are reviewed the same day.


  • $1000 LMIA application fee (per position, not per application for situations where the LMIA application includes more than one position)
  • $155 work permit fee

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