LIMA Required

What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

  • A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker.
  • A positive LMIA confirms there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job at hand and that no Canadian worker is available to do the job.
  • An LMIA application must be made by an employer. Once the LMIA is obtained, it must be sent to the candidate to accompany the work permit application. Generally, a temporary foreign worker will need a work permit and a positive LMIA in order to work in Canada.
  • Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit.
  • To apply for a work permit, a worker needs
    • a job offer letter
    • a contract
    • a copy of the LMIA, and
    • the LMIA number


Find out if you need an LMIA

Most employers need an LMIA before they can hire a temporary foreign worker. Before you start the hiring process, you must determine if you need an LMIA.

An LMIA confirms

  • there is a need for a temporary foreign worker
  • no Canadians or permanent residents are available to do the job

To see if you and the temporary foreign worker you want to hire are exempt from needing an LMIA or work permit, do one of the following:

  • select the LMIA exemption or work permit code that seems most relevant to your hiring situation and read the detailed description
  • if an exemption code applies to you, you’ll need to include it in your offer of employment




How to get an LMIA

LMIA Validity and Duration of Employment

The validity of the LMIA is not the same as the duration of employment of the LMIA.

The validity of an LMIA indicates the amount of time that a foreign worker applicant has to use the LMIA and apply for a work permit.

The duration of employment of an LMIA indicates the length of validity of a work permit issued using the LMIA. There are three options relating to the duration of employment for an LMIA:

  • Temporary duration to support a work permit application only.
  • Permanent duration to support a permanent residence application. Work permits issued under a permanent duration LMIA will be issued for a maximum period of two years, provided the candidate meets the requirements set out in the LMIA. The work permit will not be extended regardless of whether or not a permanent residence application is underway.
  • A combination of permanent and temporary duration to support both a permanent residence application and a work permit application.