[2023] LMIA | How to Get Positive LMIA

When you want to hire foreign workers, you need to apply for LMIA. LMIA is an assessment process that protects both Canadians and foreign workers.

You need to obtain a Work Permit to work in Canada.

Before applying for the Work Permit, your employer needs to pass the process of LMIA.

This article will show you what LMIA is and what you and your employer need to do to obtain LMIA.

What is LMIA?

LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment.

LMIA is an assessment process that an employer in Canada may need to go through before hiring a foreign worker.

LMIA assesses that hiring the foreign worker doesn’t give negative effect on labour market for Canadians and Canadian permanent residents.

Protect Jobs for Canadian and PR

Government of Canada doesn’t want job opportunities are taken by foreign workers.

However, they have to cope with labour shortage to keep their economic growth.

This is why employers need LMIA.

In LMIA, employers are assessed if they did their best efforts to hire Canadians or Canadian permanent residents.

Through LMIA, Canadian government can ensure the workforce of foreign worker without harming job opportunities for Canadians.

Protect Foreign Workers

LMIA also protects foreign workers from abuse at the workplace and disparity in treatment.

Through the LMIA process, employers must:

  • pay TFWs for all work (including overtime, where required by law)
  • provide workplace safety insurance
  • offer TFWs the same benefits as other workers, and
  • not take the TFWs’ identification

LMIA protects both Canadians and foreign workers.

How to Apply for LMIA

Under LMIA, the following things are assessed:

  • Employer’s effort to hire Canadian or PR
  • If the job offer is fair and genuine
  • Employer’s compliance

Effort to Hire Canadians or PR

To show the effort to hire Canadian or Permanent Resident, the employer must present proof of recruitment activities.

Activities include “Record of Job Advertisements” and “Record of Interviews”

You have to post advertisements on Job Bank Canada and other required advertising methods. The requirements depend on which LMIA stream you use.

If the Job Offer is Fair and Genuine

The job offer must meet the following requirements:

  • full-time
  • permanent (non-seasonal)
  • offered wage is higher than the median wage of the position and region
  • includes work hours, benefits, and work location

In Canada, full-time job means a job with more than 30 hours per week of work hours.

To protect foreign workers from abuse, the offered wage must be higher than the median wage of the position and region.

You can find the median wage of the position and region on the Job Bank website.

Job Bank Wage
The median wage for Cooks in Vancouver

For example, the median wage for Cooks in Vancouver (Lower Mainland-Southwest Region) is $16.25 per hour.

Canada Shaws Consulting will help you find the right position and required wage. Please try our free consultation.

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Employer’s Compliance

The employer is required to prove its compliance by submitting business legitimacy documents.

Below are examples of business legitimacy documents:

  • financial documents submitted to CRA
  • attestation letter from CPA or lawyer
  • business license
  • certificate of incorporation

3 Streams of LMIA

LMIA has 3 streams:

  • High-Wage Stream
  • Low-Wage Stream
  • Permanent Resident Stream

The streams are divided by the wage offered in the job offer, and the employer’s intention to support foreign workers to obtain Canadian permanent resident status.

The application fee is $1,000 per foreign worker for High-Wage and Low-Wage Stream.

However, there is no fee for Permanent Resident Stram.

I will explain each category in detail.

Get Free LMIA Consultation


High-Wage Stream

If the wage offered in the job offer is higher than the provincial median wage, your application is categorized as High-Wage LMIA.

Below is a table for the median wage in each Province as of April 30, 2022.

Province/TerritoryMedian hourly wages as of April 30, 2022
British Columbia$26.44
New Brunswick$21.79
Newfoundland and Labrador$24.29
Northwest Territories$37.30
Nova Scotia$22.00
Prince Edward Island$21.63

Please refer to Government of Canada website for the latest median wages.

Requirements for Advertisement

For High-Wage Stream LMIA, the employer has to conduct at least two advertisement methods in addition to Job Bank Canada.

At least one advertisement must be accessible from all of Canada. Because for high wage positions, applicants will be willing to relocate from other provinces.

Transition Plan

For High-Wage Stream LMIA, the employer is required to present how it helps the foreign worker to become a permanent resident of Canada.

Low-Wage Stream

If the offered wage is lower than the median wage of the province, the application is categorized in Low-Wage Stream.

Cap on Number of Foreign Workers

For Low-Wage LMIA, the number of foreign workers an employer can hire is limited.

Employers are subject to 20% cap limit on the proportion of foreign workers in your workplace.

The purpose of the cap is to ensure Canadians or permanent residents to get available jobs.

If the total number of employees is fewer than 10, the employer can hire up to 2 foreign workers.

Until April 30, 2023, for employers in certain sectors, the cap limit becomes 30% (if total number of employee is below 10, the employer can hire up to 3 foreign workers).

Please contact Canada Shaws Consulting for details.

Requirements for Advertisement

For Low-Wage Stream LMIA, at least two of the additional advertising methods to Job Bank must target a different underrepresented group: Indigenous persons, vulnerable youth, newcomers, and persons with disabilities.


The employer must pay for the transportation costs for foreign workers to come to Canada and return to their home country at the end of their work period.

Permanent Resident Stream

If the employer supports the foreign worker to become a Canadian permanent resident, the employer can apply for Permanent Resident Stream LMIA.

If the Permanent Resident Stream LMIA is approved, the foreign worker can obtain 50 points in the CRS for Express Entry.

The employer can submit an application for both a work permit and PR support (it is called dual intent LMIA) or just for PR support.

For the application just for PR support, no application fee is required.

No Cap Limit

For Permanent Resident Stream, there is no cap even if the offered wage is lower than the provincial median wage.

Transition Plan

The employer must provide the plan to help the foreign worker become a permanent resident of Canada.

For advertisement and transportation, the same conditions are applied depending on the offered wage.


LMIA ensures that employers hire foreign workers under fair conditions.

LMIA is beneficial for both Canadians and foreign workers.

If you need foreign workers to fill the labour shortage, Canada Shaws Consulting will help you.

Please try our free consultation.

Get Free LMIA Consultation

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