Understanding the LMIA Process: Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking to hire foreign workers for your business, you may need to go through the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. An LMIA is a document that allows employers to hire foreign workers by demonstrating that there is a need for their skills and that no Canadian workers are available to fill the position. Understanding the LMIA work permit process is crucial for any employer looking to hire foreign workers.

In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to apply for an LMIA and discuss important details such as eligibility criteria, common mistakes to avoid, LMIA fees, and available exemptions.

Introduction to LMIA and Its Importance

LMIA stands for “Labour Market Impact Assessment,” which is a government-issued document that Canadian employers require to hire foreign workers. The LMIA assesses the impact of hiring foreign workers on the Canadian labour market and ensures that Canadians are given priority for available job opportunities. It is an important document for both employers and foreign workers seeking employment in Canada because it helps ensure fair hiring practices and that the hiring of foreign workers will not harm job opportunities for Canadians.

Who Requires an LMIA?

Most Canadian employers who want to hire foreign workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) require an LMIA. However, there are some exemptions for certain professions, such as international students, refugee claimants, and some intra-company transferees. It is important for employers to check the LMIA exemption list to determine if they require an LMIA for the position they are hiring for.

LMIA Application Process: Step-by-Step Guide

Understanding the intricacies of the LMIA application process is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful outcome. We will take you through the step-by-step process of applying for an LMIA and provide you with valuable insights and tips to help you navigate this complex process with confidence. This will also help you shorten the LMIA work permit processing time which can easily get extended if you couldn’t avoid mistakes at the time of application.

Whether you are an employer looking to hire foreign talent or a foreign worker aspiring to work in Canada, these steps will equip you with the knowledge and resources you need to navigate the LMIA application process effectively.

Step 1: Determine the Job Position and Requirements

The first step in the LMIA application process is to determine the job position and requirements. This includes outlining the job duties, education or experience needed, and any necessary language skills. Employers must ensure that the job requirements align with the National Occupational Classification (NOC) code for the position they are hiring for.

The NOC code categorizes different occupations in Canada based on skill levels and job duties. Choosing the appropriate NOC code is crucial as it helps Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) assess the job position accurately. By meticulously outlining the job position and its requirements, employers lay the foundation for a successful LMIA application.

Step 2: Advertise the Job to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents

The second step in the LMIA application process is to advertise the job to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Employers must advertise the job in multiple places for at least 28 days including on the Job Bank website. All advertising efforts must meet specific requirements outlined by the government, such as the job title, duties, salary range, and location.

In addition to the Job Bank, employers may choose to advertise the position through other means such as newspapers, online job boards, industry-specific websites, and professional networks. It is vital to adhere to the specific advertising requirements outlined by the government, ensuring that the job posting complies with the guidelines and accurately represents the position being offered.

Step 3: Apply for LMIA

The final step in the LMIA application process is to apply for the LMIA. Employers must fill out the LMIA application form and provide supporting documentation, such as proof of advertising efforts and job offer letters. The LMIA application also includes a $1,000 processing fee per application.

Understanding LMIA Requirements and Eligibility

When it comes to the LMIA work permit process, it’s important to understand that both employers and employees have distinct requirements and eligibility criteria. Employers must meet specific requirements to obtain a positive LMIA, while employees seeking work permits must meet eligibility criteria to be considered for employment in Canada.

LMIA Requirements for Employers

Employers must meet specific LMIA requirements to be approved for hiring foreign workers. These requirements include demonstrating a genuine need for the foreign worker, offering fair compensation and benefits, and providing working conditions that are similar to those offered to Canadian workers. Employers must also adhere to specific advertising requirements and ensure that no Canadians are available and qualified to fill the position before seeking foreign workers.

LMIA Requirements for Foreign Workers

Foreign workers must also meet specific requirements to be eligible for working in Canada. These requirements include having a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, meeting the education and experience requirements for the position, and meeting any language requirements. Foreign workers must also have proper work permits and visas to work in Canada.

Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes in LMIA Applications

  • Thoroughly review and understand the LMIA application guidelines and requirements before starting the application process.
  • Ensure all supporting documents, such as job advertisements, recruitment efforts, and proof of communication with Canadian applicants, are accurate and meet the specific criteria outlined by the government.
  • Double-check that all required fields and sections of the application form are properly filled out and provide accurate information to keep LMIA work permit processing time at a minimum.
  • Seek professional assistance or guidance, such as consulting with immigration consultants to navigate the complex LMIA.
  • Pay attention to timelines and deadlines and submit the MIA application within the specified timeframe.
  • Keep updated on any changes or updates to the LMIA application process and guidelines to ensure compliance with the latest requirements.
  • Maintain accurate records and documentation throughout the entire application process for future reference and potential audits.
  • Stay informed about changes in immigration policies and regulations that may impact the LMIA application process and adjust strategies accordingly.

LMIA Fees and Processing Time

When applying for an LMIA, employers should be aware of the fees and time involved in the application process. The fee for a single LMIA application is $1,000 CAD, and an additional $100 CAD fee is required for each position requested on the application.

The LMIA work permit processing time varies depending on the type of LMIA requested, the specific details of the job offer and the region where the job will be located. Standard LMIA applications usually take around 10-12 weeks to process, while priority LMIA applications take around 10 business days.

Navigating the LMIA work permit process successfully requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a thorough understanding of the requirements. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this blog, employers can approach the LMIA application with confidence and increase their chances of a positive outcome.


However, the LMIA process can still be complex and overwhelming for many employers. That’s where JET IMMIGRATION comes in. With over 25 years of experience in helping employers hire foreign workers to Canada, we have the knowledge and expertise to simplify the process and ensure a smooth and successful application. Feel free to book a consultation with our experts.


Note: Beware of fraud or ghost consultants in the market! There are many fraud immigration consultants who are there just to misguide you and make money. When you contact JET IMMIGRATION, you work with RCIC-registered consultants who are highly qualified to handle your case.

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