top of page

Canada's Labor Market Impact Assessment - LMIA

Labour Market Impact Assessment is a term used to describe the process through which Canadian employers gain permission to hire and employ foreign workers. The purpose of an LMIA is to ensure that foreign workers are only being hired when Canadians are not available to do the work. The process involves employers proving to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that they have made every effort to hire Canadians but were unsuccessful.

There are a few steps involved in the LMIA process. First, the employer must submit a detailed job offer to ESDC. This job offer must include information such as the wages being offered, the duties of the position, and how long the position will be available for. Once ESDC has received the job offer, they will assess it to determine if it meets all of the necessary requirements. If it does, they will then post the job offer online for Canadians to view.

Canadians who are interested in the position will then have a certain amount of time to apply for it. If no Canadians apply for the position, or if none of the Canadians who do apply are qualified for the position, ESDC will issue an LMIA. The LMIA will give the employer permission to hire a foreign worker for the position. The foreign worker will then be able to apply for a work permit, which will allow them to come to Canada and work.

quick facts

  • Processing time: 3-6 weeks.

  • Fee: Processing fee $1000-$2500 

  • Interview Required: Yes

  • Minimum Advertisement period: 28-30 days.

  • Prohibited Employer list: Yes, there are certain types of employers and industries who are not eligible to apply.

  • Youtube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Whatsapp
  • Instagram

What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment - LMIA?

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 will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job.

To obtain an LMIA, Canadian employers must prove that they've made reasonable efforts to hire a Canadian for the available job. This typically involves advertising the job in various places and interviewing eligible candidates.

There are two types of LMIAs: high-wage and low-wage. The type of LMIA required depends on the wage being offered to the foreign worker. If the wage offered is at or above the provincial/territorial median hourly wage, it is considered a high-wage position. If the wage is below the median, it's a low-wage position.

An employer may need to develop a transition plan along with the LMIA application. The transition plan is used to demonstrate the employer's commitment to reducing their reliance on temporary foreign workers over time. This is generally applicable for high-wage positions.

It's important to note that not every job offer requires an LMIA. Some jobs are exempt due to, for example, international agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 

The process for applying for an LMIA is managed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The ESDC will consider factors such as the availability of Canadians to work in the field, wages being offered, and whether hiring a foreign worker will help create job opportunities for Canadians.

Finally, note that a positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter. Once the employer receives this letter, the worker can apply for a work permit. To work in Canada temporarily, the work permit is the necessary authorization needed.

The LMIA process is a crucial step for many foreign workers who wish to work legally in Canada. While it can seem complex, understanding the basics can help demystify the procedure.

Who needs a Labour Market Impact Assessment - LMIA?


A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), previously known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO), is primarily required by Canadian employers who wish to hire temporary foreign workers (TFWs) for job positions they could not fill with Canadian citizens or permanent residents.


The need for a LMIA depends on the nature of the job and the type of work permit the foreign worker is applying for. Most types of temporary work permits require a LMIA, but there are exceptions to this rule. Those who require an LMIA will be approved to work in Canada on a closed work permit for a specific employer. However, those exempt from an LMIA can work on an open work permit for any employer.


Certain types of workers may be LMIA-exempt due to international agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and other Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). These agreements often include provisions that allow citizens of signatory countries to have facilitated access to work permits without the need for a LMIA.


Workers who fall under Canada's International Mobility Program (IMP) may also not require a LMIA. This program includes workers who would create significant benefits for Canadians, reciprocal employment – which allows foreign workers to work in Canada when Canadians have similar opportunities in other countries, and charitable or religious work.


Jobs that are included in the Canadian interests category might not require a LMIA. This could be because of: broad economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada; reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.


Certain permanent residence categories, such as the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), or Federal Skilled Trades (FST), do not require a LMIA. However, having a LMIA can grant additional points for Express Entry, thereby increasing the chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency.


It's important to note that even if a job is LMIA-exempt, employers must still provide the foreign worker with a job offer and the worker must obtain a work permit.

How to Apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment - LMIA?


When a Canadian employer is unable to fill a job position with a local candidate, the employer may consider hiring a foreign worker. Before doing so, they may need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The following steps outline the application process:

First, employers should determine if they need to apply for a LMIA. Some jobs do not require a LMIA due to international agreements, Canada's interests, or the International Mobility Program.


If a LMIA is required, the employer should identify whether the job is classified as high-wage or low-wage. This is based on the provincial/territorial median wage. If the offered wage is at or above the median, it is a high-wage position. If below, it's a low-wage position.

Before submitting the LMIA application, employers are required to advertise the job position to Canadians and permanent residents. This is to prove that no suitable local candidate is available to fill the job. The advertisement should run for at least 4 weeks and up until the employer submits the LMIA application.


Once the advertising requirement is fulfilled, the employer can fill out the LMIA application form. The form requires details such as the number of Canadians who applied for and were interviewed for the job, the reasons why they were not hired, the number of job vacancies, the business number, and more.


Along with the LMIA application, employers must also submit a transition plan if they are applying for a high-wage position. The plan outlines the employer's commitment to reducing their reliance on temporary foreign workers over time.

Once the application is complete, it must be sent to Service Canada along with the application fee. 

After receiving the application, Service Canada will review it and make a decision. They will consider the effect the foreign worker would have on Canada's job market, wages, whether the job offer is genuine, and if the employer fulfilled all the requirements.

If the LMIA is approved, a positive LMIA, or a confirmation letter, is sent to the employer. The employer must provide a copy of this letter to the foreign worker, who can then apply for a work permit.

In case of a negative LMIA, the employer may submit a new application with more evidence, or an appeal within a given timeframe.

The LMIA process is comprehensive and involves detailed documentation. It is advised that employers review all the requirements thoroughly and potentially seek professional help if needed. Applying for a LMIA can be a lengthy process, but understanding each step can make it less daunting.

Challenges Employers Face During the LMIA Process

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process can present a variety of challenges for employers. Navigating these challenges requires a good understanding of the process, patience, and sometimes professional assistance. Here are some common challenges that employers often face:


  • Complexity of the LMIA Process: The LMIA process is multifaceted, requiring a great deal of detailed information and precise adherence to procedures. Misunderstandings or missteps can lead to application delays or refusals.

  • Proving No Suitable Canadian Worker is Available: One of the main requirements of an LMIA is that the employer must first attempt to fill the job with a Canadian or permanent resident. Proving this can be challenging and time-consuming, as it involves advertising the job and demonstrating why any Canadian applicants were not suitable.

  • Time-Consuming Process: The LMIA process can be lengthy, often taking several months from application to approval. This can be challenging for employers who need to fill a position quickly.

  • Gathering Necessary Documentation: Employers need to provide substantial documentation to support their LMIA application. Gathering these documents can be time-consuming and challenging, particularly for small businesses without dedicated human resources staff.

  • Cost of LMIA: There is a fee associated with submitting an LMIA application, which can be a financial burden for some employers, especially if multiple LMIAs are required.

  • Risk of LMIA Refusal: Even after investing significant time and effort into the process, there is always a risk that the LMIA application will be refused. This can be very frustrating for employers.

Cost of Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and Who Pays?

The process of obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) involves several fees. The primary fee is the LMIA application fee, which is CAD 1,000 for each position requested by the employer. However, it is always advised to check the current fees on the official government website as they may change over time.

The cost of an LMIA depends on the type of work that the foreign worker will be doing. For example, an LMIA for a low-wage position will cost $1,000, while an LMIA for a high-wage position will cost $2,500. There is also an additional fee of $250 for each accompanying family member. For positions under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) and the Agriculture Stream, a reduced fee of CAD 750 per position is applicable. In case an employer is applying for a position related to an in-home caregiver, there is no LMIA application fee.

Employers seeking to hire workers for high-wage positions need to submit a transition plan along with their LMIA application. Preparing this plan might entail additional costs if the employer chooses to hire an immigration consultant or lawyer to assist with this.

The LMIA process also includes a recruitment requirement, where the employer must advertise the job position locally and consider all eligible Canadian applicants before offering the job to a foreign worker. The cost of advertising varies depending on the medium chosen by the employer and is usually borne by the employer.

In Canada, it is the employer's responsibility to pay all fees associated with the LMIA process. The employer cannot recover the LMIA processing fee from the temporary foreign worker. This is to ensure that the cost of hiring foreign workers does not disadvantage them compared to Canadian workers.

If an employer is found to have recovered the cost of the LMIA processing fee from the foreign worker, it can lead to the employer being listed as ineligible to hire foreign workers in the future.

In addition, the worker may also have expenses for work permits, visas, travel, and other costs related to their relocation to Canada, which the employer may choose to cover, but this is not mandatory.

It's essential for both employers and employees to understand who is responsible for various costs associated with the LMIA process. Knowing who pays for what can avoid misunderstandings and conflicts in the future. It also helps maintain transparency and fairness in the hiring process.

Once you have obtained an LMIA, you will need to apply for a work permit for the foreign worker. The cost of a work permit varies depending on the nationality of the foreign worker and the length of stay in Canada. For example, a work permit for a Mexican citizen would cost $155, while a work permit for a U.S. citizen would cost $100.

LMIA Processing Times and Expedited Processes

When applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), one common question from employers is about the processing time. The average processing time for LMIA applications was around 2 to 3 months. However, this timeframe can fluctuate based on various factors, including the quality of the application, the volume of applications received by Service Canada, and whether or not the application falls under a category that has expedited processing.

For most applications, there's no way to expedite the process. Applications are typically processed in the order in which they're received. However, certain LMIA applications may be eligible for expedited processing if they fall under specific streams.

For instance, the Global Talent Stream (GTS) provides innovative firms in Canada with a faster method to hire unique and specialized foreign talent when Canadians or permanent residents are not available. Applications for the GTS are typically processed within two weeks, making it a significantly faster process than the standard LMIA application.

Similarly, the Agricultural Stream offers faster processing times, recognizing the time-sensitive nature of agricultural work. Applications under this stream are often processed within a few weeks.

It's also worth noting that incomplete or incorrectly filled applications can significantly delay the processing time, as Service Canada may return or refuse these applications. Therefore, employers are strongly advised to carefully review their application and ensure all necessary supporting documents are included before submission.

While the wait can be lengthy, Service Canada strives to process each application as quickly as possible. Employers are encouraged to apply as soon as they identify a potential need for a foreign worker to avoid any unnecessary delay.

Keep in mind that even after a positive LMIA has been issued, the foreign worker will still need to apply for and receive a work permit, which also involves processing times.

As such, planning ahead, understanding the timeline, and being aware of the options for expedited processing can greatly assist employers in their hiring processes.

Understanding the Different Types of Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs)


While the term Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is generally understood as a singular entity, there are in fact different types of LMIAs that employers can apply for, each with its own set of requirements and purposes. Understanding these variations can help employers navigate the process more effectively.


  1. Standard LMIA: This is the most common type, used by employers seeking to hire temporary foreign workers for specific positions. Employers must demonstrate that they have made reasonable efforts to hire a Canadian or permanent resident for the job, but have not found a suitable candidate.

  2. High-wage LMIA: This type of LMIA applies when the wage being offered to the foreign worker is at or above the provincial or territorial median wage. Employers applying for a high-wage LMIA must submit a transition plan showing how they will reduce their reliance on foreign workers in the future.

  3. Low-wage LMIA: If the wage offered is below the provincial or territorial median wage, the position is considered low-wage. For these positions, there are caps on the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers an employer can hire.

  4. Global Talent Stream LMIA (GTS): This special stream is for employers in the technology sector who need to hire foreign talent for specialized positions. The processing time for GTS LMIA is faster, typically within two weeks.

  5. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) LMIA: This is a specific type for agricultural employers who need to hire foreign workers on a seasonal basis. It allows workers from certain countries to work in Canada for up to eight months each year.

  6. Permanent Residence LMIA: Employers who wish to hire foreign workers on a permanent basis must apply for this type of LMIA. This is often used to support a foreign worker’s application for permanent residence.


Each type of LMIA serves a specific purpose, and it's important for employers to apply for the right one based on their needs and the nature of the job they're offering.

The Role of Recruitment Agencies in the LMIA Process

When it comes to the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process, recruitment agencies can play a critical role, especially for employers who are unfamiliar with the complex procedures involved in hiring temporary foreign workers.

Recruitment agencies, particularly those specializing in international hiring, possess the expertise and resources to manage the intricate LMIA process. Their responsibilities often include:


  1. Identifying the need for an LMIA: The agency can help determine whether the employer needs to apply for an LMIA based on the job requirements and the potential pool of candidates.

  2. Assisting with Job Advertisements: The LMIA process requires employers to advertise the job in Canada to prove no local candidate is suitable. A recruitment agency can assist in creating effective job advertisements and deciding where to post them for optimal visibility.

  3. Navigating LMIA Types: The agency can guide employers through the different types of LMIAs and help them understand which one is best suited to their situation.

  4. Preparing LMIA Applications: As the LMIA application process can be quite complex, a recruitment agency can help prepare the necessary documentation to ensure a comprehensive and error-free submission.

  5. Managing Communications with Service Canada: A recruitment agency can serve as a liaison between the employer and Service Canada, handling all the necessary communications and updates.

  6. Guiding Through Refusals or Delays: If an LMIA application is refused or delayed, the agency can provide advice on the next steps, including making an appeal or addressing the reasons for the refusal.


While recruitment agencies can provide significant assistance, it's important for employers to remember that the ultimate responsibility for LMIA compliance lies with them. Employers must ensure that the agency follows all regulations and that all information provided is accurate and truthful.

The Role of Immigration Consultants in the LMIA Process

Just like recruitment agencies, immigration consultants can also play a significant role in the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. Immigration consultants are professionals who are well-versed in Canadian immigration law and procedures, including the LMIA process. Here are some key ways immigration consultants can assist employers:

  1. Advising on the LMIA Process: Immigration consultants understand the ins and outs of the LMIA process. They can guide employers through the process, explaining each step, and what's required.

  2. Determining the Need for an LMIA: Not all situations require an LMIA. An immigration consultant can assess an employer's specific circumstances and advise whether an LMIA is necessary or if there might be another pathway to hire a foreign worker.

  3. Helping to Choose the Right LMIA Type: As there are different types of LMIAs, a consultant can help an employer determine which LMIA type best fits their needs, taking into account factors like the nature of the job, wage level, and whether the job is temporary or permanent.

  4. Assisting with Application Preparation: The LMIA application requires detailed information and supporting documents. An immigration consultant can help gather and organize these materials, ensuring that the application is complete and accurate.

  5. Supporting Transition Plans: For high-wage LMIA applications, a transition plan is needed. An immigration consultant can assist in the development of this plan, ensuring it meets Service Canada's requirements.

  6. Navigating Delays or Refusals: Should there be issues with the LMIA application, an immigration consultant can advise on the best course of action, whether that means reapplying, appealing the decision, or exploring other immigration avenues.


Keep in mind that hiring an immigration consultant comes at a cost, but their expertise can prove invaluable, especially for complex cases. It's important to ensure that the consultant is registered with the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC), which is the national regulatory body authorized by the government of Canada to safeguard consumers.


Using an immigration consultant can help streamline the LMIA process and increase the chances of a successful outcome. However, the ultimate responsibility for ensuring compliance with all LMIA requirements rests with the employer.

Are you an employer who needs assistance in applying for an LMIA? Book a consultation now.

What Happens After a Positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is Issued?


Once a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) has been issued, the employer can proceed with the next steps of hiring a foreign worker. It's important to remember that a positive LMIA does not mean that the foreign worker can start working immediately. There are several steps to follow:


  1. Inform the Worker: The employer should inform the foreign worker about the positive LMIA. The original LMIA confirmation letter and annexes will need to be sent to the worker as they will need them for the next steps.

  2. Apply for a Work Permit: The foreign worker must apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The worker will need to provide a copy of the positive LMIA and a detailed job offer letter as part of their application.

  3. Await Work Permit Processing: The worker must wait for the work permit application to be processed. The processing times vary depending on various factors, including the worker's country of residence and the specifics of the job offer.

  4. Worker Travels to Canada: Once the work permit has been approved and issued, the worker can travel to Canada. They must have a valid passport and must meet all other standard entry requirements.

  5. Work Permit Verification at Port of Entry: When the worker arrives in Canada, the work permit will be verified by a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer. If everything is in order, the worker will be admitted to Canada and can begin work.


During this entire process, the employer should maintain communication with the worker and be prepared to provide support as necessary. For instance, employers may need to assist with arranging housing or other settlement needs for the worker.


It's also important to remember that the employer must comply with all the conditions outlined in the positive LMIA, such as wage, working conditions, and efforts to hire Canadians. Failure to comply can lead to penalties, including being banned from hiring foreign workers in the future.


A positive LMIA is just the first step in bringing a foreign worker to Canada. Both the employer and worker must understand the steps that follow and be prepared to fulfill their respective responsibilities.

The Validity of a Labour Market Impact Assessment - LMIA


The validity of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is an important consideration for both employers and foreign workers. Here are some key points to remember:

  1. LMIA Validity Period: Once issued, a positive LMIA is typically valid for six months from the date of issue. This means the foreign worker has six months to use that LMIA to apply for a work permit.

  2. Expiration: If the work permit application is not submitted within the six-month validity period, the LMIA will expire, and a new LMIA would need to be obtained.

  3. Work Permit Duration: The duration of the work permit issued to the foreign worker is usually the same as the duration of the job contract, up to a maximum of two years. The work permit duration does not extend the validity of the LMIA beyond the six-month period.

  4. Extensions: If the employer wishes to extend the foreign worker's employment beyond the duration of the initial work permit, they will likely need to apply for a new LMIA before the worker can apply for a work permit extension.

  5. Changes to Employment: Any significant changes to the terms of employment, such as the job duties or location, may require a new LMIA.


Given the importance of these dates and requirements, employers and foreign workers need to manage the LMIA and work permit application process carefully. It's critical to apply for the work permit within the LMIA's validity period, and be mindful of when renewals or new applications may be needed. As with many elements of the immigration process, planning and timing can be key to a successful outcome.

Job Compatibility with the Labour Market Impact Assessment - LMIA


One of the fundamental questions employers often ask is whether a particular job is compatible with the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Here are some important factors to consider:


  1. Job Classification: The job must typically fall under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system, which classifies all jobs in Canada. Jobs under NOC Teer 0, 1, 2 or 3 categories (managerial, professional, and technical or skilled trades jobs) are often eligible for the LMIA process.

  2. Wage: The wage offered for the job should be at or above the median wage levels for that job in the specific region where the work will be located.

  3. Job Location: The job must be located in Canada. The LMIA process does not apply to jobs located outside of Canada.

  4. Hiring Locally: Before applying for an LMIA, employers must demonstrate they have made reasonable efforts to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident for the job.

  5. Genuine Job Offer: The job offer must be genuine, and the employer must be regularly engaged in the business related to the job offer. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) may refuse to process an LMIA application if they have reason to believe the job offer is not genuine.

  6. Business Legitimacy: The employer must be able to demonstrate the legitimacy of their business. This could involve providing business registration documents, proof of business activities, etc.


It's worth noting that some job categories are exempt from LMIA requirements due to international agreements or Canadian interests, such as intra-company transferees, or jobs filled through the International Mobility Program.


The compatibility of a job with the LMIA process can vary depending on the specific circumstances. If you are uncertain about the compatibility of a particular job with the LMIA process, it may be beneficial to seek advice from an immigration consultant or legal professional.

LMIA application requirements for an employer

The employer must first show that they were unable to find a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the role they are looking to hire a foreign worker for. If the employer is able to successfully demonstrate this, they will then need to submit an LMIA application. 

The LMIA application requires the employer to provide detailed information about the position they are looking to fill, including wages and working conditions. A Labor Market Impact Assessment Officer will then assess the application to ensure that the hiring of a foreign worker will have a positive impact on the Canadian labor market. 


If the LMIA is approved, the employer will be provided with a document that they can use to apply for a work permit for their foreign worker. The foreign worker will need to present this document, along with other supporting documents, when applying for their work permit.

Additionally, before submitting an application for an LMIA, employers must post all open positions across the Canadian labour market for at least four weeks. 

To that end, employers must demonstrate that they have employed at least two additional recruitment strategies in addition to placing an ad on the Canada Job Bank. 


Employers must concentrate their advertising efforts on underrepresented Canadian demographics, such as First Nations people or people with disabilities.


Employers must certify that they are aware of the prohibition against terminating or reducing the hours of Canadian employees who hold the same position(s) as the temporary foreign worker(s) employed by the company.

LMIA application requirements for an applicant

In order to be eligible for an LMIA, an applicant must: 

  • have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer in an occupation that is on the National Occupation Classification (NOC) list; 

  • meet the minimum wage requirements for the occupation and province in which they will be working; 

  • demonstrate that they have the skills, qualifications and experience required for the position; 

  • prove that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves and any dependents while in Canada; and 

  • show that they are likely to leave Canada at the end of their work period.

Documents required for an LMIA application in Canada

When applying for a work permit through the LMIA process, there are certain documents that you will need to submit in order to have your application processed. To help ensure that your application is complete, please consult the checklist below:

  • A valid passport or travel document

  • Your current CV or resume

  • An offer of employment from a Canadian employer

  • The results of any skills assessments that may be required

  • Proof of funds to support your stay in Canada

  • Any other supporting documentation as required by the specific work permit category you are applying under

LMIA Exemptions and International Agreements


In certain cases, employers may be exempt from the need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before hiring a foreign worker. These exemptions can be due to international agreements or due to specific Canadian policies designed to advance important interests. Here are some key points on LMIA exemptions and international agreements:


  1. International Agreements: Certain international agreements, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, replaced by the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement or CUSMA as of July 1, 2020), contain provisions that allow for the hiring of workers from the participating countries without an LMIA. Other agreements, such as the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and various bilateral agreements, may also include LMIA exemptions for certain categories of workers.

  2. Canada's International Mobility Program (IMP): The IMP allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers without needing an LMIA. The IMP includes LMIA-exempt work permit categories based on broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada, and reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.

  3. Intra-Company Transferees: Intra-company transferees from companies operating in other countries can be exempt from an LMIA if they are coming to Canada to provide significant economic benefit, possess specialized knowledge, or are in a managerial or executive role.

  4. International Experience Canada (IEC): The IEC program allows youth (typically aged 18-35) from over 30 partner countries to work in Canada on an open work permit, which does not require an LMIA.

  5. Francophone Mobility Program: This program is designed to encourage francophone foreign workers to come to Canada to work outside of Quebec, supporting the goal of increasing the number of French-speaking communities across the country. These workers are LMIA-exempt.

Spousal Open Work Permit and Other Open Work Permits That Do Not Require an LMIA


Certain individuals may be eligible for an open work permit, which allows them to work for any employer in Canada without first having a confirmed job offer or a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Here are some notable categories of open work permits:


  1. Spousal Open Work Permit: This permit is issued to the spouses or common-law partners of foreign students or certain skilled foreign workers. The foreign student or worker must be in Canada on a valid permit for the spouse or common-law partner to be eligible for an open work permit. It's important to note that spousal open work permits are issued with a validity date that does not exceed the period of time that their spouse is permitted to work or study.

  2. Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP): The PGWP program allows students who have completed a program of study at certain Canadian educational institutions to gain valuable Canadian work experience. These work permits are also open, meaning a positive LMIA or confirmed job offer is not required.

  3. Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP): Foreign workers who are currently working in Canada and have applied for permanent residence in an economic class program may be eligible for a BOWP. This permit allows them to keep working while they wait for a decision on their permanent residence application.

  4. International Experience Canada (IEC): As mentioned earlier, the IEC program allows youth from over 30 partner countries to work in Canada on an open work permit.

  5. Refugee or Protected Persons: People who have been granted protected person status, as well as their family members, may be eligible for an open work permit.


Open work permits provide a great deal of flexibility, allowing permit holders to work for any employer in Canada and change employers freely. However, they still carry obligations, such as complying with the conditions of the permit and ensuring that the work is lawful. It's also important to be aware of the expiration date of the permit and apply for renewal, if necessary, before the permit expires.

Appealing a Denied Labour Market Impact Assessment - LMIA


Receiving a negative or denied Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) can be disappointing for employers. It's essential to understand the steps you can take following such a decision.


  1. Understand the Reasons for Denial: Service Canada should provide a reason for the LMIA denial. These reasons could range from wage offerings below the prevailing wage, insufficient efforts to recruit Canadians or permanent residents, or concerns about the legitimacy of the job offer or the employer's business.

  2. Review for Errors: If the employer believes that the decision was based on an error in the assessment of the LMIA application, they may request a review of the decision. This needs to be done within 30 days of the negative LMIA decision.

  3. Submit a New Application: If there were deficiencies in the original application that led to its denial, such as insufficient proof of recruitment efforts, the employer might consider addressing these issues and submitting a new LMIA application.


However, it's crucial to understand that there is no formal appeal process for a denied LMIA. This means that you cannot officially appeal the decision in the same way you might appeal a legal verdict.


While it can be frustrating to receive a negative LMIA decision, it's important to remember that each application is assessed independently.


Therefore, a previous denial does not necessarily impact the chances of success for future applications. Employers should take the feedback provided in the denial, make the necessary adjustments, and continue their efforts to meet the requirements of the LMIA process. In certain complex situations, employers might consider seeking the assistance of an immigration lawyer or consultant.

Need help in applying for an LMIA? Hire an authorized paid representative.

IMMERGITY Immigration Consultant are very experienced with the application process and can help you navigate the system. We will also provide valuable insights and tips on how to increase your chances of success. Get in touch now.

If you're thinking of hiring a representative, be sure to check that they're authorized by IRCC. You can verify our credentials by clicking here.

Hiring a representative is not required, but it can be helpful, especially if you're not familiar with the application process. If you decide to hire a representative, be sure to choose someone who you trust and who you feel comfortable working with. 

bottom of page