What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), also referred to as Confirmation, is an application conducted by Service Canada (a division of Employment and Social Development Canada). This organization works in conjunction with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to ensure that the employment of foreign workers has an overall neutral or beneficial effect to the Canadian labour market.

The LMIA process is intended to ensure that the employment of a foreign worker does not have any negative labour market impact in Canada. This generally entails that the Canadian employer has made a sufficient effort to hire a Canadian for the position of employment, that the employment of a foreign worker otherwise direclty creates or retains Canadian employment, and/or that it results in transfer of skills and knowledge to Canadians. Service Canada must also be satisfied that the wages and conditions offered are consistent with those of the Canadian labour market and that the employment of the foreign worker does not negatively affect the settlement of a labour dispute in Canada.

Depending on the nature of the position and the location of the job offer, there may exist recognized shortages, which can facilitate approval of certain job offers.

How long does a LMIA take?

The duration of the LMIA process depends on a number of factors, including the specific location at which the offer is being made, and the circumstances of the case itself. There are several Service Canada offices throughout Canada, and the location will affect processing delays. On average, delays for such cases are presently 8 to 12 weeks, although some cases can be concluded more quickly.

Additional delays can be incurred in the case that the Canadian employer is not capable of satisfactorily demonstrating that a significant effort to hire a Canadian has taken place. In such a case, it may be necessary to spend time engaging in a compliant recruiting effort prior to being able to initiate the application. 

Is a LMIA required for every job offer?

No, exemptions from the confirmation requirement exist. Common examples of such exemptions include international treaties such as NAFTA or GATS, and positions which offer a Significant Benefit to Canada or are otherwise consistent with Canadian Interests.

Are any positions not eligible for Confirmation?

There are no occupation definitions that are specifically excluded from receiving Confirmation. However, the level of skill required for an occupation can affect the requirements for an application and/or the likelihood of its success.