What is 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 is available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.

If the employer needs an LMIA, they must apply for one.

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.

Who needs an LMIA?

Employers of some types of temporary workers need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before the worker applies for a work permit. An LMIA is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada that gives the employer permission to hire a temporary worker

Authorization to work without a work

—Business visitor
—Foreign representatives and —Family members of foreign representatives
—Military personnel
—Foreign government officers
—On-campus employment
—Performing artists
—Athletes and team members
—News reporters, media crews
—Public speakers
—Convention organizers
—Judges, referees and similar officials
—Examiners and evaluators
—Expert witnesses or investigators
—Health care students
—Civil aviation inspector
—Aviation accident or incident inspector
—Emergency service providers
—Implied status
—Off-campus work
—Off-campus work (transition to post-graduation status)
—Registered Indians

_Assessing farm worker

Owner Operators Work Visa

The owner-operator policy is not a formal immigration program. Rather, it is a work permit issued under the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). 

Who is an ideal candidate?

To qualify as an owner-operator, the foreign investor must have:

  • Verifiable, transferable management experience.
  • Sufficient assets to purchase the targeted business in Canada.
  • Sufficient language abilities in either English or French to actively work as a manager in the business.
  • Controlling interest in the business: own more than 50% of the shares and cannot be dismissed

Ownership of shares does not by itself guarantee that a foreign national qualifies as an owner-operator.  The offer of employment must be made to a foreign investor that will be actively engaged in the management of the business.  This will be assessed by reviewing the foreign national’s intention to operate the business as well as prior experience in managing or operating a business.

What is the process?

The foreign investor identifies a Canadian business to purchase.

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is submitted along with a suitable business plan.

Once a positive LMIA opinion is issued, the foreign investor applies for a 12-24 months, renewable temporary work permit at the management level.


Not necessarily.

If you are working in Canada on a post-graduation work permit, and have a valid job offer, your current employer will need to get an LMIA if:

you need one to meet the program requirements for the FSWP or the FSTP and
your job is not exempt.

If a job is exempt, it means your employer does not need an LMIA to support your job offer.

If you are invited under the Canadian Experience Class, you don’t need an LMIA to meet the program requirements.

But, a valid job offer supported by an LMIA can get you more points under the Comprehensive Ranking System. This can improve your chances of being invited to apply. So in that case, your employer may want to get an LMIA, even though you don’t need it to be eligible.

No. You can apply for a work permit without a Labour Market Impact Assessment, but you must intend to operate a business in Canada that would create or maintain:

significant social, cultural or economic benefits, or
jobs for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Was this answer useful?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document an employer may need to get before they are allowed to hire a foreign worker. The LMIA is valid for a limited time. If your employer would like to keep you for a longer period, they must apply for a new LMIA. Employment and Social Development Canada / Service Canada will make sure there are still no Canadian citizens or permanent residents who can do your job.

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