Hire a temporary foreign worker through the Agricultural Stream: Next steps
6. Next steps
Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada will assess the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application submitted by the employer to determine what impact hiring a temporary foreign worker (TFW) would have on Canada's job market. Based on the application and the documents received, the Department will issue a positive or negative LMIA.
Labour Market Impact Assessment process
All LMIA applications go through a systematic assessment process to:
- verify if the employer is:
- eligible to participate in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The list of ineligible employers appears on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website
- using an authorized third-party representative, if applicable
- verify the consistency of the job offer with federal-provincial-territorial agreements
- assess the genuineness of the job offer. The assessment is based on whether the:
- employer is actively engaged in the business related to the job offer
- job offered to the TFW is consistent with the employment needs of the employer
- employer can fulfil the terms and conditions of the job offer
- employer and the third-party representative is compliant with the relevant federal-provincial-territorial employment and recruitment legislation
- the impact of hiring a TFW on the labour market including:
- wages and working conditions offered
- occupation in which the TFW will be employed
- employer's recruitment and advertisement efforts
- benefits to the labour market
- consultations, if any, with the appropriate union
- effect on the settlement of a labour dispute
- the impact of hiring a TFW on the labour market including:
As part of the assessment process, ESDC/Service Canada will ensure that the employer has met all the Program Requirements.
In accordance with amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, ESDC/Service Canada has the authority to temporarily suspend LMIA processing when there is reason to suspect that an employer is not complying or has not complied with certain conditions that would put the health or safety of temporary foreign workers at serious risk.
Suspending the processing of an LMIA is not a decision that ESDC/Service Canada takes lightly. The intent is to protect temporary foreign workers (TFWs) from entering a potentially harmful workplace while ESDC/Service Canada investigates the allegations. The LMIA processing suspension will be lifted as soon as it is known that the serious risk to the TFWs health or safety was unfounded or has been resolved.
Once the assessment process is complete, the employer will be notified in writing of the final decision of their LMIA application.
The employer will receive a letter confirming the approval of the LMIA application. As of April 4, 2022, this positive LMIA will be valid for 18 months from the date of issue.
For privacy reasons, the letter will not include the names of the TFWs. However, it provides specific details about the job offer, such as the wages, working conditions and occupations as well as a system file number. The names of the workers will appear in Annex B which is intended for the employer's records only, and is not to be shared with the TFW as it is not required for the purposes of applying for a work permit.
Once the positive LMIA letter is received, it is the employer's responsibility to:
- send a copy of this letter and the employment contract, signed by the employer, to the TFW
- ask the TFW to apply to IRCC for a work permit. The TFW must include with the work permit application a copy of the positive LMIA letter and the employment contract signed by both the employer and the worker
If the job is located in Quebec, the employer must:
- send to the TFW a copy of the:
- positive LMIA letter issued jointly by ESDC and the ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion (MIFI)
- Quebec Certificate of Acceptance issued by MIFI, and employment contract signed by the employer
- ask the TFW to submit this documentation along with the work permit application to IRCC. Visit IRCC's Web site to find a Canadian Visa Office
As of April 4, 2022, employers may request an LMIA validity extension up to 18 months if:
- the previously issued positive LMIA has a validity period of 6 or 9 months; and
- the LMIA is valid on the day the extension request is received by Service Canada
The extension requests can be made to the processing centre that initially processed the LMIA.
Changing a TFW name on a positive LMIA
The employer must send a completed Request to add or remove a Foreign National’s name form (ESDC-EMP5661) to Service Canada, either by fax or email to the processing centre that initially processed the LMIA.
Processing times vary depending on the number of names to be changed:
- 10 names or less – request must be received at least 15 business days prior to the LMIA expiry date
- more than 10 names – request must be received at least 20 business days prior to the LMIA expiry date
Name changes are not performed when:
- the application is for permanent resident or dual intent
- the application is for the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)
- the work permit application has been submitted, or the work permit has been issued
For positions located in Quebec, you must have a positive LMIA to make a name change. The request must be submitted at least 90 calendar days before the expiry of the LMIA. No request for name change will be made if the LMIA is under assessment. For more details on the required steps, please consult the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration web page (French only).
If you wish to change the name of your already identified foreign worker for reasons related to COVID-19 you can now benefit from an expedited name change process. You will need to indicate that the name change request is due to hardships related to COVID-19 when you contact the processing centre that initially processed your LMIA.
On May 12, 2020, IRCC announced a Temporary Public Policy. The new policy allows some TFWs already in Canada to change jobs before a final decision is made on their work permit application.
Employers hiring these TFWs may receive priority processing of the requests to add or change names on approved LMIAs. To do so, employers must notify Service Canada in writing that the TFW:
- is in Canada, and
- wishes to benefit from IRCC’s COVID-19 Temporary Public Policy
Modification to a positive LMIA
Employers must take immediate action when changes have been made or need to be made to a foreign worker’s terms and conditions of employment as described in the positive LMIA letter and any annexes. ESDC/SC recommends that employers consult the Modification to a positive LMIA web page to determine when a change requires contacting the Employer Contact Centre or submitting a new LMIA form. In accordance with the provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, ESDC may conduct an inspection to verify the employer’s compliance with the conditions set out in the positive LMIA letter and annexes. This inspection could include a review of the employer’s file. As a result, if Service Canada does not have a copy of the changes, the employer will be held accountable for the information that is on file.
IRCC will then assess the TFW's work permit application. If the assessment is positive, the TFW will receive a work permit to be able to work for an employer in the Agricultural Stream, under established working conditions. A work permit cannot exceed a maximum duration of employment of 2 years.
Some countries may require that their citizens meet certain conditions if they want to work in Canada. Employers should:
- ask the TFW to verify if additional conditions apply
- contact the consulate of the foreign worker's country in Canada
- visit the consulate's website
Once the TFW arrives in Canada, the employer must:
- ensure that the worker is authorized to work and check the duration of the work permit
- verify that the TFW's work permit issued by IRCC indicates the name of the individual hiring the worker as the authorized employer
- keep records of the number of regular and overtime hours the TFW has worked on a weekly/monthly basis
Employers are not allowed to take away the TFW's identification documents such as passport, work permit or other identification.
Employers must apply for a new LMIA when they anticipate that their need for TFWs will continue beyond the period covered by the work permit. The new LMIA application should be sent at least 4 months prior to the expiry of the work permit to ensure ESDC/Service Canada has sufficient time to process the application and for IRCC to process the work permit extension.
Revocation of an LMIA
The revocation of an LMIA means overturning the decision based on new information, which changes the opinion from positive to negative.
An LMIA may be revoked if it has not yet expired, work permits have not been issued by IRCC, and if one or more of the following circumstances apply:
- the employer has provided materially false or misleading information
- new facts or information are brought forward after a positive LMIA has been issued, that would have changed the assessment of the application, resulting in a negative LMIA
- the opinion was based on an unintentional error as to some material fact
The revocation of an LMIA is based on reliable and documented evidence that confirms that the new information or altered circumstances would have had an impact on the assessment of the factors listed under section 203 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
ESDC/Service Canada will issue a negative LMIA letter if the employer does not meet all the Program Requirements. In these situations, the Department will also provide the employers with the necessary information to recover any work permit fees that were paid.
ESDC/Service Canada takes the integrity of the TFWP very seriously. Employers hiring TFWs are expected to be compliant with the TFWP, by upholding the terms and conditions of employment as stated in the original job offer and set out in the positive LMIA letter and annexes.
Employers must also follow all federal/provincial/territorial employment regulations and laws, as all workers in Canada have the same labour and human rights and social protections.
More information is available in the Employer Compliance section.
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