Labour Market Impact Assessment valid for a maximum period of six months
Questions and Answers
1. What is the expiry date for LMIAs?
Beginning on May 19, 2009, a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (formerly known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) is valid to support a temporary foreign worker’s (TFW) work permit application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a maximum period of 6 months after it is issued. The LMIA expiry date identifies the period of time during which:
- employers must notify the TFW that the LMIA was approved.
- employers must send the positive LMIA letter to the TFW.
- TFWs must apply for a work permit at IRCC.
- employers who do not provide the names of the TFWs when applying for an LMIA, must continue to try and recruit Canadians and permanent residents until they select a TFW.
If this does not occur within the period of time identified (before the expiry date), the LMIA is no longer valid and employers must submit a new LMIA application if they still wish to hire a TFW.
Given the rising COVID-19 infection rates, and to ensure that temporary foreign workers have adequate time to obtain the necessary documentation to support their work permit applications, the program will continue to be flexible regarding the LMIA validity date. Specifically:
- For all streams, with the exception of the Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program (SAWP), approved LMIAs will be valid for nine months.
- For SAWP, LMIAs approved for the 2021 season will be valid until December 15, 2021.
- A validity period extension of up to a maximum of nine months (or, till December 15, 2021 for SAWP LMIAs approved for the 2021 season) is permitted if the original LMIA’s validity period was issued for six months.
2. What is the difference between the LMIA expiry date, duration of an LMIA and work permit expiry date?
- The LMIA expiry date is the date by which the TFW must have applied for a work permit. If the TFW has not applied by that date, the LMIA is no longer valid and employers must apply for a new LMIA, if they still wish to hire a TFW.
- The LMIA duration date is based on ESDC/Service Canada's assessment of an application for an LMIA. It identifies the recommended length of time that a work permit could be issued to a TFW without negatively impacting the Canadian labour market.
- The work permit expiry date is determined by IRCC when the TFW applies for a work permit. It indicates how long the TFW will be allowed to work and reside in Canada.
Note: Two-year employment duration for low-wage employers
In order to support employers and workers affected by COVID-19 the Temporary Foreign Worker Program has put in place special measures. There will be an increase in the allowable employment duration from 1 to 2 years for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in the low-wage stream (3 year project pilot).
3. What about job offers that start more than 6 months after the LMIA is issued?
Regardless of the start date, TFWs must submit their work permit application before the expiry date identified on the LMIA. Employers are also expected to try and recruit Canadians and permanent residents until all positions identified on the LMIA have been filled or the LMIA expires.
4. Can ESDC/Service Canada issue an LMIA with an expiry date of less than 6 months?
Yes. The Department can issue an LMIA that expires in less than 6 months (e.g. short employment period related to emergency or warranty work).
5. Do employers have to wait until they have recruited a foreign worker to apply for an LMIA?
No. Most employers do not have to include the worker's name for ESDC/Service Canada to evaluate their LMIA application. However, these employers must continue to advertise the position to recruit Canadians or permanent residents until they have selected a TFW. They must provide the name of the TFW and other relevant information before the LMIA expires.
There are some exceptions, when employers are not able to apply for an unnamed LMIA . These exceptions depend on the stream the application is being submitted under and the province/territory where the job is located.
6. Does the maximum 6 month expiry apply to all components of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program?
Yes it applies to all components of the Program across all provinces and territories, with the exception of SAWP.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: