Hire a temporary foreign worker in a high-wage or low-wage position - After you apply

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.

Applications are assessed to determine the impact the hiring of a temporary foreign worker would have on Canada’s labour market. Based on the information you provided, you will receive a negative or positive Labour Market Impact Assessment in the form of a letter.

If you receive a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment you need to:

As of April 4, 2022, positive LMIAs will be valid for 18 months from the date of issuance.

If you receive a positive Unnamed Labour Market Impact Assessment:

If you receive a negative Labour Market Impact Assessment, you will not be reimbursed the processing fee.


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.

Expedited processing

Your application could be processed within 10 business days (except applications for positions located in the province of Quebec) if it meets at least 1 of these criteria:


Skilled trades


  • The positions requested are for a period of employment of 120 calendar days or less, and
  • The wage offered for the requested positions is at or above the provincial or territorial hourly median wage

Express entry

  • The job offer is to support a skilled worker’s application for permanent residence under 1 of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry eligible programs

However, the 10-business day speed of service will only be performed if:

  • your application is complete
  • we do not need additional time for consultation or clarification concerning your application
  • you have not been selected for a Compliance review


Due to COVID-19 10 day Expedited processing for the criteria listed above, has been suspended until further notice. We are currently prioritizing Labour Market Impact Assessments for occupations deemed essential.

Changing a TFW name on a positive LMIA

To change/replace the names of temporary foreign workers after being issued a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, contact the processing centre in advance, based on the number of names to be changed. The employer must send a completed form Request to Add or Remove a name on an LMIA (EMP5661) either by fax or email to the processing centre that initially processed the LMIA.

  • Ten names or less – request must be received at least 15 business days prior to the Labour Market Impact Assessment expiry date
  • more than 10 names – request must be received at least 20 business days prior to the Labour Market Impact Assessment expiry date

The names of temporary foreign workers on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment cannot be changed if the:

  • application is for permanent residence or dual intent
  • application is for the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
  • 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, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced a Temporary Public Policy. The new policy allows some temporary foreign workers (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.

Note: Information included in the Modification to a positive LMIA web page does not apply to the process of changing/replacing TFW names on a positive LMIA. For details on that process, please refer to the Changing a TFW name on a positive LMIA section.

Cancelling a job offer

If you no longer require the services of the temporary foreign worker or decide to cancel your job offer, prior to the entry of the temporary foreign worker, it is important that you let the Employer Contact Centre and the temporary foreign worker know. However, the Labour Market Impact Assessment processing fee will not be reimbursed.

End of employment

If a temporary foreign worker cannot be located or does not show up for departure from Canada at the end of employment, you must:

Documentation retention

You must keep all documents used to support your application for a minimum of 6 years beginning on the temporary foreign worker’s first day of work. We may request these documents at any time to verify your past compliance with the Program conditions.

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