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

As part of the assessment process, Service Canada will ensure that the employer has met all program requirements.

In accordance with amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, Service Canada has the authority to temporarily suspend Labour Market Impact Assessment (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 (TFWs) at serious risk.

Suspending the processing of an LMIA is not a decision that Service Canada takes lightly. The intent is to protect TFWs from entering a potentially harmful workplace while 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 TFW would have on Canada’s labour market. Based on the information you provided, you will receive a negative or positive LMIA in the form of a letter.

If you receive a positive LMIA you need to:

Until April 30, 2024, positive LMIAs are valid for up to 12 months after they’re issued. As of May 1, 2024, positive LMIAs will be valid for up to 6 months after they’re issued.

If you receive a positive unnamed LMIA:

If you receive a negative LMIA, you will not be reimbursed the processing fee.

Changing a TFW name on a positive LMIA

To change/replace the names of TFWs after being issued a positive LMIA, 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) by 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 LMIA expiry date
  • more than 10 names – request must be received at least 20 business days prior to the LMIA expiry date

The names of TFWs on a positive LMIA 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 website (French only).


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. Service Canada 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, Service Canada 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 TFW or decide to cancel your job offer, prior to the entry of the TFW, it is important that you let the Employer Contact Centre and the TFW know. However, the LMIA processing fee will not be reimbursed.

End of employment

If a TFW for whom you've received a positive LMIA cannot be located or doesn't show up for departure from Canada at the end of employment, you should:

  • make reasonable efforts to reach the worker
  • notify the Canada Border Services Agency and notify IRCC
  • notify Service Canada by sending the following information to the processing centre that issued the positive LMIA:
    • LMIA number(s)
    • employer name/business number
    • name(s) of departed TFW(s)
    • departure date
    • physical work location
    • details on how TFW(s) left
    • any other relevant information

Documentation retention

You must keep all documents used to support your application for a minimum of 6 years beginning on the TFW’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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