Program requirements for high-wage positions

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As an employer, you must comply with all the TFWP requirements for the position you’re requesting. Learn about employer compliance and the possible consequences of non-compliance. You must also ensure that the employment you want to offer to a temporary foreign worker (TFW) is for a full-time position, which means that is has to be for a minimum of 30 hours of work per week.

Processing fee

You must pay $1,000 for each position requested to cover the cost of processing your Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application.

  • The processing fee payment (in Canadian dollars) can be made by:
    • Visa
    • MasterCard
    • American Express
    • Certified cheque (shall be made payable to the Receiver General for Canada)
    • Money order (shall be made payable to the Receiver General for Canada)
    • Bank draft (shall be made payable to the Receiver General for Canada)
  • The processing fee won't be refunded if your application is withdrawn, cancelled or if your LMIA is negative. Refunds are issued only if a fee was collected in error
  • The processing fee cannot be paid by nor be recovered from the TFWs

New payment method for LMIA fees now available

We've launched a pilot project that allows for select LMIA processing fees to be paid using online banking. This method is secure, fast and available through most Canadian financial institutions.

How it works

If you submit an LMIA application that requires payment and is for 6 positions or more, you'll have the option to participate in the online banking pilot and will receive an email to confirm your interest. If you wish to participate, simply reply to our invitation email to confirm. Once your application has reached the payment step of our process, we'll send you a second email with instructions on how to make your online banking payment. To help with our internal tracking, please don't send your payment prior to receiving these instructions.

Contact us

If you have any questions about this pilot project:

Processing fee exemptions

The LMIA processing fee does not apply to applications that involve:

  • families or individuals seeking to hire a foreign caregiver to provide home care for individuals requiring assistance with medical needs, provided that a medical certificate attesting to the individual's incapacity to care for themselves is submitted
  • families or individuals with a gross annual income of $150,000 or less seeking to hire a foreign caregiver to provide childcare in their home to a child under 13 years of age
  • on-farm primary agriculture positions such as labourers, workers, managers, and supervisors in farming, livestock, harvesting, nurseries and greenhouses for National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 80020, 80021, 82030, 82031, 84120, 85100, 85101 and 85103

Recruitment fees

There may be a variety of fees and costs incurred in the process of recruiting TFWs, including, but not limited to:

  • cost of using a third-party representative
  • advertising fees
  • fees paid by a foreign national for assistance with finding or securing employment
  • fees paid by an employer for assistance or advice in the hiring of foreign nationals

As an employer, you must confirm and ensure that you or anybody recruiting on your behalf doesn't charge or recover any recruitment fees, directly or indirectly, from the TFWs. Failure to do so will result in a negative LMIA decision.

Third-party representatives

Use of a third-party representative

If you choose to use the services of a third-party representative (paid or unpaid), you must complete the appropriate section of the LMIA application form.

You must not recover the costs for the services of a paid representative from the TFW. The third-party representative also cannot demand or recover the processing fee or other costs related to recruiting from the TFW.

We may communicate directly with you to verify information provided on the LMIA application from the third-party representative.

We won't mediate a dispute between you and a third-party representative nor communicate complaints to a regulatory body on your behalf.

If you have a complaint about your third-party representative, there are ways to get help.

Paid third-party representatives

You may choose to ask a third-party representative to act on your behalf when seeking to use the TFWP to hire a TFW. A paid representative must be authorized to collect a fee or to receive any other type of payment to act on your behalf or to advise you in the LMIA application process. An authorized third-party representative is:

  • a member in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society or students-at-law under their supervision, or the Chambre des notaires du Québec
  • a paralegal in the Province of Ontario’s law society
  • a member in good standing of the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC)

Unpaid third-party representatives

An unpaid representative can also assist you, but isn't authorized to collect a fee or to receive any other type of payment for rendering services. An unpaid representative can be a:

  • family member
  • friend
  • not-for-profit group
  • religious organization


A recruiter or anybody recruiting for the employer is someone who:

  • finds or attempts to find an individual for employment with the employer, or
  • assists another person in finding or attempting to find an individual for employment with the employer, or
  • refers a foreign national to another person who finds or attempts to find an individual for employment with the employer

Some provinces and territories have specific requirements for recruiters and recruitment activities. It is your responsibility to ensure you comply with those requirements. As an employer, you're also responsible for the actions of anyone who recruits on your behalf.

New employers

Employers who haven't employed a TFW in the past 6 years prior to submitting an LMIA application will be subject to a review. The employer must demonstrate that they made reasonable efforts to provide a workplace that is free of abuse and that they weren't an affiliate of an employer who is ineligible for the TFWP or in default of any amount payable in respect of an administrative monetary penalty.

A workplace that is free of abuse includes

  1. (a) proactive efforts made to prevent workplace abuse
  2. (b) reactive measures taken to stop abuse

An affiliate includes an employer that is controlled by another employer

  1. (a) 2 employers that are under common control, or
  2. (b) employers that aren't operated at arm's length

Business legitimacy

All employers applying to the TFWP must provide documents along with their LMIA application to demonstrate that their business and job offer are legitimate.

Transition plan

A transition plan, valid for the duration of the employment of the TFW, is a mandatory requirement to hire TFWs in high-wage positions. It describes the activities you're agreeing to undertake to recruit, retain and train Canadians and permanent residents and to reduce your reliance on the TFWP. If you've never completed a transition plan before, you must submit one as indicated in the appropriate section of the LMIA application form for high-wage positions.

If you're applying for an LMIA and have previously submitted a transition plan for the same position and work location, you must report on the results of the commitments you’ve made in your previous transition plan (will be used to determine if the described activities had been undertaken).

Transition plan exemptions

The transition plan requirement doesn't apply if you're requesting:

  • in-home caregiver or health care provider positions:
    • private household employers (under North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] code 8141) for in-home caregiver positions under National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 31301, 32101, 44100 and 44101
    • health care institutions (under 2-digit NAICS 62) for health care provider positions under NOC 31301, 32101 and 33102
  • a position under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, the agricultural stream and other primary agriculture occupations
  • a specialized occupation that qualifies for Quebec’s facilitated LMIA process (applicable only to the first request for the same job at the same work location)
  • a position of limited duration where:
    • the job is time-limited in nature and the employment duration may range from 1 day to a maximum of 2 years
    • there is no reasonable expectation that you could transition the position to a Canadian or permanent resident
    • the job won't be filled after the departure of the TFW as the position will no longer exist (for example, project-based occupations such as consultant for business management, specialized engineer for a dam construction project)
    • in some cases, repeat use of the specific position is the norm for the industry, but each employment duration is limited (for example, some film and entertainment positions, emergency repairs and warranty work)
  • a position with unique skills: skills or traits that belong to a specific individual and aren't readily available in Canada (for example, NOC TEER 000 occupations, hiring by a foreign government)

Recruitment and advertisement

Recruitment is the process of finding and selecting qualified employees. As part of the TFWP requirements, you must conduct recruitment efforts to hire Canadians and permanent residents before offering a job to a TFW.

Minimum recruitment requirements

Before applying for an LMIA, you must conduct at least 3 different recruitment activities:

  • effective August 28, 2017, you must advertise on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank. If you choose to use an alternative method, you must submit a written rationale and explanation of the alternative method
  • you must also conduct at least 2 additional methods of recruitment that are consistent with the occupation (targets an audience that has the appropriate education, professional experience or skill level required for the occupation). One of the methods used must be national in scope, and easily accessed by residents of any province or territory, as people in high-wage positions are often mobile and willing to relocate for work

To be national in scope, Canadians and permanent residents must have the capacity to search advertisements for work locations across Canada in a single site, as opposed to referring to individual or regional sub-sites.

Note: Prior to August 28, 2017, you were required to advertise either on Job Bank or its provincial or territorial counterpart in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Quebec. While you can still use a provincial or territorial job board as a recruitment method, it doesn't meet the underrepresented groups requirement.

Note: Effective June 10, 2020, the program is prioritizing certain occupations that are considered essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. The listed occupations have been prioritized across all provinces and territories (except in the province of Quebec). For a list of occupations specific to the province of Quebec, refer to Hiring in the province of Quebec.

Important: Any Refusal to Process supersedes prioritization.

  • 31100 — Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine
  • 31101 — Specialists in surgery
  • 31102 — General practitioners and family physicians
  • 31120 — Pharmacists
  • 31301 — Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses
  • 31302 — Nurse practitioners
  • 31303 — Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals
  • 32101 — Licensed practical nurses
  • 32103 — Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists
  • 32109 — Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment
  • 32120 — Medical laboratory technologists
  • 32124 — Pharmacy technicians
  • 32129 — Other medical technologists and technicians
  • 33101 — Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants
  • 33103 — Pharmacy technical assistants and pharmacy assistants
  • 33102 — Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates
  • 33109 — Other assisting occupations in support of health services
  • 63201 — Butchers — retail and wholesale
  • 65202 — Meat cutters and fishmongers — retail and wholesale
  • 65310 — Light-duty cleaners
  • 82030 — Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors
  • 84120 — Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators
  • 85100 — Livestock labourers
  • 85101 — Harvesting labourers
  • 85103 — Nursery and greenhouse labourers
  • 94141 — Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers
  • 94142 — Fish and seafood plant workers
  • 95106 — Labourers in food and beverage processing
  • 95107 — Labourers in fish and seafood processing


Effective January 12, 2022, until June 30, 2024, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will suspend minimum advertising requirements for employers applying for an LMIA to hire TFWs in primary agriculture. Employers are expected to continue efforts to recruit Canadians and permanent residents. However, employers won't be required to meet TFWP minimum advertising requirements or submit proof with their LMIA application.

Job Match service

Effective August 28, 2017, you must use the Job Match service for recruitment purposes when advertising a position on Job Bank.

The Job Match service allows you to see anonymous profiles of registered job seekers that correspond to the skills and requirements outlined in your job posting. Each match is rated using a star system of 1 to 5 stars. The more stars received by the match, the greater the compatibility between your advertised position and the anonymous job seeker.

When creating your job posting, you must select the "default" option. This option allows matches with job seekers from a wide variety of background as opposed to the "strict" matching mode, where matches may be limited to fewer job seekers.

Note: You may see "basic" option when creating your job posting, which is the same as "default" option.

When seeking to fill a high-wage position, you're required to invite all job seekers matched within the first 30 days of your job advertisement to apply for the position if they're rated 4 stars or more.

Methods of recruitment

Acceptable methods of recruitment for a job advertisement include:

  • general employment websites
  • online classified websites
  • specialized websites that are dedicated to specific occupational profiles (for example, accounting, marketing, biotechnology, education, engineering)
  • local, regional and national newspapers or newsletters
  • local stores, places of worship, and community resource centres
  • local, regional and provincial or territorial employment centres
  • magazines and journals (for example, national journals or magazines, professional associations magazines, specialized journals)
  • participation at job fairs
  • partnering with training institutions or offering internships
  • professional recruitment agencies
  • consultations with unions for available labour
  • advertising through professional associations
  • recruitment within the company (for example, considering internal candidates for the position). A human resources plan may outline the training opportunities for existing employees, and include:
    • a list of competencies for employees
    • workshops or programs for professional development and career management
    • specific programs to target specific employees for advancement

If the 2 additional methods of recruitment are online, they must each have unique value and reach different audiences. In cases where you advertise on multiple websites of the same type, the combined advertisements will only be considered as 1 additional method of recruitment.

Recruitment documentation retention

You must keep records of your recruitment and advertising efforts for a minimum of 6 years. You'll also be asked to provide the results from the recruitment efforts you undertook to fill the position.

Job advertisement duration

You must ensure that the job advertisement:

  • has occurred in the 3 months prior to submitting the LMIA application
  • is for a minimum of 4 consecutive weeks within the 3 months prior to submitting an LMIA application

At least 1 of the 3 recruitment activities to seek qualified Canadians and permanent residents must be ongoing until the date a positive or negative LMIA has been issued.

Job advertisement information

The required job advertisement information includes:

  • company operating name
  • business address
  • title of the position
  • job duties (for each position, if advertising is for more than 1 vacancy)
  • terms of employment (for example, project-based, permanent position)
  • language of work
  • wage (must include any incremental raises, performance pay or bonuses):
    • a wage range can be used for the purposes of complying with the advertisements; however, the minimum wage in the range must meet prevailing wage
  • benefits package offered (if applicable)
  • location(s) of work (local area, city or town)
  • contact information, including telephone number, cell phone number, email address, fax number or mailing address
  • skills requirements (includes education and work experience)

Proof of advertisement

You must demonstrate that you've made efforts to recruit qualified Canadians and permanent residents by providing these documents as proof of advertisement with your application:

  • a copy of the advertisement and information to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised
  • proof that the print media and websites used to advertise target an audience that has the appropriate education, professional experience or skill level required for the occupation
  • proof of other recruitment activities (for example, invoice from job fair)

Variations to the advertising requirements

In certain circumstances, there are variations to the advertising requirements for specific positions and in particular provinces or territories. Consult the variations list to determine if 1 of them applies to the requested position.

Applications for a foreign in-home caregiver position, where there is a live-in requirement, won't be processed unless you can demonstrate that the position is for high medical needs clients or for truly exceptional circumstances.


Wages offered to TFWs should be similar to wages paid to Canadian and permanent resident employees hired for the same job and work location, and with similar skills and years of experience.

For the purpose of the TFWP, you must pay the prevailing wage that is defined as the highest of either:

  • the median wage on Job Bank
  • the wage that is within the wage range that you're paying your current employees hired for the same job and work location, and with the same skills and years of experience

To determine the median wage on Job Bank:

  • go to Compare wages on Job Bank
  • in the “Job search” field, enter the job title or the NOC code (2021 version) that best describes the duties and requirements of the position
  • the hourly median wage will be listed in the middle column, by community or area. If the median wage is listed as "n/a", consult the provincial or territorial wage. If it isn't available, consult the national wage

If the position requires additional skills and years of experience over the applicable NOC description, the wages offered should reflect these additional requirements.

For the purpose of determining the wage rate being offered, we'll only consider guaranteed wages, which exclude:

  • overtime hours
  • tips
  • benefits
  • profit sharing
  • bonuses
  • commissions
  • other forms of compensation

Employers who hire TFWs for unionized positions must offer the same wage rates and forms of compensation as those established under the collective agreement.

Variations to the wage requirements

In certain circumstances, industry-specific wage rates have been identified and are considered as the prevailing wage rate during the assessment of the application. These sectors have unique wage requirements:

If you want to hire a TFW for a job in the province of Quebec, you must consult the wage table provided by the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration (MIFI) (French only).

Employers offering a wage that’s below the prevailing wage rate will be considered as not meeting the labour market factor for the assessment of wages. Therefore, they’ll receive a negative LMIA.

Prevailing wage reviews

For LMIA applications submitted as of January 1, 2024, employers are required to update the wages of TFWs to reflect the prevailing wage. This wage review, as part of the LMIA and employment agreement, ensures that TFWs are paid the prevailing wage at the start of and throughout their employment period.

Regardless of the wage indicated on the LMIA application, employers are required to reassess and apply the prevailing wage at the beginning of a TFW’s period of employment. The prevailing wage must be reviewed annually using updated wages posted on Job Bank (if applicable). Because Job Bank wages are updated yearly in the fall, employers have until January 1 of the following year to do their review.

The updated wage can never go below the wage identified in the positive LMIA at any time during a TFW’s employment period, even if the prevailing wage decreases.

If you’re hiring TFWs in Quebec, consult the wage table provided by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) (French only).

Employers who don’t update wages accordingly may be subject to sanctions under the TFW Program’s employer compliance regime including administrative monetary penalties and bans from using the program.

You don’t need to report a wage modification to Service Canada if it meets the prevailing wage. Consult Modification to a positive LMIA to determine when a change requires contacting the Employer Contact Centre or submitting a new LMIA application.

Job duties and working conditions

The TFWs hired as a result of a positive LMIA must only perform duties that correspond to the occupation they were hired for.

Canadian law protects all workers in Canada, including TFWs. The exploitation of TFWs is considered a violation of Canadian laws and human rights.

Employers must:

  • pay TFWs for all work, including overtime, where required by law
  • provide workplace safety insurance
  • offer TFWs the same benefits as other workers, and
  • not take the TFWs' identification

Employment in most occupations is covered under provincial or territorial legislation that deals with labour and employment standards, such as hours of work, working conditions and termination of employment. In fact, every province and territory has a Ministry of Labour that can provide information to assist employers and TFWs with questions or issues related to work.

Note: Some employers are federally regulated and are therefore covered by the employment standards under the Canada Labour Code.

Health insurance

In applicable provinces and territories, you must obtain and pay for private health insurance that covers emergency medical care for any period during which the TFW isn't covered by the applicable provincial or territorial health insurance system.

The coverage the employer purchases must correspond with the TFWs' first day of work in Canada and the costs must not be recovered from the TFWs.

During an employer inspection, an ESDC/Service Canada inspector will look at the policy coverage to make sure that it hasn't been charged back to the worker, and that it covers at minimum the costs of basic emergency health care for sudden illness or injuries during the period the TFW isn't covered by the provincial or territorial health insurance. Some private insurance companies offer more comprehensive plans, but ESDC will accept a basic plan so long as it ensures that the TFW won't have to pay for medical care if they become sick or have an accident while working in Canada.

To demonstrate compliance, the employer must be able to show proof of payment for suitable private health insurance for each TFW, as well as the terms of the policy coverage (for example, the details of what is covered).

Workplace safety

You must always ensure that the TFWs you want to hire under the TFWP are covered from the provincial or territorial workplace safety insurance provider, where required by law. Where the provincial or territorial legislation allows employers the flexibility to opt for a private insurance plan, you must ensure that:

  • any private plan chosen provides better or the same level of compensation to that offered by a province or territory
  • all employees on the worksite are covered by the same provider

If you're enquiring about private insurance plan equivalency, contact the appropriate provincial or territorial workplace safety authority.

The coverage you purchased must correspond with the TFWs' first day of work in Canada and the costs mustn’t be recovered from the TFWs.

Employment agreement

Although a copy of the employment agreement isn't required at the time of LMIA submission, you must commit to providing a completed and signed employment agreement to each foreign worker on or before their first day of work with you. An employment agreement must:

  • include information for employment in the same occupation, with the same wages and working conditions as those set out in the offer of employment
  • be drafted in either English or French as preferred by the foreign worker, and
  • be signed by both the employer and the foreign worker

Employers can develop and use their own employment agreement as long as it contains all the necessary information. You can also use the employment agreement template.

Employers must maintain complete employment records that fully document compliance with the employment agreement throughout the duration of the employment.

For positions in Quebec, visit the MIFI website (French only) for specific requirements regarding the employment contract.

Language of work

English or French are the only languages you can identify as a job requirement in your LMIA application and job advertisement. However, if another language is essential for the job, you must provide a justification on the application.

Positions with no language requirement

There may be rare cases where an offer of employment doesn't require any language for the foreign national.

If there is no language required for the job, you must provide more details on the application, including:

  • how the foreign national will perform job duties in an effective and safe manner without the ability to communicate in any language, and
  • what reasonable measures are in place to ensure health and safety of all persons at the place of work. To demonstrate this, you must also provide applicable and appropriate documentation with your application

Examples of reasonable measures are:

  • having translated workplace safety manuals and procedures
  • providing workplace safety training in the foreign national’s identified language
  • using international safety signs that use symbols (pictures)
  • having official translators on-site, and/or
  • employing other workers or supervisors who can speak with the foreign nationals in their identified language

Unionized positions

If you're applying to hire TFWs for positions covered under a collective agreement, you must:

  • advertise and offer the same wage rates as those established under the collective agreement
  • offer the TFWs the same terms and conditions as Canadian and permanent resident workers
  • submit a copy of the section of the collective bargaining agreement on the wage structure

The hiring of TFWs must not affect current nor foreseeable labour disputes at the workplace. During the LMIA assessment, if it is determined that hiring TFWs is likely to adversely affect the course, the outcome or the settlement of any labour dispute, you'll receive a negative LMIA decision.

We recommend that you work actively with union representatives to recruit Canadians and permanent residents.

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