Hire a skilled worker to support their permanent residency - Next steps

6. Next steps

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada will assess the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application submitted by the employer to determine what impact hiring a foreign worker 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:

  1. verify if the employer is:
  2. verify the consistency of the job offer with federal-provincial-territorial agreements
  3. 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 foreign worker is consistent with the employment needs of the employer
    • employer can fulfil the terms and conditions of the job offer
    • employer or the third-party representative is compliant with the relevant federal-provincial-territorial employment and recruitment legislation
  4. assess the language requirement of the job offer, to ensure that English and French are the only languages identified as a job requirement, unless employers can demonstrate that another language is a bona fide requirement for the job
  5. assess:
    • the impact of hiring a temporary foreign worker (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, and the
      • effect on the settlement of a labour dispute
    • previous job offers that the employer has made to a TFW
      • Did the employer employ a TFW in the last 2 years, prior to December 31, 2013?
        • This is to determine whether the employer provided all TFWs employed by the company with wages, working conditions and employment in an occupation that was substantially the same as those that were described in the previous offer of employment (and confirmed in the LMIA letter and annexes?
      • Did the employer apply for and receive a positive LMIA on or after December 31, 2013 and employ a TFW in that position?
        • This is to determine whether the employer provided all TFWs employed on LMIAs received on or after December 31, 2013, with employment in the same occupation as described in the previous offer of employment (and confirmed in the LMIA letter and annexes) and with substantially the same wages and working conditions - but not less favourable than - those set out in that offer of employment (and confirmed in the LMIA letter and annexes)?

ESDC/Service Canada will ensure that the employer has met all the Program Requirements. Once the assessment process is complete, the employer will be notified in writing of the final decision.

Positive LMIA

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 foreign workers. However, the letter and Annex A provide 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 foreign worker as it is not required for the purposes of applying for a work permit or permanent resident visa.

The positive LMIA letter supports both the skilled worker’s application to IRCC for a:

  • permanent resident visa under the FSWP, FSTP and CEC
  • work permit, if the employers wishes the foreign worker to start working while waiting for the outcome of the application for the permanent resident visa.

Once the positive LMIA letter is received, it is the employer's responsibility to:

  • send a copy of this letter and Annex A to the foreign worker
  • ask the foreign national to apply to the appropriate Canadian Visa Office, for a permanent resident visa to immigrate to Canada, or/and for a work permit. The foreign national must submit the appropriate application along with a copy of the:
    • written job offer signed by both the employer and the worker, and
    • positive LMIA letter and Annex A


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.

Permanent resident visa

Receiving a positive LMIA for an arranged employment offer does not allow a skilled foreign worker to automatically immigrate to Canada. In order for skilled foreign workers to become permanent residents, they must meet all the requirements under the Express Entry immigration process.

Changing a TFW name on a positive LMIA

Name changes are not performed for applications for permanent resident or dual intent.

Work permit

IRCC will assess the foreign worker’s work permit application. If the assessment is positive, the foreign worker will receive a work permit to work for the employer and in the occupation named on the LMIA, under established working conditions, and for a particular duration in Canada.

Some countries may require that their citizens meet certain conditions if they want to work in Canada. Employers should:

  • ask the foreign worker to verify if additional conditions apply
  • contact the consulate of the foreign worker's country in Canada, or
  • visit the consulate's Web site.

Once the foreign worker 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 foreign worker’s work permit indicates that it is for the employer, occupation and location named on the LMIA, and
  • keep records of the number of regular and overtime hours the foreign worker has worked on a weekly/monthly basis

Note: Employers are not allowed to take away the foreign worker’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 foreign workers 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 a LMIA

The revocation of a LMIA means overturning the decision based on new information, which changes the opinion from positive to negative.

A LMIA may be revoked if it has not yet expired, work permits or permanent resident visas 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 a 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).

Negative LMIA

ESDC/Service Canada will issue a negative LMIA letter if the employer does not meet all the Program Requirements.

Employer compliance

ESDC/Service Canada takes the integrity of the TFWP very seriously. Employers hiring foreign workers 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 annex.

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.

In accordance with the IRPR, (Section 203(1)(e)), employers who have hired a foreign worker within the past 2 years, prior to December 31, 2013, may be subject to an employer compliance review after submitting a new LMIA application.

This review, often known as an STS (substantially the same) assessment, requires employers to demonstrate that the foreign workers were provided with substantially the same:

  • wages
  • working conditions, and
  • occupation, as set out in the positive LMIA letter and annexes

Employers who applied for and have received a positive LMIA, on or after December 31, 2013, and employed a foreign worker in that position, must demonstrate they provided the foreign worker with:

  • employment in the same occupation as described in the previous offer of employment (and confirmed in the LMIA letter and annexes), and
  • substantially the same wages and working conditions - but not less favourable than - those set out in that offer of employment (and confirmed in the LMIA letter and annexes)

More information is available in the Employer compliance section.

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