Find a hiring program based on your need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment

Employers can hire temporary workers through 2 different programs:

The program you use depends on whether or not you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Do you need an LMIA?

There are 2 ways you can find out if you need an LMIA:

  • review the list of LMIA exemption codes
  • contact the International Mobility Workers Unit for help

Review the LMIA exemption codes

  1. See Labour Market Impact Assessment exemption codes and review the list of regulations.
  2. Select the LMIA exemption code that seems most relevant to your hiring situation and read the detailed description.
  3. Note the exemption code that applies to you. You’ll need to include this code in your offer of employment.

If you need help determining if you need an LMIA, contact the International Mobility Workers Unit.

Contact the International Mobility Workers Unit

The International Mobility Workers Unit helps you determine if the temporary worker you want to hire is exempt from

If you think an LMIA or work permit exemption applies to your situation, you can ask for an opinion from the International Mobility Workers Unit if the temporary worker is both of the following:

The border services officer at the port of entry (POE) may consider the opinion given by the International Mobility Workers Unit before they issue the work permit. The opinion doesn’t guarantee entry into Canada.

Opinions are issued within 2 weeks (14 calendar days).

All requested information and supporting documents must be submitted to the International Mobility Workers Unit at least 30 days before the date that the worker plans to enter Canada.

To request an opinion, contact the International Mobility Workers Unit by email. Include a completed copy of our request form (PDF, 125 KB) in your message.

The International Mobility Workers Unit responds to LMIA and work permit exemption questions only.

If the temporary worker you want to hire isn’t from a visa-exempt country or is already in Canada, the processing officer reviewing their work permit application will determine if an LMIA exemption applies. This happens either at the POE or in a case processing centre.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program lets you hire temporary workers to fill labour and skill shortages.

You’ll need an LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada, Service Canada.

An LMIA confirms

  • there is a need for a temporary worker
  • no Canadians are available to do the job

International Mobility Program

The International Mobility Program (IMP) lets you hire temporary workers without an LMIA. Exemptions from the LMIA process are based on

  • broader economic, cultural or other competitive advantages for Canada
  • reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents

If you hire a temporary worker through the IMP, you need to

  • pay an employer compliance fee
  • submit an offer of employment form through the Employer Portal

This must be done before the foreign national can apply for a work permit.

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