LMIA Filing: 5 Things to Make Sure You Do

LMIA Filing: 5 Things to Make Sure You Do

You have an established business that has been active for more than a year, you are looking to add one or more people to your team, and you just can’t find anybody with the necessary skills or certifications. It’s time to explore the idea of hiring a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) who might just have all the skills you are looking for and more. 

It is no surprise that there has been an increase in the shortage of labour in many sectors, especially in construction, health care, and trucking.  Hiring a TFW may be the solution to these shortages. If you are an employer and are looking to hire a TFW, it is important to keep in mind the following steps when filing a Labour Market Immigration Assessment (LMIA). 

  1. Determine what stream you will be applying under

    You have a shortage of labour, now you need to determine the stream you will be applying under. This is very important as each stream has its own specific form and requirements. Failure to submit the correct form will result in the application being returned as incomplete, which means you need to submit the application as a new one.

    How do you do this? First, establish the nature of your business:

  • Do you require a skilled temporary foreign worker, a position that falls under a skill type 0, A, or B under the National Occupational Classification (NOC)? 
  • Will you support the TFW’s Permanent Residency? 
  • Are you in the agriculture industry? 
  • Are you a private household that requires a caregiver for a child under 12, seniors, or persons with certified medical needs?These are some of the questions you may need to ask in order to determine under which stream you need to apply.

    2. Follow the minimum advertisement requirements

    Once you have determined under what stream you will be applying, you must then understand the advertisement requirements you need to follow. Most streams require you to post the advertisement in job banks; in addition to this, some request you to conduct either two or three additional methods of recruitment. When doing a low-wage Labour Market Immigration Assessment (LMIA) application, each of the methods used must target a different underrepresented group such as Indigenous persons, vulnerable youth, newcomers, and persons with disabilities. ESDC has decided to temporarily remove advertisement requirements to hire TFWs in primary agriculture. These are just some examples of how the advertisement requirements may vary, which is why it is detrimental to follow the guidelines under your stream.

    3. The wage must meet the median wage

    When making the job offer it is important to conduct a search on the job bank wage report to determine the median wage for the occupation in the specific location where the TFW will be employed. The wage must ALWAYS meet or be above the median wage that is established. It is important to always check before offering a job, as the median wage can constantly change, which means that the wage offered to the TFW would have to change as well. If the application is submitted and the wage offered is below the median wage it will be returned as incomplete, or you may receive a negative Labour Market Immigration Assessment LMIA.

    4. Answer ESDC promptly and prepare for the interview

    Once you have submitted your Labour Market Immigration Assessment (LMIA) application and it has been reviewed, most likely an ESDC officer will contact you either requesting additional information, want to schedule an interview or both. It is important to respond promptly, as failure to do so may result in a negative LMIA. It is also important to have the documentation submitted with you and prepare for the interview, as they can ask you anything in relation to the TFWs job offer or your business.

    5. Apply for the work permit within 18 months

    You’ve finished all the paperwork, and you finally received a positive Labour Market Immigration Assessment (LMIA), but please keep in mind that the process does NOT end here. A positive Labour Market Immigration Assessment (LMIA) does not constitute a work permit for the TFW; now that you have received a positive outcome, you are required to notify the TFW you are looking to hire, and they must submit their work permit application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

    Prior to April 2022, employers had to notify the TFW within 6 months of the positive Labour Market Immigration Assessment (LMIA) in order to proceed and apply for their work permit. As mentioned above, time frames are constantly changing, so it is important to always review the decision letter issued by ESDC as they indicated when it expires. Failure to submit the application for the work permit within the time frame given will result in the Labour Market Immigration Assessment (LMIA) expiring which means the employer will need to submit a new LMIA application if they wish to hire the TFW.


When applying for a Labour Market Immigration Assessment (LMIA), there are several steps that need to be taken into account, such as the stream that you wish to apply under, the wage required to meet the median wage, advertisement requirements, and most importantly that despite the application being submitted does NOT mean that the process is done, as ESDC officers may conduct interviews or request additional information before making their final decision. 

Most importantly, the end goal is to hire a temporary foreign worker so you can fill the shortage you have been experiencing. Therefore once you receive the positive LMIA, keep in mind the expiry date, as the TFW must submit their work permit prior to the date indicated in the decision letter, failure to do so may result in the employer having to submit a new Labour Market Immigration Assessment (LMIA) application. 


If you have any questions about how to hire a temporary foreign worker or how to submit an LMIA application our team of experienced employment lawyers at Achkar Law can help. Contact us by phone toll-free at 1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to assist.