Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)- LMIA

Employers can hire temporary workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program (IMP). The TFWP lets employers hire foreign workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

Employers who want to hire a temporary worker through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).  An LMIA is a labour market verification process whereby Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) assesses an offer of employment to ensure that the employment of a foreign worker will have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market.  Employers will be required to provide a variety of information about the position for which they want to hire a foreign worker. They also must provide evidence that they have attempted to find qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill job positions before turning to foreign workers.


The LMIA process is different depending on whether the targeted employee is classified as “high-wage” or “low-wage” or the LMIA application is supporting the employee becoming a Permanent Resident.  Most employers must conduct recruitment efforts to hire Canadians and permanent residents before offering a job to foreign workers.  However, certain LMIA applications are exempt from the advertising requirements.  One example is the Owner/Operator LMIA.

Employers should be mindful of a number of criteria that affect whether or not ESDC will process an LMIA application.   Employers hiring for certain occupations may face additional requirements.  

Work permit

A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for the foreign worker to fill the job being offered and that there is no Canadian worker available to do the job.  With a positive LMIA a foreign worker can apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.


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. Non-compliance will result in a ban using the program and a penalty.

More info

You can find more information about LMIAs, application forms and employers’ responsibilities on Employment and Social Development Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program web page.  If you want our assistance in bringing a foreign worker to Canada contact us.