There’s a large pool of minority candidates for the job market in Vancouver and surrounding areas. But before hiring many of them—depending on their resident status—an employer will usually have to undertake and apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is especially the case if you’re looking to hire someone from abroad. 

What exactly is an LMIA? A Labour Market Impact Assessment must be submitted and approved before hiring a temporary foreign worker. Generally, the process is designed to prove that you as an employer have been unable to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill a position or positions you have a need to hire for. 

If you’re a business owner or manager in or around Vancouver, British Columbia seeking to hire a temporary foreign worker, contact us at Michael Golden Law Corporation. We will help you navigate the Labour Market Impact Assessment process to secure your staffing needs. We also proudly serve clients throughout British Columbia, including Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Surrey. 

What Is a Labour Market Impact Assessment? 

A Labour Market Impact Assessment is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that affirms that there is a need for your business to hire a foreign worker.  

Generally, to receive a positive LMIA, the business must show that it cannot find a citizen or permanent resident to fulfill the duties of the job being offered. Receiving a positive LMIA from ESDC allows you as an employer to hire under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). 



Criteria to Apply for an LMIA 

There are essentially two streams to apply for an LMIA: one for high-wage positions and one for low-wage positions. The cutting-off point is $26.44 an hour as of April 30, 2022, in British Columbia. Any job paying that median hourly wage or higher is considered a high wage; below is considered a low wage. Either way, the business submitting the application to Employment and Social Development Canada must pay a $1,000 application fee and show that: 

  • They have a legitimate business 

  • They supply goods or services to the public 

  • They have had no legal compliance issues in the past 

  • They can fulfill the terms of the job offer 

  • They have a legitimate need for a foreign worker 

Supporting Documents Needed 

Along with the LMIA application, the employer must submit: 

  • The job offer signed by the employer and the foreign worker 

  • A Schedule D (EMP5595) if it is a Skilled Trades Job Offer 

  • Proof of advertising to show that they offered the job to eligible citizens and permanent residents but were unsuccessful in finding a candidate 

  • Proof of business legitimacy 

As part of the proof of advertising, the business must: 

  • Submit a copy of the advertisement 

  • Detail when, where, and for how long they advertised 

  • Provide information on the business’s operating name and location, along with the title of the position and the duties associated with it 

  • Show they advertised the job at Canada Job Bank for at least four weeks within three months prior to submitting their advertisement 

  • Prove that they used at least two other recruitment methods 

  • Prove that they advertised for under-represented Canadians, such as those with disabilities or First Nations 

  • Include the hiring manager’s notes explaining why Canadians or permanent residents were rejected 

Generally, a business will apply for LMIA approval when they have a foreign worker lined up for the position, but they can also apply for an “unnamed” LMIA, which would then be good for six months following approval. After the application is submitted, the business can send a job offer to a foreign worker, pending a positive LMIA. 

High-Wage and Low-Wage Streams 

The principal difference in the application process between the high-wage stream and the low-wage stream is that a high-wage application requires that the employer submit a Transition Plan along with the application. A Transition Plan shows that the employer tried—unsuccessfully—to recruit, retain, and train Canadians or permanent residents for the job.  

A low-wage LMIA does not require a Transition Plan, but employers are limited to a 20-percent hiring cap on the proportion of foreign workers they can retain at a specific work location. Other conditions also apply to hiring low-wage foreign workers. The employer must: 

  • Pay for round-trip transportation for the worker 

  • Ensure affordable housing is available near the work location 

  • Pay for the worker’s private health insurance until they become eligible for provincial health coverage 

  • Register the worker with the provincial workplace safety board 

  • Provide an employment contract for the worker 

Labour Market Impact Assessment Lawyers in Vancouver, BC

Applying for an LMIA can be challenging, and it’s a good idea to have legal help in undertaking the application process. Your business will be subject to compliance reviews. If there were any issues in the past, it might mean a rejection of your application. If your business in or around Vancouver is seeking to hire a temporary foreign worker, contact us at Michael Golden Law Corporation. We will help you assemble all the documents needed and walk you through the process.