Most frequent questions and answers
Canadian employers who want to check if they must apply for an LMIA can review the LMIA exemption codes and work permit exemptions. Select the work permit code that seems to be the most relevant to each occupation.
If an exemption code applies to you, you do not need to apply for an LMIA. Be sure to include the exemption code on your offer of employment to your prospective employee.
You will need to file one LMIA form by employer or in some cases one form for each employee you would like to hire.
Yes. If an employer doesn’t meet the criteria established by Employment and Social Development Canada, an LMIA can be refused.
Unless your application has been revoked within the last two years due to providing false, misleading, or inaccurate information, you may reapply if your LMIA has been rejected.
Yes, an LMIA is required for foreign nationals that want to change their status in Canada or for workers that want to change employers. If the NOC code is LMIA exempt, they don’t need an LMIA.
On April 4, 2022, Service Canada extended the validity of an LMIA to 18 months. The temporary foreign worker(s) must apply for their respective work permit within those 18 months.
No, an LMIA is a preliminary requirement for employers so that they can be allowed to hire temporary foreign workers. Without a positive LMIA, a work permit cannot be obtained by a foreign worker.
IELTS or other mandatory language requirements are not necessary to submit an LMIA, but it is still important for employers to consider candidates’ language skills during the hiring process if they are relevant to the job.
A Service Canada officer could reject a work permit if they believe there are reasonable grounds for the foreign national to not be able to perform their job effectively due to a language barrier, even though language abilities may not be relevant to the issuance of a positive LMIA.
Yes, a foreign worker is allowed to work in their country of residence while they wait for a final decision on their LMIA application. Also, a temporary foreign worker within Canada is only allowed to work while waiting for an LMIA if they applied for a new work permit before the expiration date of their last document because they fall under the maintained status. Visitors or any status other than worker are not entitled to a worker maintained status. It’s important to keep in mind that an LMIA is not a work permit nor does it provide implied status.
Depending on the process, LMIA approval times change. However, given that you must actively market a job opening for up to 30 days before you can submit an LMIA, you should plan for the full process to take at least six weeks.
Depending on the type of LMIA and Service Canada system delays, the procedure after filing an LMIA might take anywhere from 12 to 48 business days. Consult the section above on our LMIA Application Processing Time for more specific information. In Quebec, the wait time for applications may be longer.