LMIAs are an important component of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Learn how certain Canadian firms may recruit temporary foreign employees faster thanks to the IRCC’s 10-business-day service standard.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) manages the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to assist Canadian companies in filling labour and skill gaps in their organisations when there are no eligible and accessible Canadians or permanent residents (PR) (TFWP).

Employers acquiring foreign talent must submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to demonstrate that the hire will have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market as a requirement of the work permits given under this programme.

LMIAs took more than 21 business days on average to process across the seven streams covered by IRCC in December 2022. The Global Talent Stream, Agricultural Stream, Permanent Residence Stream, High-wage Stream, Low-wage Stream, In-home Caregivers Stream, and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program are among these streams.

However, in the following three cases, the processing period of an LMIA might be reduced to 10 business days.

Please keep in mind that, despite the accelerated processing time, employers in the following categories must still fulfil all of the standard programme standards required to evaluate TFWP applications.

LMIAs are available for people in high-wage skilled trade occupations

Employers hiring foreign workers in the following skilled trades — deemed essential for infrastructure development and natural resource extraction, thus qualifying as vital to Canadian economic growth — and offering a wage at or above the median wage in the province or territory where the job is located are eligible for the expedited 10 business day service standard.

The following list includes all skilled trade jobs that are eligible under this category, as well as their National Occupation Classification 2021 (NOC 2021) code.

NOC 2021 Code Occupation
72011 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
72013 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
72014 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
72310 Carpenters
72020 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
72021 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
82010 Supervisors, logging and forestry
82020 Supervisors, mining and quarrying
82021 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling services
83110 Logging machinery operators
82030 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
92010 Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
92011 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
92013 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
93100 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
92100 Power engineers and power systems operators
92101 Water and waste treatment plant operators
72100 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
72102 Sheet metal workers
72104 Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters
72105 Ironworkers
72106 Welders and related machine operators
72200 Electricians (except industrial and power systems)
72201 Industrial electricians
72202 Power system electricians
72203 Electrical power line and cable workers
72204 Telecommunications line and cable workers
72205 Telecommunications installation and repair workers
72300 Plumbers
72301 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
72302 Gas fitters
72400 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
72401 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
72402 Heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning mechanics
72403 Railway carmen/women
72404 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
72406 Elevator constructors and mechanics
72500 Crane operators
73402 Drillers and blasters – surface, mining, quarrying and construction
73402 Water well drillers
83100 Underground production and development miners
83101 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
93101 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators

LMIAs for workers earning at or above the top 10% of the pay scale

Employers who provide foreign employees a pay that meets or surpasses the top 10% of wages earned by Canadian citizens or PRs in the province or territory where they operate are eligible for the accelerated 10 business day service standard. Temporary foreign employees in this category are highly competent in their positions, with talents that are hard to find in the Canadian labour force.

The median hourly wages effective April 30, 2022 (2019 wages) in each Canadian province and territory are as follows:

Alberta (AB): $28.85

British Columbia (BC): $26.44

Manitoba (MB): $23.00

Ontario (ON): $26.06

Quebec (QC): $25.00

Saskatchewan (SK): $25.96

Prince Edward Island (PEI): $21.63

New Brunswick (NB): $21.79

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL): $24.29

Nova Scotia (NS): $22.00

Northwest Territories (NT): $37.30

Nunavut (NU): $36.00

Yukon (YT): $32.00

LMIAs for workers in occupations with a short duration

The expedited 10 business day service standard is available for employers requesting a foreign worker hire for no greater than 120 calendar days. Similar to the first category identified above, the wage offered to the foreign worker in this instance must be at or above the provincial or territorial median in the region where the job is located.

Examples of applicable occupations under this category include roles related to handling repairs, warranties or utilizing manufacturing equipment.

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