Before employing a foreign worker in Canada, an employer may be required to submit a labour market impact assessment (LMIA).

An LMIA is a confirmation that a foreign worker is needed to fill the position. This will show that there are no workers or permanent residents in Canada who are capable of doing the task.

The employer must submit an application for a LMIA if one is required.

After the employer applies and is approved for an LMIA, the worker can then apply for a work permit.

The wage offered for the position will determine which stream to apply for, either the high-wage stream or the low-wage stream. Each stream has different requirements that must be met.

If you are offering a wage to a temporary foreign worker that is:

Province/TerritoryMedian hourly wages prior to April 30, 2022Median hourly wages as of April 30, 2022
British Columbia$25.00$26.44
New Brunswick$20.12$21.79
Newfoundland and Labrador$23.00$24.29
Northwest Territories$34.36$37.30
Nova Scotia$20.00$22.00
Prince Edward Island$20.00$21.63

High wage LMIA requirements

Below are the requirements when applying for a High Wage LMIA.

Business legitimacy

To apply for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), employers need to include proof with their Labour Market Impact Assessment application that both their business and job offer are legitimate.

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High Wage LMIA Transition plan

A Transition Plan is necessary to hire temporary foreign workers in high-wage positions, and it must be valid for the entirety of their employment. This plan outlines the actions you’ll take to recruit, retain, and train Canadians and permanent residents, as well as reduce your reliance on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

If you’ve never created a Transition Plan before, you must do so as directed in the relevant part of the Labour Market Impact Assessment form for high-wage jobs.

If you are reapplying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment and have already fulfilled similar commitments in an earlier Transition plan, you must update the results of your previous Transition plan.

There are some Transition plan exemptions.


Temporary foreign workers under the hig wage stream should be paid the same wage as Canadian and permanent resident employees employed for the same position, working in the same place, with similar abilities and experience.

For the purposes of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, you must pay a wage that is equivalent to the highest of either:

  • the median wage on Job Bank
  • the wage that is within the wage range that you are paying your current citizen or permanent resident employees hired for the same job and work location, and with the same skills and years of experience

The wage rate being offered only considers guaranteed wages, which does not include:

  • overtime hours
  • tips
  • benefits
  • profit sharing
  • bonuses
  • commissions
  • other forms of compensation

Job duties

Employers seeking foreign workers, with a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, can only do jobs that relate to the occupation they were originally hired for.

High Wage LMIA Recruitment

To recruit from the Canadian labour market, you must first try to hire Canadians and permanent residents and prove your recruitment efforts to ESDC.

Minimum recruitment requirements

Before applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, you must complete at least three different recruitment activities:

  • You're required to post your ads on the Government of Canada's Job Bank. If you opt for another method, you must submit a written explanation for your decision
  • You should also conduct at least two additional methods of recruitment that are consistent with the profession and skills. Residents of any province or territory should be able to access one of the methods, which must be national in scope and readily available to people in high-wage jobs.

Job advertisement duration

You must ensure that the job advertisement:

  • occurred within the 3 months before submitting the Labour Market Impact Assessment application
  • minimum of 4 consecutive weeks within the 3 months prior to submitting a Labour Market Impact Assessment application

At least 1 of the 3 recruitment activities must be ongoing until a positive or negative Labour Market Impacts Assessment has been made.

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Workplace safety

The temporary foreign workers you want to hire for your business must be covered by a provincial or territorial workplace safety insurance provider, where required by law.

If employers are allowed to choose a private health insurance plan under provincial or territorial law, you must make sure that:

  • a private plan provides the same or better level of compensation as that offered by a province or territory
  • all employees on the worksite have access to the same health care provider

The insurance you purchased must cover the first day of work for temporary foreign workers in Canada and must not be paid for by them.

Language of work

The only languages you can identify as a job requirement in your Labour Market Impact Assessment application and job advertisement are English or French. If you cannot perform the job without speaking another language, you must explain why on the application.

There are some exemptions that have no language requirement.

High Wage LMIA Processing fee

It costs $1,000 to process each Labour Market Impact Assessment application.

Individuals or families who wish to employ a foreign caregiver to do home care for individuals requiring medical assistance are exempt from having to pay the Labour Market Impact Assessment application processing fee.

Families or individuals with a gross annual income of $150,000 or less who want to employ a foreign caregiver to provide child care in their home to a kid under the age of 13 qualify for the processing fee exemption.