An employer in Canada may need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before hiring a foreign worker.

A positive LMIA will demonstrate that a foreign worker is necessary to fill the job opening. This will also demonstrate that there are no workers or permanent residents in Canada who can do the job.

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

After the employer gets an LMIA, the worker can 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

Low wage LMIA requirements

Below are the requirements when applying for the low wage temporary foreign workers stream:

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Low Wage LMIA Business legitimacy

Employers applying to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) must submit proof of their business legitimacy by providing documentation with their Labour Market Impact Assessment application.


As of April 30, 2022, you are limited to employing only 20% of your workforce for low-wage positions at a specific location. This cap is in place to ensure that Canadian or permanent residents take precedence for available employment.

There are some industries that are eligible for a cap limit of 30%.

You must complete the Cap for a low-wage position section of the Labour Market Impact Assessment application to determine if you are within the proportion of temporary foreign workers that you can hire in in low-wage positions at a specific work location.

There are some exemptions to the cap.

Low Wage LMIA Wages

Wages offered to low wage foreign workers on a temporary basis should be similar to those paid to Canadian and permanent employees who are hired for the same job, work in the same location, and have comparable skillsets and experience.

You must pay the prevailing wage which is defined as the highest of either:

  • the median wage on Job Bank
  • The rate that is within the wage range you are paying your existing employees performing the same task and working in the same location, with comparable skills and years of expertise

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.

Low Wage LMIA Recruitment

Before hiring a temporary foreign worker, you must make efforts to recruit from the Canadian labour market which includes Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Minimum recruitment requirements

You must perform at least three distinct recruitment activities before applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment:

  • 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. The methods used must also target a different, underrepresented group: Indigenous persons, vulnerable youth, newcomers, and persons with disabilities.

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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Low Wage LMIA Housing

If you plan to employ a temporary foreign worker, you must first ensure that housing accommodations are suitable and affordable.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation definitions are used to determine the suitability and affordability of housing:

  • suitable housing: "does not require any major repairs, according to residents. Major repairs include those to defective plumbing or electrical wiring, or structural repairs to walls, floors or ceilings"
  • affordable housing: "costs less than 30% of the temporary foreign worker’s before-tax income. Shelter costs include, rent (or mortgage payment) and any payments for electricity, fuel, water and other municipal services"


The employer is responsible for the expenses related to temporary foreign workers travel, both coming to and leaving Canada.

The temporary foreign workers must not be charged for the travel expenses.


You need to make sure that the foreign workers you want to hire for low-wage positions have private, provincial or territorial health insurance coverage from their first day in Canada.

If provincial or territorial health care is not an option, you must purchase equivalent private health insurance for foreign workers until they are eligible for the provincial/territorial plan.

Workplace safety

You must make certain that the temporary foreign workers you want to employ through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are covered by their province or territory’s workplace safety insurance provider, where required by law.

If employers are allowed to choose a private 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.

Employment contract

To ensure that all parties are aware of their rights and obligations, an employment contract must be prepared and signed by you and the temporary foreign worker. Prior to arriving in Canada, the foreign national must sign the document.

Low Wage LMIA 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.