High / Low Wage LMIA



In order for an employer to hire a foreign worker, they must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). A positive LMIA proves that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no Canadian worker is available to do that job.

Depending on the type of position, the employer can hire the foreign worker under two streams: A Low-wage position for full-time positions (minimum of 30 hours of work/week) where the wage being offered is below the provincial/territorial median hourly wage where the job is located. The other stream is a High Wage Position for full-time positions which is at or above the provincial or territorial median hourly wage.

Note: The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is constantly changing and is very dynamic in nature and it is reflective of Canadian Labor market changes/needs. It is imperative when looking to fill a position under the TFWP that you are working with up-to-date information as what may be true today may not be true tomorrow in this area of immigration.


Employers must have a functioning business and supply valid proof of its operations and viability. In participating in the program, the employer must show that there are no available Canadians for the available position(s) and show that they can meet their obligations under the program. Additionally, employers must also be responsible for ensuring that the workers have the proper regulations, certifications and necessary experience to qualify for the position.



If a business is experiencing a genuine shortage of qualified workers or cannot find individuals to fill vacant positions necessary to conduct, sustain or grow their business activities; a positive LMIA will allow them to hire a Temporary Foreign Worker. Only after an employer gets the LMIA, can the foreign worker apply for a work permit. This is the first stage approval needed to allow the person the ability to apply for an LMIA supported Work Permit.


While everyone’s case and circumstances are different, there are some common traps, pitfalls, and misconceptions when it comes to applying under this program. Here are some general and common ones we have experienced and encountered throughout the years:

Any worker should ideally have some relevant experience, training, or qualifications for the position as when it comes to the work permit stage, the worker will need to show that he/she will be able to do the job. When the employer applies for an LMIA, they will need to justify the job offer and that there are no Canadians/PRs that are fit for the job, which is why they are hiring a foreign worker. As part of the process, you will need to show why the foreign worker should be hired over the Canadians/PRs. Choosing the best candidate is an integral part of the application, before you even go through the rest of the process, you might fail at the work permit stage. It is highly recommended that you plan this in advance and make sure that a plan and all questions are answered before starting any applications. Should there be any questions, we suggest booking a consultation and plan your best options in advance. 

Depending on the stream, such as high wage or low wage, you will need to have the correct job offer details. This can be tricky as there are specific requirements, such as the wage, job duties and the correct NOC Code for the position. Not having the correct job offer information may cause issues with your file and may lead to a refusal. It is VERY important to ensure that you have the correct NOC selected and the proper wage as per the requirements of the program based on your geographic region.

As this is an employer specific work permit, you can only work for that particular company/ employer/business. Depending on the job offer, the worker is also tied to a specific location, such as a certain city. As some companies have different locations and business structures which would require the worker to travel, you should make sure that this is accounted for in advance. You will need to be careful with the job requirements if location and different businesses are involved with the job. As opposed to an open work permit, the worker can’t just work for anyone. If the worker needs to work for another employer, then you would need to apply for a work permit change of conditions, which would be a separate application after the work permit is issued.

This can be especially tricky when doing applications as employers must pay the appropriate wages, which should at least meet the prevailing wage for that particular NOC. Having a wage that is too low or not accurate can result in a refusal. This is especially common when employers want to pay the lowest wage possible to a foreign worker or do not check the current prevailing wage, as wages are constantly increasing or fluctuating. Wages will need to be updated to stay current and relevant.


We understand that information can be found on the Internet and there are lots of other consultants or lawyers out there, so things can certainly get confusing very quickly for you. However, our value is in our services and how can simplify a sometimes-complicated process while anticipating and proactively making this whole process easy for you, from the start to the end of your immigration journey. We will guide you and provide:

  • An affordable service with an individualized payment schedule to suit any budget
  • Comprehensive documents required for the process, including information and tips that can’t be found on the IRCC website
  • Personalized immigration advice and solutions that are tailored to your case
  • Collaboration with a licensed immigration consultant who will communicate and represent your case on your behalf
  • Support and Assistance through every stage of the process, from the application to the arrival in Canada.


A: As an employer, you will need to apply for an LMIA. The basic overview of the LMIA process is as follows:

  • Identify position (s) that must be filled, with job duties and details
  • Identify worker (s) for hire
  • Create Job Bank account if not done before
  • Start advertising and ads must be active for one (1) month
  • Apply for LMIA with required documents
  • After LMIA is submitted, you will need to do an interview with a Service Canada officer
  • The officer will verify the need for a worker and the details for the LMIA
  • LMIA is approved for you the employer
  • After this, the next steps are on the worker, who will use the LMIA to apply for their work permit

A: We are not a staffing/recruiting agency, so we can’t offer resumes/candidates either. However, with that said we can surely give you advice on best practices of what we have seen over the years and possibly even illuminate the international hiring dos and don’ts or even make an introduction to help you out. Either way, we always work to support out clients and allow them the ability to tap into our experience. 

A: That will depend on several factors, including processing times, place of submission, time of submission, what was submitted, current travel regulations and any complexities of the individual case.

A: The costs for the process will vary for each situation but generally, the employers will need to be responsible for any government fees, such as for the LMIA to hire the foreign workers. The employer must also be responsible for any accommodations/flights/travel fares if the worker is overseas and in a low skilled job. If you are bringing in someone for a skilled position, then your obligations with respect to job offerings (such as accommodation and flights) are optional.

A: We offer full services for both applications and can assist with you both processes. Alternatively, we do have some creative ways to be able to work collaboratively with some clients and larger organizations. Let us know what you are thinking as we are always open to work in a manner that meets your situation and makes sense.

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