Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

Most employers need an LMIA before they can hire a temporary foreign worker. Before you start the hiring process, you must determine if you need an LMIA.

LMIA is a legal document assessing the potential impact if employers are hiring foreign workers. This exists to make sure that jobs in Canada must be available to Canada citizens or permanent residents first. Employers, in most circumstances, can only hire an international worker/ employee if they have a positive LMIA confirming that:

  • there is a need for a temporary foreign worker.
  • no Canadians or permanent residents are available to do the job.

Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit.

How to know if you need an LMIA

To see if you and the temporary foreign worker you want to hire are exempt from needing an LMIA or work permit, do one of the following:

  • review the LMIA exemption codes and work permit exemptions (mentioned below)
    • select the LMIA exemption or work permit code that seems most relevant to your hiring situation and read the detailed description.
    • if an exemption code applies to you, you’ll need to include it in your offer of employment.


  • contact the International Mobility Workers Unit (IMWU)
    • available only if you’re hiring a temporary foreign worker who is both
      • currently outside Canada
      • from a country whose nationals are visa-exempt

How to get an LMIA

You’ll need an LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

The LMIA application process depends on the type of program you’re hiring through.

LMIA exemption codes


R204: International agreements
R204(a) Canada-international exemption codes
Regulation LMIA exemption code

Unique work situations:

  • Airline personnel (operational, technical and ground personnel)
  • United States government personnel
Trader (FTA) T21
Investor (FTA) T22
Professional/technician (FTA) T23
Intra-company transferee (FTA) T24
Spouse (Colombia or Korea FTA) T25
GATS professional T33
Investor (CETA) T46
Contractual service supplier (CETA) T47
Independent professional (CETA) T43
Intra-corporate (company) transferee (CETA) T44
Spouse (CETA) T45
Investor (CPTPP) T50
Intra-company transferee (CPTPP) T51
Professional or technician (CPTPP) T52
Spouse (CPTPP) T53
R204(b) Provincial/territorial-international exemption codes

There are no approved agreements at this time

R204(c) Canada-provincial/territorial exemption codes
Regulation LMIA exemption code
Canada-provincial/territorial T13
Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program C18
R205: Canadian interests
R205(a) Significant benefit exemption codes
Regulation LMIA exemption code
Significant benefit

Unique work situations:

  • Airline personnel (foreign airline security guards)
  • Interns with international organizations recognized under the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act
  • Rail grinder operators, rail welders or other specialized track maintenance workers
  • Experts on mission, working for a United Nations office in Canada
  • Foreign physicians coming to work in Quebec

Unique work situations:

  • Fishing guides (Canadian lakes)
  • Foreign camp owner or director, and outfitters
  • Foreign freelance race jockeys
Intra-company transferees (including GATS)

Unique work situations

  • Airline personnel (station managers)
Emergency repair or repair personnel for out-of-warranty equipment C13
Television and film production workers C14
Francophone mobility C16
Live-in caregivers whose permanent residence application is submitted A71
Caregivers whose permanent residence application is submitted under the Home Child Care Provider Pilot (HCCPP) or Home Support Worker Pilot (HSWP) (occupation-restricted open work permit) C90
Spouses and dependants at age of majority of caregivers whose permanent residence application is submitted under the HCCPP or HSWP C91
Bridging open work permits (BOWPs)

  • Caregivers under the HCCPP or HSWP
Unique work situations

  • Certain Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) holders currently in Quebec
R205(b) Reciprocal employment exemption codes
Regulation LMIA exemption code
Reciprocal employment

Unique work situations:

  • Fishing guides (border lakes)
  • Residential camp counsellors
  • United States government personnel (family members)
Youth exchange programs C21
Academic exchanges (professors, visiting lecturers C22
Performing arts C23

R205(c) Designated by Minister

R205(c)(i) Research exemption codes
Regulation LMIA exemption code
Research C31
i.1) Educational co-op – post-secondary C32
i.2) Educational co-op – secondary level C33
R205(c)(ii) Competitiveness and public policy exemption codes
Regulation LMIA exemption code
Spouses of skilled workers C41
Spouses of students C42
Post-grad employment C43
Post-doctoral Ph.D. fellows and award recipients C44
Off-campus employment See the instructions concerning students
Medical residents and fellows C45
R205(d) Charitable or religious work exemption code
Regulation LMIA exemption code
Religious work C50
Charitable work C50



R206: No other means of support
R206 exemption codes
Regulation LMIA exemption code
a. Refugee claimants S61
b. Persons under an unenforceable removal order S62


R207: Permanent residence applicants in Canada
R207 exemption codes
Regulation LMIA exemption code
Permanent residence applicants in Canada:

  1. Live-in-caregiver class
  2. Spouse or common-law partner in Canada class
  3. Protected persons under subsection A95(2)
  4. Section A25 exemption (humanitarian and compassionate grounds)
  5. Family members of the above

R207.1: Vulnerable workers

R207.1 exemption codes
Regulation LMIA exemption code
1. Vulnerable workers A72
2. Family member of vulnerable worker A72


R208: Humanitarian reasons

R208 exemption codes
Regulation LMIA exemption code
a. Destitute students H81
b. Holders of a temporary resident permit valid for a minimum of six months H82

Work permit exemption

Authorization to work without a work permit

  • R186(a)—Business visitor
  • R186(b)—Foreign representatives and R186(c)—Family members of foreign representatives
  • R186(d)—Military personnel
  • R186(e)—Foreign government officers
  • R186(f)—On-campus employment
  • R186(g)—Performing artists
  • R186(h)—Athletes and team members
  • R186(i)—News reporters, media crews
  • R186(j)—Public speakers
  • R186(k)—Convention organizers
  • R186(l)—Religious leaders
  • R186(m)—Judges, referees and similar officials
  • R186(n)—Examiners and evaluators
  • R186(o)—Expert witnesses or investigators
  • R186(p)—Health care students
  • R186(q)—Civil aviation inspector
  • R186(r)—Aviation accident or incident inspector
  • R186(s)—Crew
  • R186(t)—Emergency service providers
  • R186(u)—Implied status
  • R186(v)—Off-campus work
  • R186(w)—Off-campus work (transition to post-graduation status)
  • R186(x)—Registered Indians
  • Assessing farm work
  • Public Policy: Short-term work permit exemption
  • Public Policy: 120-day work permit exemption for researchers

Registered Indians

Registered Indians, as defined under the Indian Act, are exempt from having to apply for a work permit.