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
LMIA exemption code
Unique work situations:
Airline personnel (operational, technical and ground personnel)