Canada depends on thousands of workers every year to bolster its economy

Work Permits and LMIA

Toronto downtown highriser city view at dawnIn order for foreign nationals to work in Canada, they have to apply for a work permit before they arrive in Canada. However, there are some exceptions where foreign workers do not require a work permit to work in Canada on a temporary basis.

Process of obtaining the work permit

Canadian employers will need to provide foreign workers either an approval from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) or an Offer of Employment number issued by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)


  • You need to get a job offer from a Canadian employer before you apply.
  • The employer must apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
  • ESDC will decide whether the employer can hire a foreign worker to fill the job.


LMIA-Based Work Permit


A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada and is required in order to apply for most Canadian work permits. Prior to submitting the application for an LMIA, the employer must advertise and Job Bank must be one source. Candidates for an LMIA for a temporary position have an associated application fee for each temporary foreign worker position applied for.  The positive LMIA is provided by Service Canada / ESDC to the employer, who will give it to the foreign workers to submit with their applications for the work permit.


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