Canada makes it possible for employers to apply for Labour Market Impact Assessment online

Shelby Thevenot
Published: February 25, 2020

Employers looking to hire temporary foreign workers are now able to manage their Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application through an online portal.

The new pilot project comes after many calls from Canadian business leaders to improve the current LMIA process for employers.

The online pilot will allow Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) employers to register for online access to manage their accounts, conduct transactions and correspond with Service Canada, the government’s website says.

The portal will be accessible using the same login credentials employers use to access the Job Bank for Employers. It will include an electronic questionnaire guiding the user through the completion of the LMIA application and tracking its progress. Users will be able to upload supporting documents, return to their saved LMIA application at any time and view Service Canada decision letters.

Find out how to obtain a Canadian Work Permit

For years the Canadian business community has been calling for the government to reduce red tape and processing times around hiring temporary foreign workers. Business development groups like the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), have put forth numerous recommendations for improvements.

One of the first changes the Canadian Chamber of Commerce recommended to the federal government in 2017 was to modernize LMIA applications by “increasing the use of online applications with streamlined forms.”

This past month the CFIB released its own report on the concerns of small to medium-sized businesses with hiring foreign talent through the current TFWP process.

Corinne Pohlmann with CFIB described the process as “lengthy, complicated, and expensive.” She told CIC News that there are still many improvements to be made but the online system is some “good news.”

“I think this will be an improvement to what is in place, and hopefully we’ll get some clarity and answers in a much better way,” Pohlmann said.

Without the online system employers are not able to track the applications, and wait times are on average anywhere from three to twelve months. Many business owners find it difficult to get answers to their questions.

The LMIA is required in most cases where an employer wants to hire foreign workers. It proves the business tried recruiting Canadian workers before looking abroad for talent. It costs over $1,000 to submit the application for each position that needs to be filled, a fee that is not refundable even if the application is denied. Employers are often not informed of the reasons for the rejection and therefore cannot assess whether or not it is worthwhile to re-apply.

For Pohlmann, reducing wait times and improving communication are some of the most important revisions the government needs to implement.

“We’re calling for a full review of the LMIA process to understand: where the bottlenecks lie...reduce the complexity of the application, as well as make sure the government’s service is better in terms of replying and feedback,” Pohlmann said.

Find out how to obtain a Canadian Work Permit

© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
What counts as eligible work experience for immigration through Express Entry?
Business people having a meeting in a tech company
Getting your prescription medication as a newcomer to Canada
pharmacist and client
I’m coming to Canada on a TRV. Can I bring my family with me?
A happy family of three relaxing in the lounge and being playful together
Maximising your time in the Express Entry Pool
A man working in front of a laptop while looking at satisfied and content.
Top Stories
Canada is still processing visas for Indian nationals
What counts as eligible work experience for immigration through Express Entry?
Getting your prescription medication as a newcomer to Canada
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Life in Canada
Getting your prescription medication as a newcomer to Canada
pharmacist and client
Gender Equality Week: How Canada promotes equality for all newcomers
A diverse group of friends.
Nanos poll says Canadians would prefer lower immigration targets
Downtown Vancouver
Statistics Canada: Nearly 60% of Internationally Educated Healthcare Professionals employed in their field of study in Canada
Healthcare professionals speak in a hospital corridor.
Link copied to clipboard