Labour Market Impact Assessment for Express Entry

Labour Market Impact Assessment for Express Entry

Canadian employers unable to fill job vacancies with Canadians or permanent residents may offer a qualifying job to a skilled foreign worker through the Express Entry immigration selection system.

Unless the candidate (worker) has been working in Canada for at least one year on a work permit designating a specific employer (such as a NAFTA work permit or as an Intra-Company transferee), employers must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order for the permanent job offer to be validated for Express Entry. This document serves as proof that the hiring of the skilled worker will have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market.

Please note:

  • The regulations, procedures, fees, and processing times for LMIAs under Express Entry are different from LMIAs under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This page concerns Express Entry only. To learn about LMIAs and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, click here.
  • Employers may find qualified candidates through regular recruitment efforts, or through the government of Canada’s Job Bank. Candidates who enter the Express Entry pool without a permanent job offer in Canada are required to create a listing in the Job Bank.
  • There is no fee for employers who wish to apply for a LMIA for Express Entry candidates (note: the job offer must be permanent). There is a fee for LMIA applications made under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
  • The processing service standard is 10 business days.
  • Express Entry candidates who receive a positive LMIA may then provide this information in their Express Entry profile. This will result in the candidate being awarded 50 or 200 additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS); all skilled job positions are worth 50 points, except certain senior management positions, which are worth 200 points.
  • Although this CRS points bonus does not guarantee that the candidate will be invited to apply for permanent residence in Canada, the fact that he or she has obtained a qualifying job offer means that he or she is more likely to be invited in a subsequent draw from the pool.

For Canadian employers, Express Entry allows for quick recruitment of skilled workers who have expressed their interest in immigrating to Canada.

Employer Requirements

To successfully hire a foreign national as a skilled worker under the Express Entry immigration selection system, it must be clear that no qualified Canadians were passed up in favour of the foreign worker, and that the foreign worker will be given a salary and benefits that meet federal and provincial standards.

Employers must:

  • Provide the foreign worker with a permanent job offer;
  • Obtain a positive LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for this job offer; and
  • Inform the foreign national to create an Express Entry profile online OR to update their existing profile with the
    • employer name and address,
    • job start date,
    • LMIA number, and
    • National Occupational Classification (NOC) code related to the job.

Employers may be inspected for compliance to government regulations after the employee has begun working in Canada.

Job Offer Requirements

A job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment must meet the following specifications:

  • For Federal Skilled Worker Class
    • Be permanent, non-seasonal and full time; and
    • Be for an NOC Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) occupation.
  • For Federal Skilled Trades Class
    • Be for at least one year of full-time work;
    • Be for one of the eligible occupations that falls under the NOC Skill Level B classification; and
    • Offer wages and working conditions comparable to those offered to Canadian citizens and permanent residents working in the same occupation.
  • For Canadian Experience Class 
    • Be permanent, non-seasonal and full time; and
    • Be for an NOC Skill Type 0, A or B occupation.
Hiring from within Canada

Previously, qualifying job offers supported by a LMIA were worth 600 points under the CRS. As of November 19, 2016, candidates with qualifying job offers are awarded either 200 or 50 points, depending on the position. Moreover, certain work permit holders may be awarded points for their job offer even if they have not obtained a LMIA (note: LMIA holders will also continue to be awarded points for a job offer). In addition to LMIA holders, the new regulations also allow the following individuals to be awarded points for a qualifying job offer:

  • Individuals with a work permit issued under an international agreement, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • Individuals with a work permit issued under the ‘significant benefits to Canada’ criteria, such as Intra-Company Transfers.

In both above cases, the worker must have been working in Canada for at least one year and the job offer must be made by the same employer named on the work permit. A full list may be reviewed in the table below. Finally, the job offer duration requirement has also changed from ‘indeterminate’ to at least one year in duration.

The table below shows which foreign workers in Canada may be able to obtain points for a job offer.

Yes No
NAFTA Post-Graduation Work Permits
Intra-Company Transfer International Experience Canada (IEC)
Labour Market Impact Assessment-based Work Permits Work Permits issued to Spouses/Common-Law Partners of foreign workers and international students in Canada
Canada-Provincial/Territorial issued Work Permits All other Open Work Permits
Other Work Permits issued under the significant benefit to Canada initiative  
LMIAs and the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS)

The government of Canada places a large emphasis on an immigration candidate’s ability to find gainful employment in Canada. One of the aims of the Express Entry immigration selection system is for Canada to select new immigrants who will be able to arrive in Canada and quickly integrate into its labour market.

Under the CRS, candidates with qualifying arranged employment may be awarded 50 points, or 200 points for some senior managerial positions. An positive LMIA is one proof of having obtained a qualifying job offer from a Canadian employer. When these additional points are added to a candidate’s human capital and skills transferability points, it may improve a candidate's chances of receiving an invitation to apply for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool.

To learn more about the CRS, click here.


Please contact us if you are an Express Entry candidate with a permanent job offer in Canada. Our law firm may be able to assist you in your objective of successfully immigrating to Canada.