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Labor Market Opinion Canada

Labor Market Opinion Basics

Generally speaking, all Canadian work permits require a Labor Market Opinion (LMO). For information on Canadian work permits that do not require an LMO, click here.

What is a Labor Market Opinion (LMO)?

An LMO is a labor market verification process whereby Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) assesses the offer of employment to ensure that the foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labor market. In their analysis of the offer of employment, ESDC will consider the following elements:

1. Is the salary offered to the foreign worker consistent with the average for the occupation in the area the position is located?

2. Are the working conditions consistent with labor laws and/or collective bargaining agreements?

3. Is there a labor shortage for that occupation in the area the position is located?

4. Is there an ongoing labor dispute in the company and/or industry?

5. Has the Canadian employer undertaken recruitment efforts in order to find a Canadian to fill the position?

6. Will the foreign worker be able to transfer unique skills or expertise to Canadians?

7. Will hiring the foreign worker help to create or retain jobs for Canadians?

8. Will the foreign worker be the employee of the Canadian employer, whereby the foreign worker is expected to work on a full-time basis at a pre-determined wage?

NOTE: the labor market opinion is specific to employer, position and geographical region. This means that if a foreign worker has a positive LMO and decides to change positions, even within the same company, they will require a new one.

Generally speaking, for jobs located in Canada's major cities, the more specialized the position and the higher the salary offered increases the chances of obtaining a positive LMO. In less populated cities and regions, this is still true but generally obtaining an LMO is easier.

LMO Based Work Permits

Typically, foreign workers and employers must go through a two-step process in order to receive a Canadian work permit. Firstly, the applicant must submit an application to ESDC for a Labor Market Opinion, followed by a second application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) for the actual work permit. The LMO is issued by ESDC who, after considering numerous protective labour market factors, authorizes the Canadian employer to hire a foreign worker.

How Long Does it take to obtain a Labour Market Opinion?

The application for an LMO can take anywhere from 2 to 10 weeks, depending on the location of the job offer in Canada. There is an ESDC office in almost every Canadian province, they are responsible for the processing of the LMO application. For further information please fill out the form above.

Employers Applying for an LMO

All employers wishing to hire a temporary foreign worker to Canada must pay a processing fee of $275 CDN tied to each request for a labour market opinion.

English and French must be the only languages that can be distinguished as job requirements both for LMOs and for job vacancy advertisements unless the employer can prove that another language is otherwise required.

Employers must also advertise all job vacancies in the Canadian job market for at least four weeks before applying for an LMO and are required to prove that they have used at least two other recruitment methods in addition to having posted an advertisement on the Canadian Job Bank website. Employers hiring for high-skilled positions must have at least one recruitment method is advertised nation-wide. Those recruiting low-skilled temporary foreign workers to Canada must prove that they have focused their advertising efforts to under-represented groups in the Canadian labour market.  

 
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