Some foreign workers in Canada can have their LMIA processed in 10 business days

Some foreign workers in Canada can have their LMIA processed in 10 business days

To help Canadian employers fill labour and skills gaps in their organizations when there are no qualified and available Canadians or permanent residents (PR), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) operates the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).


As a condition of the work permits provided to foreign workers through this program, employers hiring foreign talent must complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to demonstrate that the hire will either have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market.

On average, in the month of December 2022, LMIAs took over 21 business days to be processed across the seven streams accounted for by IRCC. These streams include the Global Talent Stream, Agricultural stream, Permanent Residence stream, High-wage stream, Low-wage stream, In-home caregivers stream and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program.

However, in the following three circumstances, the processing time of an LMIA can be expedited to 10 business days.

Note: Despite the expedited processing time, employers that fall under the following categories must still meet all usual program requirements used to assess TFWP applications

LMIAs for workers in high-wage skilled trade occupations

The expedited 10 business day service standard is available for employers hiring foreign workers in the following skilled trades — deemed essential for infrastructural development and natural resource extraction, thereby qualifying as vital to Canadian economic growth — and offering a wage either at or above the median wage in the province or territory where the job is located.

Alongside the occupation’s National Occupation Classification 2021 (NOC 2021) code, the following lists all skilled trade occupations eligible under this category.

NOC 2021 Code Occupation
72011 Contractors and supervisors, electrical trades and telecommunications occupations
72013 Contractors and supervisors, carpentry trades
72014 Contractors and supervisors, other construction trades, installers, repairers and servicers
72310 Carpenters
72020 Contractors and supervisors, mechanic trades
72021 Contractors and supervisors, heavy equipment operator crews
82010 Supervisors, logging and forestry
82020 Supervisors, mining and quarrying
82021 Contractors and supervisors, oil and gas drilling services
83110 Logging machinery operators
82030 Agricultural service contractors, farm supervisors and specialized livestock workers
92010 Supervisors, mineral and metal processing
92011 Supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities
92013 Supervisors, plastic and rubber products manufacturing
93100 Central control and process operators, mineral and metal processing
92100 Power engineers and power systems operators
92101 Water and waste treatment plant operators
72100 Machinists and machining and tooling inspectors
72102 Sheet metal workers
72104 Structural metal and plate work fabricators and fitters
72105 Ironworkers
72106 Welders and related machine operators
72200 Electricians (except industrial and power systems)
72201 Industrial electricians
72202 Power system electricians
72203 Electrical power line and cable workers
72204 Telecommunications line and cable workers
72205 Telecommunications installation and repair workers
72300 Plumbers
72301 Steamfitters, pipefitters and sprinkler system installers
72302 Gas fitters
72400 Construction millwrights and industrial mechanics
72401 Heavy-duty equipment mechanics
72402 Heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning mechanics
72403 Railway carmen/women
72404 Aircraft mechanics and aircraft inspectors
72406 Elevator constructors and mechanics
72500 Crane operators
73402 Drillers and blasters – surface, mining, quarrying and construction
73402 Water well drillers
83100 Underground production and development miners
83101 Oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers
93101 Petroleum, gas and chemical process operators

LMIAs for workers being paid at or above the level of the top 10%

The expedited 10 business day service standard is available for employers offering foreign workers a wage that meets or exceeds the top 10% of wages earned by Canadian citizens or PRs in the specific province or territory of work. Temporary foreign workers in this category have been deemed highly skilled in their roles with skills that are difficult to find in the Canadian labour force.

The median hourly wages effective April 30, 2022 (2019 wages) in each Canadian province and territory are as follows:

Alberta (AB): $28.85

British Columbia (BC): $26.44

Manitoba (MB): $23.00

Ontario (ON): $26.06

Quebec (QC): $25.00

Saskatchewan (SK): $25.96

Prince Edward Island (PEI): $21.63

New Brunswick (NB): $21.79

Newfoundland and Labrador (NL): $24.29

Nova Scotia (NS): $22.00

Northwest Territories (NT): $37.30

Nunavut (NU): $36.00

Yukon (YT): $32.00

LMIAs for workers in occupations with a short duration

The expedited 10 business day service standard is available for employers requesting a foreign worker hire for no greater than 120 calendar days. Similar to the first category identified above, the wage offered to the foreign worker in this instance must be at or above the provincial or territorial median in the region where the job is located.

Examples of applicable occupations under this category include roles related to handling repairs, warranties or utilizing manufacturing equipment.