Hiring Foreign Workers through LMIA in Saskatchewan

Canadian and Saskatchewan-based businesses often face worker shortages across industries and hire foreign workers through LMIA. The lack of workers has a net negative effect on Canadian businesses. Hiring foreign workers can address the challenges of worker shortages. As a business owner, you will also need to understand what is LMIA. 

Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a government-approved document that authorizes an employer to hire a foreign worker. The condition being, the worker is hired temporarily to address the short term employment concerns. 

An employer is also required to search and exhaust all options to hire a worker from within Canada before applying for an LMIA. An employer is also required to continue to explore and hire candidates once there is the availability of workers. 

Here are the 10 things you need to know about hiring temporary foreign workers through LMIA:

Not all jobs require LMIA. 

Most jobs in Canada will require an LMIA when hiring a foreign worker. However, there are some jobs where you do not need LMIA. These are called LMIA exempt jobs. You can check out thelist of jobs here that do not require an LMIA.

You will need to find the code that best matches your job requirements and use that in the offer of employment. 

LMIA for High Wage jobs

To get an LMIA, you will need to apply to Employment and social development in Canada. As an employer, you must comply with the program requirements for LMIA. Requirements for jobs will vary based on the jobs that you are applying to. There is a processing fee of $1000 to cover the cost of applying for the LMIA. You will also need to provide a transition plan for the worker you are hiring unless you are hiring caregivers in personal households and health care institutions. 

ESDC also requires employers to advertise and make efforts to hire workers locally and should have proof of advertisements using mediums that are consistent with the job search. More details can be found here. 

LMIA for Low-wage jobs

If you are hiring for low wage positions such as food server, waiter, dishwasher, etc. you will still need to try and find workers locally before applying for LMIA. A successful LMIA application will be based on several factors including:

  • Business legitimacy
  • Cap on the proportion of low wage workers

Some exemptions to the cap are for jobs such as farm managers, supervisors, and workers, caregiver positions, seasonal jobs, etc.

How to recruit for LMIA jobs

When looking to hire foreign workers, you will need to look for candidates with the skills and experience you need in your business. Recruitment efforts should include advertising on the Government of Canada’s job bank. You must also include two other recruitment channels that are consistent with the jobs that you are looking to fill. Each of these methods should include advertising on channels to target underrepresented groups such as newcomers, a person with disabilities, youth, indigenous, etc. 

Wages and salaries

If you want to hire foreign workers through LMIA, your wages and salaries offered will determine the stream (high wage or low wage) that you need to apply for LMIA. Each province has its median wage. 


Wages before April 22, 2019

2017 wage ($/hour)

Wages as of April 22, 2019

2018 wage ($/hour)

British Columbia$23.00$23.98
New Brunswick$19.35$20.00
Newfoundland and Labrador$21.98$22.00
Northwest Territories$32.00$34.00
Nova Scotia$20.00$20.00
Prince Edward Island$19.00$19.49

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2017 and 2018

How to Apply LMIA for Foreign Worker in Saskatchewan

STEP 1: Employers determine if a Positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESCD) is required.

The positive rating comes when hiring foreign workers has not had a negative impact on the Canadian labor market.

STEP 2: Employer applies for LMIA from ESDC (if not required, go to STEP 3)

In making its decision, the ESDC will consider whether:

The job offer is genuine;
Salaries and working conditions are comparable to Canadians working in this profession;
The employer has made reasonable efforts to hire or train the Canadian for the job (the employer will likely need to provide evidence of recruitment efforts);
Foreign workers are filling the labor shortage;
This employment will directly create new job opportunities or help retain jobs for Canadians;
Foreign workers will transfer their knowledge and skills to Canadians; and
The hiring of a foreign worker will not affect a labor dispute or the employment of any Canadians involved in the dispute.

STEP 3: Employer selects and hires foreign workers

The employer’s job is to recruit, interview and hire a suitable foreign worker who meets the job requirements. The employer must provide a job offer that meets the prevailing wage and labor standards.

After the ESDC provides a positive LMIA and approves the job offer, the employer sends a copy of the LMIA and the employment letter to the foreign worker so that they can apply for a work permit.

STEP 4: The worker applies to the federal government – Citizenship and Immigration Canada – for a work permit

Foreign workers may need a work permit to work legally in Canada. Work permits are usually specific to the employer making the job offer and specific to the position.

In most cases, workers must apply for a work permit from outside Canada at the visa office serving their nationality or legal residence. Some workers, such as those from the United States or Europe, can apply for a work permit at a Canadian port of entry, as long as they have the necessary documents.

Depending on current nationality or place of residence, a temporary resident visa may be required along with a work permit. In this case, the visa officer will process your temporary resident visa application at the same time. You don’t need a separate application. Countries and territories that require a temporary resident visa to enter Canada.

Use of the third party

The government of Canada allows employers and businesses to utilize the expertise and services of third party consultants or recruiters to hire foreign workers. Before using the services of a third party, you must make sure that the service providers are in good standing with the ICCRC and have sound knowledge of recruitment best practices. 

Greentech resources specialize in hiring foreign workers in Saskatchewan for businesses and organizations in Canada. We work with top companies like New Holland, Case, CAT, Burger King, A&W, etc. in hiring foreign workers. 

Let us help you hire foreign workers and grow your business. 

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