LMIA Restrictions

Canadian employers can hire foreign nationals to work in Canada subject to the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) approval. However, some restrictions apply to LMIAs. Pointedly, LMIA applications from ineligible employers or in the restricted industry sectors and occupations will not even be processed.

Ineligible Employers

Ineligible employers can not apply for a labour market impact assessment. These are employers who:

  • offer services in the sex industry (striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massage)
  • are non-compliant, or banned from the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, or in default of payment of a penalty. A company can get any of these statuses after a compliance review. ESDC randomly conducts such reviews. All ineligible companies are posted here.

Restrictions by Job, Industry Sector, and Region

Not only ineligible employers can not request LMIA, but also eligible employers in some circumstances described below.  Specifically, LMIA will not be processed and is likely refused due to the job position in a specific industry sector and region in the following situations:

  • Low-wage positions in the accommodation and food services and retail trade sectors in Canada regions with an unemployment rate of 6% or higher. This is related to the sectors classified under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes 72 – Accommodation and food services and 44 – 45 – Retail trade. This is related to the positions classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 6541 – Security guards and related security service occupations, 6611 – Cashiers, 6622 – Store shelf stockers, clerks and order fillers, 6711 – Food counter attendants, kitchen helpers and related support occupations, 6721 – Support occupations in accommodation, travel and facilities set-up services, 6731 – Light duty cleaners, 6732 – Specialized cleaners, 6733 – Janitors, caretakers and building superintendents, 7611 – Construction trades helpers and labourers, and 8612 – Landscaping and grounds maintenance labourers.
  • Low-wage positions above the 10% cap of temporary foreign workers that an employer can hire in low-wage positions at a specific work location. This is subject to some exemptions though.  
  • High-wage and low-wage occupations in the province of Alberta for the following positions: insurance, real estate and financial brokerage managers, advertising, marketing and public relations managers, engineering managers, architecture and science managers, computer and information systems managers, corporate sales managers, supervisors, finance and insurance office workers, purchasing agents and officers, geoscientists and oceanographers, civil engineers, electrical and electronic engineers, construction estimators, industrial designers, contractors and supervisors, machining, metal forming, shaping and erecting trades and related occupations, contractors and supervisors, pipefitting trades, ironworkers, electricians (except industrial and power system), industrial electricians, plumbers, carpenters, insulators, motor vehicle body repairers, crane operators (except all terrain crane operators), supervisors, petroleum, gas and chemical processing and utilities. Also, scaffolders and insulators, for which the work duration is greater than 6 months. 
  • In-home caregiver positions where there is a live-in requirement. This restriction is for the sector classified under the NAICS code 814 – Private household. Positions subject to this restriction are those classified under the NOC codes 3012 – Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, 3233 – Licensed practical nurses, 4411 – Home childcare providers, or 4412 – Home support workers, housekeepers, and related occupations. Exceptions apply only to high medical needs clients and other exceptional circumstances that  
  • Any position if an employer had LMIA revoked in the past 2 years.

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