How to Secure a Job Offer in Canada with LMIA – A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide

If you are dreaming of working in Canada, securing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) approved job offer is the easiest and most direct way to achieve your dream. A job offer backed by a positive LMIA not only paves the way for you to work in Canada but also enhances your immigration prospects.

How to Secure a Job Offer in Canada with LMIA

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) serves as a testament to the fact that your skills and expertise are in demand in Canada’s job market. This assessment ensures that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is overlooked for the position.

In addition, your potential employer’s willingness to go through the process of obtaining an LMIA approval underscores their commitment to bringing you on board. Getting an LMIA-approved job offer might sound like a complex puzzle, but if you follow the simple steps outlined in this guide, you will be well on your way to Canada.

What is an LMIA-approved job offer?

An LMIA job offer refers to a job offer from a Canadian employer that has been approved through the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process. LMIA is a mechanism used by the Canadian government to assess the impact of hiring a foreign worker on the Canadian job market.

They use this method to ensure that the employment of foreign workers does not negatively affect job opportunities for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. When a Canadian employer wants to hire a foreign worker, the employer needs to apply for an LMIA.

The employer does this by demonstrating that he has made genuine efforts to hire a Canadian worker for the job but has been unable to find a suitable candidate. Therefore, he has decided to bring in a foreign worker to do the job, if the LMIA application is approved, it means that the Canadian government has agreed that hiring a foreign worker for that specific position is necessary.

An LMIA job offer is highly rated by foreign workers who wish to work in Canada because it is a crucial step in obtaining a work permit to “legally” work in Canada. With a positive LMIA, you are eligible for a work permit and this allows you to come to Canada and work for the employer who offered you the LMIA-approved job.

In essence, an LMIA job offer is a formal offer of employment from a Canadian employer that has been vetted and approved by the Canadian government through the LMIA process. How do you get an LMIA-approved job offer in Canada?

How to get an LMIA job offer from Canada?

Search for a job

The first step you need to take to get an LMIA-approved job offer is research. You can do this yourself or employ the services of agents. You can scan through various platforms such as job boards, company websites, and government portals to find job listings that resonate with your skills and qualifications.

Keep an eye out for positions that match your experience, as these are more likely to garner the attention of employers. You must concentrate on roles that resonate with your experience. This targeted approach doesn’t just increase your chances; it also showcases your dedication to employers.

Contact prospective employers

Once you’ve identified potential job opportunities, the next step is to reach out to prospective employers. This is where your carefully crafted resume and tailored cover letter come into play.

Your resume should highlight your skills, qualifications, and professional experience that directly relate to the job description. You also need to customize your cover letter for each application you are sending out. Show your enthusiasm for the role and your eagerness to contribute to the company.

Employer applies for LMIA

When an employer expresses interest in hiring you, they will initiate the LMIA application process. You are not expected to do anything at this point, your prospective employer will handle the LMIA.

Once your potential employer is ready to apply for LMIA, he will provide details about the job vacancy and apply through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Your employer will then demonstrate that they have exhausted efforts to hire locally but haven’t found a suitable Canadian candidate.

Wait for LMIA approval

Now, the waiting game begins. The processing time for LMIA applications can vary, but it generally takes around 10-14 weeks.

During the waiting period, the ESDC evaluates your prospective employer’s LMIA application to ensure that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively impact the Canadian labor market. Patience is key at this stage.

Receive a positive LMIA

Receiving a positive LMIA is a pivotal milestone. It means that the Canadian government has approved your prospective employer’s application. They have found it necessary to hire a foreign worker to fill the specified job role.

The positive LMIA reflects that your employment will not adversely affect job opportunities for Canadian citizens and permanent residents and they can proceed to hire you.

Receive a job offer

With the positive LMIA in hand, your prospective employer will provide you with an official job offer letter.

Your job offer letter will contain details about the job such as your job title, responsibilities, compensation, benefits, and other pertinent employment terms. You “MUST” review this offer carefully and ensure it aligns with your expectations.

Apply for a work permit

Armed with the positive LMIA and the job offer letter, you’re now ready to apply for a work permit. You can submit your work permit application through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

A work permit in Canada is like your official backstage pass to work in Canada. It’s a legal document issued by the Canadian government that allows you, as a foreign national, to work in Canada for a specific employer and a designated period.

It authorizes you to work in Canada. You must have this permit before you start working because working without proper authorization has legal consequences.

When applying for your work permit, you’ll need to input your LMIA reference number and provide supporting documents such as your passport, job offer letter, and proof of funds.

Wait for Work Permit Approval

The processing time for work permit applications can vary depending on your country of residence and the volume of applications. You need to apply well in advance of your intended start date to account for potential delays.

You can keep track of the current processing times on the IRCC website to manage your expectations.

Arrive in Canada and Start Working

Once your work permit is approved, it’s time to pack your bags and head to Canada! Upon arrival, you can proudly start your new job and embark on this exciting chapter of your life.


Do I need to apply for a work permit separately after getting an LMIA-approved job offer?

Yes, once you have an LMIA-approved job offer, you need to apply for a work permit through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

The work permit application process involves providing the necessary documentation and paying the required fees.

Can I extend my work permit if my LMIA job offer is still valid?

Yes, if your LMIA-approved job offer is still valid and you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply to extend your work permit to continue working for the same employer.

What happens if my LMIA job offer expires before I apply for a work permit?

If your LMIA job offer expires before you apply for a work permit, you need to secure a new LMIA job offer.

Your work permit application needs to align with the validity of your LMIA.


Securing an LMIA-approved job offer in Canada can be daunting but it is the easiest way to migrate to Canada for work. You need to carefully search for a potential employer, submit a tailored application for a job, and allow your prospective employer to get an LMIA approval.

With the LMIA approval, you can proceed to apply for a work permit, your work permit once approved allows you to work in Canada.

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