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 Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) 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, HRSDC 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 HRSDC 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 HRSDC 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 HRSDC 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.