Labour Market Opinion

Employers are required to apply for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) before they can hire foreign workers. In order to obtain a positive LMO, the employer must prove that there is no Canadian worker available to do the job in question and a foreign worker is therefore needed.

LMO applications should show the following:

  • Efforts made to recruit and/or train willing and available Canadian citizens/permanent residents;
  • Wages offered are consistent with the prevailing wage rate paid to Canadians in the same occupation in the region;
  • Working conditions for the occupation meet the current provincial labour market standards; and
  • Any potential benefits that hiring a foreign worker might bring to the Canadian labour market, such as the creation of new jobs or the transfer of skills and knowledge.

The positive LMO is provided to the foreign worker to submit with his/her application for a work permit.

New regulatory changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program took effect as of April 1st, 2011 which affect employers and temporary foreign workers.

Just announced by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC):

Effective April 25, 2012, HRSDC/Service Canada is implementing a new Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO) Initiative. This new Initiative applies to employers hiring temporary foreign workers in higher skilled positions such as: management, professional and technical occupations.

The 2 main objectives of the new A-LMO Initiative are:

  • improving the integrity of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and labour market outcomes;
  • responding to the employers’ need for more efficient and timely LMO processing.


To be eligible to participate in the A-LMO Initiative, employers must:

  • have been issued at least 1 positive LMO in the previous 2 years;
  • have a clean record of compliance with the Program within the last 2 years;
  • not have been the subject of an investigation, infraction or a serious complaint; and
  • not have any unresolved violations or contraventions under provincial laws governing employment and recruitment.


This new A-LMO Initiative introduces efficiency measures by reducing the amount of paper-burden on employers in the application process, and by introducing attestations for specific assessment criteria that can be reviewed through a subsequent compliance review. In addition to the attestation-based assessment, HRSDC/Service Canada will provide an A-LMO based on:

  • the genuineness of the job offer;
  • the wage offered to the temporary foreign worker;
  • whether the job offer is likely to fill a labour shortage.


If the employer is deemed eligible, HRSDC/Service Canada will issue an opinion, within 10 business days, based on the employer’s agreement to follow the necessary Program requirements and the A-LMO assessment criteria. In addition, employers ma

Please be advised that at the present time, the Initiative does not apply to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, the Agricultural Stream and occupations in the film and entertainment sectors.
The Initiative is currently not implemented in the province of Quebec.

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