Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) recently revised the processing times for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications across various streams. This update, effective as of January 12, 2024, reflects changes in processing times for different LMIA categories based on data from all processing centers.
Streamlined Processing Times
The current average processing times have decreased for all streams except the Agricultural stream and the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. Here’s a breakdown of the updated processing times:
- Global Talent Stream: 8 business days (-2 days)
- Agricultural Stream: 15 business days (+1 day)
- Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program: 10 business days (+1 day)
- Permanent Residence Stream: 76 business days (-2 days)
- High-wage Stream: 48 business days (-3 days)
- Low-wage Stream: 49 business days (-3 days)
ESDC’s Commitment to Client Experience:
Service Canada remains dedicated to providing a positive client experience for all Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) applicants. Recognizing the program’s significance in addressing Canada’s labor shortages and meeting the needs of businesses, Service Canada emphasizes the efficient processing of LMIA applications.
Factors Affecting Processing Times
The processing times for LMIA applications can vary based on the volume of applications received by the TFWP. While Service Canada endeavors to process applications promptly, applicants can contribute to reducing processing times by adhering to certain guidelines:
- Submitting applications via the LMIA Online Portal.
- Ensuring completeness of applications before submission.
- Promptly responding to requests for additional information.
- Ensuring all required documents are signed by the appropriate authority.
LMIA Online Portal
The LMIA Online Portal offers a secure and efficient platform for submitting LMIA applications. Key features of the portal include:
- 24/7 submission of LMIA applications.
- Ability to complete or edit applications before submission.
- Uploading supporting documents.
- Secure payment of LMIA fees (if applicable).
- Real-time updates on application status.
- Access to decision letters and correspondence.
Accessing the LMIA Online Portal
Employers and third-party representatives must have a valid Job Bank account for authentication purposes to access the LMIA Online Portal. Once the Job Bank account is created, applicants can initiate LMIA applications and monitor their status through the portal.
Consideration of Average Processing Times
The table below outlines the average processing times across all processing centers in Canada. These times represent the duration from when an application is received by Service Canada to when the decision letter is dispatched. Applicants are encouraged to review these average processing times to plan their employment needs effectively.
Average LMIA Processing Times for January 2024
|Application Type Average Processing Time
|Number of Days
|Global Talent Stream
|8 Business Days
|15 Business Days
|Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
|10 Business Days
|Permanent Resident Stream 76 business days
|76 Business Days
|High-wage Stream 48 business days
|48 Business Days
|Low-wage Stream 49 business days
|49 Business Days
For Quebec-based Positions
It’s important to note that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is responsible for issuing work permits after a positive decision on the LMIA application is received. Applicants should also consider IRCC’s processing times for work permit issuance.
ESDC’s update on LMIA processing times underscores its commitment to facilitating the efficient recruitment of foreign workers while meeting the demands of Canadian businesses. By adhering to application guidelines and leveraging the LMIA Online Portal, applicants can streamline the process and contribute to shorter processing times.