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Processing Applications
LMIA Application

Employers using SAWP, the Agricultural Stream (higher and lower skilled) or the Stream for Higher-skilled Occupations can choose between one of two options to submit an Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application:

  1. Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Web Service (online); or
  2. Paper application form (by mail or fax).

Applying for a LMIA on-line is usually the faster processing option.

Employers applying for positions NOT on the National Commodities List for the Stream for Lower-skilled Occupations should consult the “How to Apply” section for that stream.


LIMA Processing

Applications for Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) are processed in different locations across Canada depending on the occupation or program. It is extremely important that employers send their applications to the appropriate office, in order to ensure that significant delays do not occur.

Find your LMIA processing center location here

To check processing status of LMIA applications employers should contact their designated LMIA processing center or login to your account on the web service.


Work Permit Processing

Processing times for visa / work permit applications vary depending on the country location where the worker application is submitted.

A visa officer can refuse a work permit application if the foreign worker is found to be inadmissible for any of the following reasons where

  • has failed a medical examination
  • has a criminal record
  • is determined to be a security risk
  • has not met the criteria and standards described in the job offer provided by the employer
  • has not satisfied the visa officer that he or she will leave Canada at the end of the period of employment.

The visa office will inform the foreign worker of its decision in writing.

During the overseas processing of work permits, employers should maintain regular contact with recruited foreign workers in order to be kept up to date on the status of their applications and address any problems.

If their overseas application for a work permit is approved in principle, foreign workers will receive a letter explaining that they are eligible for a work permit.  It is important to note that this letter is not a work permit.  Foreign workers are required to present the letter to a Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer at a Canadian port of entry. The CBSA officer will review the documents and if acceptable will issue a work permit for a designated time period based on the position, job offer, and specific employer.  The work permit is attached to the worker’s passport.

View work permit processing times at offices outside of Canada here

View work permit processing times at offices inside of Canada here


Changing Work Permits

On occasion workers are required or voluntarily change employers.  In these cases new work permits are required for the new employer and work location.  Under no circumstances is the worker permitted to work without a valid work permit.

Need to change conditions for a work permit check here


Immigrant Nominee Processing

Immigrant nominee programs are employer driven programs. 

NOTE: Applications to nominee programs are made to the Province where the worker’s job site is located.

AINP  - View Alberta immigrant nominee program processing time here

SINP  - View Saskatchewan immigrant nominee program processing time here

MPNP - View Manitoba provincial nominee program processing time here

Employers and workers must ensure work permit remains vaild and the worker does not become “out of status”.  A letter of support is recommended from the Province well in advance of the date that the current work permit expires.  The worker must make application to extend their work permit pending the processing of their permanent resident application by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Need to extend or change conditions for a work permit check here

  • Applications can be mailed or completed on-line.
  • Note processing times for on-line applications is faster. 

Find processing times for the application to extend or change conditions here



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