Canada: Canada Streamlines Immigration LMO Process

Last Updated: May 22 2012
Article by Caylee M. Rieger and Kyle D. Kashuba

Most Read Contributor in Canada, December 2017

The federal government has recognized the need to increase efficiency and reduce processing times for employers seeking to hire temporary foreign workers (TFWs) in occupations that require a positive Labour Market Opinion (LMO) to be issued before a work permit will be granted.

Except in Quebec, employers that are compliant with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program now have access to the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO) Initiative. Effective April 25, 2012, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)/Service Canada implemented the "A-LMO Initiative," an initiative intended to provide employers who meet A-LMO Initiative requirements with a mechanism to expedite access to an LMO (current target: within 10 business days).

A-LMOs are available for higher-skilled jobs, such as management, professional and technical occupations classified under the National Occupation Classification (NOC) as skill type NOC 0, A, and B. While the A-LMO relies on employer attestations in order to provide employers with more efficient and timely LMO processing by reducing the paper burden, it does not exempt the employer from the criteria assessed in the regular LMO process.

Employer eligibility

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

  • have been issued at least one positive LMO in the previous two years (note: even those LMOs for NOCs C and D will satisfy this requirement);
  • meet the advertising and recruiting efforts required in order to show an attempt to hire Canadian citizens and permanent residents;
  • have a clean compliance record with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) over the last two years;
  • complete all the attestations included in the A-LMO application;
  • consent to participate in a post-compliance review of the A-LMO or any other positive LMOs issued in the last two 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.

Employer attestations relate to advertising and recruiting efforts, including whether the employer has made reasonable efforts to hire or train Canadian citizens or permanent residents, the essential conditions of the job, working conditions, and genuineness of the job offer.

Wage flexibility

HRSDC/Service Canada will continue to provide an A-LMO based on the genuineness of the job offer, the wage offered, and whether the job is likely to fill a labour shortage. What is significant is there is now some flexibility to base the wage paid to the TFWs on what employers pay their Canadian and permanent resident employees, and, as such, a positive A-LMO may still be issued even if the wage provided is up to 15% less than the average posted wage rate for the occupation as set out on the Working in Canada website. Employers should note, however, that A-LMO applications with a wage rate that falls below the average posted on Working in Canada will be flagged for a careful post-compliance review.

Post-compliance reviews

Post-compliance A-LMO reviews will generally be random; however, if HRSDC/Service Canada determines that there is a risk of non-compliance because of further information it received or the application has been flagged, HRSDC/Service Canada may re-assess these applications.

While there has not yet been a directive issued with respect to the post-compliance processes and procedures generally, a post-compliance review will assess whether the employer has in fact met the terms and conditions set out in the A-LMO or LMO. Areas that will be reviewed include, but are not limited to, whether:

  • the minimum recruiting and advertising efforts were performed;
  • the TFW filled a labour shortage;
  • the wages, working conditions and occupation provided are substantially the same as were offered to Canadian citizens and permanent residents in the same occupation and work location and were as listed in the A-LMO or LMO; and
  • the employer abided by the relevant laws that regulate the employment and recruitment.

If a post-compliance review determines an employer has been non-compliant, the employer will be given an opportunity to provide justification or take corrective action, if applicable. Failure to properly satisfy an A-LMO post-compliance review may lead to the employer being ineligible to use the A-LMO Initiative, possible revocation of LMOs for which work permits have not been issued, further investigation, and greater scrutiny of any pending or subsequent LMO and/or A-LMO applications.

Remaining compliant

To avoid being found non-compliant, employers should:

  • review the terms and conditions of the A-LMO or LMO letters and annexes;
  • contact HRSDC/Service Canada if they are making changes to the terms and the conditions set out on the positive A-LMO or LMO;
  • for up to six years following a positive A-LMO or LMO, retain documentation surrounding the A-LMO or LMO application including, but not limited to:
    • copies of advertising and summaries of recruiting efforts;
    • payroll information and timesheets for the TFW and potentially for Canadian citizens and permanent residents;
    • job descriptions, employment agreements, and any applicable collective bargaining agreements;
    • copies of the TFW's work permit; and
    • proof of registration with provincial/territorial workplace safety, where applicable.

A-LMO applications

An A-LMO application may be submitted online or by paper. LMOs and A-LMOs may be applied for online using the Web Service system. HRSDC/Service Canada has now updated its Web Service so that online applications will be automatically integrated with their processing systems. Generally, Web Service is available for both high- and low-skilled occupations when applying for a regular LMO, but Web Service is only available for high-skilled occupations when applying for an A-LMO.

Employers must register to use Web Service when they are ready to complete their first online application and are required to make several attestations. Additionally, an employer that wishes to use a third-party representative must designate that representative in advance of the third party accessing the Web Service system. For more information regarding the Web Service and how to register, visit the site.

HRSDC/Service Canada continues to work towards improving Web Service efficiency and expects to advance the system by the fall of 2012 to include the ability to apply for NOC C and D occupations through the A-LMO process, as well as to allow employers to access the system to determine what stage of processing their A-LMO or LMO is in.

Re-submitting applications

Current processing times for LMO applications are between 8 to 12 weeks. As such, if an employer has previously submitted an LMO application and has not yet received an opinion, the employer has the option of withdrawing the LMO application and resubmitting it as an A-LMO application, provided both applications are for the same position. However, withdrawing a current application may not be appropriate where it is an employer's first time using the A-LMO process and the LMO is not urgently required.


Download Canada streamlines immigration LMO process (pdf 100kb)

Norton Rose Group is a leading international legal practice. We offer a full business law service to many of the world's pre-eminent financial institutions and corporations from offices in Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Central Asia.

Knowing how our clients' businesses work and understanding what drives their industries is fundamental to us. Our lawyers share industry knowledge and sector expertise across borders, enabling us to support our clients anywhere in the world. We are strong in financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and pharmaceuticals and life sciences.

We have more than 2900 lawyers operating from 43 offices in Abu Dhabi, Almaty, Amsterdam, Athens, Bahrain, Bangkok, Beijing, Bogotá, Brisbane, Brussels, Calgary, Canberra, Cape Town, Caracas, Casablanca, Dubai, Durban, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, London, Melbourne, Milan, Montréal, Moscow, Munich, Ottawa, Paris, Perth, Piraeus, Prague, Québec, Rome, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Warsaw; and from associate offices in Dar es Salaam, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta.

Norton Rose Group comprises Norton Rose LLP, Norton Rose Australia, Norton Rose Canada LLP, Norton Rose South Africa (incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc), and their respective affiliates.

On January 1, 2012, Macleod Dixon joined Norton Rose Group adding strength and depth in Canada, Latin America and around the world. For more information please visit

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions