As an employer, you may need to apply for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) before you can hire a foreign worker or get pre-approval to hire a large number of workers.
A positive Labour Market Opinion will show that there is a need for the foreign worker to fill the job you offer and that there is no Canadian worker available to do the job.
You can find more information about LMOs and application forms on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program website.
Pre-approval to hire temporary foreign workers
If you are an employer who is hiring foreign workers in an occupation that requires prolonged and/or extensive recruitment and you would like approval in principle before you recruit, you can fill out the application form to hire foreign workers. You might use this process because of the large number of workers being recruited and/or the complexity of the required recruitment.
Leave blank the part of the application form regarding information about the foreign worker. Clearly indicate on the application that this is a request for pre-approval.
Submit the completed application to the nearest Service Canada Centre that processes foreign worker applications. If you have any questions on pre-approvals or on completing the application form, contact the nearest Service Canada Centre that processes foreign worker applications.
When a decision is made about your pre-approval request, you will receive a notice from Service Canada, which explains the decision. You can only begin recruiting if your pre-approval request has been approved.
After you have recruited foreign workers and the necessary information about them has been provided to Service Canada, positive LMOs will be issued to each successfully recruited worker. In these cases, you as an employer must meet the conditions of the foreign worker application form and employment contract (if applicable).
Do not recruit if Service Canada refuses your pre-approval request. If you disagree with the Service Canada decision, you may submit any new information that you feel may affect the decision to the Service Canada Centre indicated in the notice.
Once a positive LMO has been issued, you should provide a copy of the confirmation letter to each foreign worker and advise each worker to apply for a work permit and, if necessary, a temporary resident visa at a visa office abroad.
- This is a guide for employers in small to medium-sized businesses who want to hire foreign workers.