Gaining Canadian work experience is a critical part of the immigration journey for many newcomers, as it enhances their eligibility for immigration and improves their skills to match the Canadian labor market. One primary pathway to gain this experience is through a work permit, which allows holders to live and work in Canada as temporary residents. For those without access to another type of work permit, pursuing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) supported work permit can be particularly valuable.

Understanding the LMIA

An LMIA is the Canadian government’s evaluation of the impact of hiring a foreign worker on the Canadian labor market. To support a work permit application, the LMIA must return a positive or neutral result. A negative result renders the position ineligible for this type of work permit. The LMIA process also helps determine if a Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available to fill the job position.

Positions that receive LMIAs are often highly in demand within Canada. According to data from the Canadian government, here are the jobs that received the most LMIAs in 2023, as reported by CIC News.

Top Jobs Receiving LMIAs in 2023

Canada uses the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system to categorize and classify professions within the economy. The NOC codes were expanded in 2021 to provide more specific job classifications. For instance, the 2016 NOC Code for General farm workers (8431) was expanded to:

  • 84120: Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators
  • 85100: Livestock laborers
  • 85101: Harvesting laborers

To check how NOCs and job positions may have changed from 2016 to 2021, you can refer to IRCC’s conversion table for NOC codes.

Sectors Dominating LMIA Issuance

The top 100 jobs receiving LMIAs spanned several sectors, including:

  • Administrative
  • Construction
  • Farming
  • Technology and technology management
  • Transport
  • Logistics
  • Food service

In 2023, the Canadian government issued over 60,000 LMIAs to support the hiring of foreign workers. These positions were filled through different streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which is the main immigration program issuing LMIA-supported work permits. The TFWP contains multiple streams, with varying eligibility requirements based on the type of work, job responsibilities, industry, and wages.

Top 10 Jobs Receiving LMIAs

Among the top 10 jobs that received LMIAs in 2023:

  • Four were from the low-wage stream of the TFWP.
  • Four were from the high-wage stream.
  • One was from the Global Talent Stream (GTS).
  • One, receiving the highest number of LMIAs, was from the Primary Agriculture stream.

Utilizing LMIA Data for Career Planning

Newcomers who require an LMIA but are flexible in their job choice may benefit from targeting occupations that historically receive a high number of LMIAs. However, it’s important to remember that employers are responsible for applying for the LMIA and covering all associated fees. Employers must also adhere to TFWP standards, including public job advertising for a specified duration.

Recent Changes to the TFWP and LMIAs

In March 2024, Canada announced several changes to the TFWP and LMIA processes, including modifications to validity periods and workforce quotas. These changes aim to streamline the process and ensure it meets the evolving needs of the Canadian labor market.

By understanding which jobs are in high demand and frequently receive LMIAs, newcomers can strategically plan their job search and increase their chances of obtaining a work permit and gaining valuable Canadian work experience.