Comparing permanent resident LMIA with high-wage and low-wage options

Canadian employers usually need to apply for an LMIA when they hire foreign nationals. LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment. Moreover, a positive LMIA means hiring a foreign national has no negative impact on the Canadian job market. We could divide LMIAs into several groups. This article compares the permanent resident LMIA with high-wage and low-wage options. Of course, these three are probably the most popular LMIA types.

What are high-wage or low-wage LMIAs?

These two types of LMIAs are for those who intend to work in Canada with a work permit. However, they do not qualify for better alternatives such as,

Among the two options, the process for high-wage LMIA is more straightforward. I prefer not to go into the details. Nonetheless, you may read my other article on this subject:

What is a permanent resident LMIA (PR LMIA)?

Before comparing a permanent resident LMIA with high-wage and low-wage options, let’s define it. Sometimes, you receive a job offer from a Canadian employer. However, you may work in Canada only if you become a permanent resident. In this situation, you usually need to apply for a permanent resident LMIA. A job offer backed with a PR LMIA could boost your FSWC and Express Entry scores. Therefore, many PR applicants seek a PR LMIA to validate their job offers. Of course, you may consider reading my other article on the subject of job offers.

Permanent resident LMIA vs. high-wage LMIA

The process and requirements of a PR LMIA are the same as a high-wage LMIA for the most part. However, there are some differences. The following table only reflects the differences.

Issue PR LMIA for high-wage positions Regular high-wage LMIA
Processing fee $0 $1000 (exceptions exist)
Using the LMIA for a work permit application Not possible Possible
Transition plan No Yes, it is a must
Using it for boosting the PR application score Yes Yes, however, you must have a PR-specific* job offer.

*A PR-specific job offer means the employer is willing to hire you for at least one year after becoming a PR.

Permanent resident LMIA vs. low-wage LMIA

The process and requirements of a PR LMIA are the same as a low-wage LMIA for the most part. However, there are some differences. The following table only reflects the differences.

Issue PR LMIA for low-wage positions Regular low-wage LMIA
Processing fee $0 $1000 (exceptions exist)
Using the LMIA for a work permit application Not possible Possible
Cap on the number of employees No If the employer has hired a foreign national before June 20, 2014, the cap is 20%. Otherwise, the cap is 10% for the temporary foreign workers.
Using it for boosting the PR application score Yes Yes, however, you must have a PR-specific job offer.
Transportation, housing, healthcare, and contract? Not applicable Applicable

*A PR-specific job offer means the employer is willing to hire you for at least one year after becoming a PR.

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches immigration courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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