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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

Understanding LMIA Wage Requirements and Program Compliance

If you're considering hiring foreign workers in Canada, understanding the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) wage requirements and minimum pay is crucial. The LMIA is a critical step in the process of hiring temporary foreign workers, and one of the key considerations is ensuring that these workers are paid fairly and in compliance with Canadian labour standards. Ensuring that you advertise for the median wage before you submit an LMIA application, as well as maintaining median wage while workers are here working for you is key to staying compliant with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

What is an LMIA?

The Labour Market Impact Assessment, or LMIA, is a crucial document that Canadian employers must obtain in most cases when they want to hire foreign workers. It serves as a validation of the need for hiring foreign labour and ensures that the hiring process doesn't negatively affect the Canadian labour market. Part of this assessment includes setting appropriate wages for the foreign workers.

Understanding the Wage Requirements

Determining the prevailing wage: Before applying for an LMIA, employers must determine the prevailing wage for the specific occupation in the specific region where the work will take place. The prevailing wage is the median wage paid to Canadian workers in the same occupation and location. This wage will serve as the baseline for setting the foreign worker's wage.

  • Offering competitive wages: To obtain a positive LMIA, employers must offer wages that are at or above this median wage. This ensures that foreign workers are not hired at lower wages than Canadian workers who are working in the same occupation in their region.

  • Skill levels and wage requirements: Canada uses the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system to categorize jobs into skill levels, now called TEER levels. Different skill levels may have different wage requirements. The NOC/TEER code determines the wage of an occupation.

Other pay considerations for Employers

In addition to paying the prevailing median wage, there are minimum pay requirements that employers must meet when hiring foreign workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Here are some key points to consider:

  • Minimum wage: Employers must pay foreign workers at least the minimum wage set by the province or territory where the work will be performed. These minimum wage rates can vary significantly from one region to another, there is no way around this.

  • Pay rate that same as Canadians: If there are Canadian workers working in the same occupation at the job site with the same skills and training, Canadians employers must offer foreign workers the same wage as these Canadian workers. You cannot underpay or overpay temporary foreign workers.

  • Collective agreements: If the job is covered by a collective agreement, the wage rate specified in the agreement must be followed. This ensures that foreign workers are entitled to the same wages and benefits as Canadian workers in similar positions. The collective agreement supercedes any of the above prevailing median wage rules.

  • Deductions and benefits: Employers are responsible for providing foreign workers with the same deductions and benefits as Canadian workers. This includes deductions for income tax, employment insurance, and Canada Pension Plan contributions.

Ensuring Compliance With the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Employers must also ensure that they stay compliant with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program while they emply workers under this program, on LMIAs. This means reviewing the prevailing median wage annually for each position, as they need to bring workers up to this wage if it increases while the workers are in Canada. Additionally, if Canadians in the same role receive a wage increase, the foreign workers must as well.


Understanding LMIA wage requirements and minimum pay is essential for Canadian employers looking to hire foreign workers. Adhering to these requirements not only ensures compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker program but also provincial labour law. Before initiating the LMIA process, it's advisable to consult with experts or legal professionals experienced in immigration and labour matters to ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements and provide fair compensation to foreign workers. At Calver Immigration Consulting Inc., we’ve prepared hundreds of LMIAs, and have been in business since 2015.

Our experienced Immigration Consultants can assist you through the LMIA process, and also help ensure compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Book an online consultation with us today to get the help you need and make informed decisions about your immigration journey. With our expert guidance, you can trust that your paperwork is in capable hands. Please don't hesitate to get in touch and secure your consultation slot.please get in touch and book an online consultation with us here.


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Calver Immigration Consulting Inc. is rated Canada's number one boutique immigration consultancy. We serve clients across Canada and internationally. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law serving those in Canada and abroad.

We can assist with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.

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