Gaining Canadian work experience is crucial for many newcomers, helping increase their eligibility for immigration while enhancing their skills to align with the local labour market.

Typically, the ability to work in Canada is granted through a work permit, which allows holders to live and work in the country with temporary resident status. For newcomers who do not have access to another type of work permit, pursuing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) supported work permit can be valuable.

An LMIA is the Canadian government’s assessment of the impact of hiring a foreign worker on the Canadian labour market. To support a work permit application, the LMIA must return a positive or neutral result. A negative result makes the position ineligible for this type of work permit. LMIAs also help determine whether a Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available to fill the job position.

Positions that receive LMIAs are often highly in demand within Canada. Below is a breakdown from CIC News of the jobs that received the most LMIAs in 2023, based on data from the Canadian government.

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Top Ten Jobs That Received LMIAs in 2023

According to Canada’s open data portal, the following jobs received the most LMIAs throughout the year:

Job Title 2016 NOC Code LMIAs Issued in 2023
General Farm Workers 8431 8,289
Cooks 6322 5,187
Food Service Supervisors 6311 3,739
Food Counter Attendants, Kitchen Helpers, and Related Support Occupations 6711 2,576
Administrative Assistants 1241 1,619
Retail Sales Supervisors 6211 1,358
Information Systems Analysts and Consultants 2171 1,168
Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers 2174 1,133
Transport Truck Drivers 7511 1,131
Construction Trades Helpers and Labourers 7611 994
Administrative Officers 1221 990

The employment codes and job titles above correspond to National Occupation Classification (NOC) 2016 codes. Canada uses the NOC system to categorize and classify professions within the Canadian economy. Many 2016 NOC Codes were expanded in 2021, resulting in more specific job classifications.

For instance, the 2016 NOC Code for General Farm Workers (8431) was expanded in 2021 to:

  • 84120, Specialized Livestock Workers and Farm Machinery Operators;
  • 85100, Livestock Labourers; and
  • 85101, Harvesting Labourers.

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

Within the top 100 jobs that received LMIAs, most positions were within administrative, construction, farming, technology and technology management, transport, logistics, and food-service sectors of the economy.

In 2023, the Canadian government issued more than 60,000 LMIAs to support the hiring of foreign workers. Applicants in these positions received their work permits under different streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The TFWP is the main immigration program that issues LMIA-supported work permits. It also contains multiple streams, with differing eligibility criteria based on the type of work, job category, industry, responsibilities, and wages.

Of the top 10 jobs that received an LMIA last year, 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), and one—the job with the highest number of LMIAs—was from the Primary Agriculture stream.

How Can Newcomers Use This Information?  

Newcomers who require an LMIA but are flexible in their job choice may want to target occupations that have historically received a high number of LMIAs.

Employers are responsible for applying for the LMIA and paying all associated fees. They must also follow TFWP standards when applying for an LMIA, such as publicly advertising the job position for a specified period.

In March 2024, Canada announced several changes to the TFWP and LMIAs, including changes to validity periods and workforce quotas.


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