In December, Service Canada announced new national minimum recruitment requirements which apply to Labour Market Opinion (LMO) applications made after January 1, 2009.

Since putting out our first Special Bulletin on this development Service Canada has provided further details in amendments to the recruitment section of its "Directives for Assessing Labour Market Opinions."

The New Recruitment Requirements

The requirements correspond to the skill level of the occupation under Canada's National Occupation Classification (NOC) system. The requirements are:

  1. For NOC skill level 0 or A occupations (management occupations and occupations usually requiring a university degree), employers must in the 3 months prior to making the LMO application either (a) advertise on the national Job Bank for at least 14 calendar days; or (b) conduct similar recruitment activities consistent with the recruiting practices for the occupation.
  1. For NOC B occupations (occupations usually requiring a college diploma or apprenticeship training), employers must: (a) advertise on the Job Bank for at least 14 calendar days in the 3 months prior to the application; and (b) the advertisement must specifically include the employer's name, business address and the wages being offered.
  1. For NOC C and D occupations (under the low-skill program), employers must in the 3 months prior to making the application: (a) advertise on the Job Bank for a minimum of fourteen (14) calendar days; (b) conduct similar recruitment activities consistent with the practice within the occupation; and (c) demonstrate reasonable ongoing recruitment efforts to recruit from communities that traditionally face barriers to employment.

Service Canada reserves the right to require additional advertising efforts beyond the minimum requirements if Service Canada believes that additional efforts would yield qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are available to work in the occupation and region.

LMOs for Unionized Positions

For occupations covered by a collective agreement, the employer must agree to pay either the rate established by the collective agreement or the prevailing rate established by Service Canada, whichever is higher. In addition, temporary foreign workers must be offered the same benefits provided to Canadian workers or permanent residents.

Amendments to the Directive on Recruitment

The recruitment section of the Directive has been revised and provides further information on the new rules.

For example, the Directive includes the following list of situations where recruiting efforts are not required:

  • The work entails installation, inspection or repair of equipment, and the terms of the warranty require the work to be done by skilled workers designated by the manufacturer.
  • The work requires a specialist familiar with the overall operation to do the work on a regular basis, the duration of the work is limited and there is no opportunity for Canadians to be trained.
  • The position is for a specific occupation in the entertainment sector where the workers often work for a limited number of days in a specific location and on very short notice. This is the case of boxers, bar bands and DJ's, musicians, singers, film directors and first assistant directors, etc.
  • The position is for an academic, one of the seven occupations set out in the IT Workers Program or an exotic dancer.  

We note that, where a foreign national is eligible for a work permit under the IT Workers Program, there is no need to apply for an LMO as an applicant may apply directly for a work permit to Immigration Canada under that program. There is no need to show any recruiting where an employer applies directly to Immigration Canada for a work permit under the IT Workers Program.

Employers should monitor the Directive at the link below in case Service Canada further amends it.


Employers must consider the new recruitment standards before filing LMO applications.

This development is likely to be the first of a number of changes to the LMO application process. We predict that there will be two main themes to these changes. The first theme will be further attempts to create more consistency across the various Service Canada offices that provide LMOs by setting out clearer and more transparent standards. The second theme will likely be changes that will tighten the LMO process to ensure that employers make strong attempts to recruit or train Canadians and permanent residents for positions before turning to foreign workers.

Announcement on New Recruitment Requirements for LMO Applications

Directive on Recruitment