Labour Market Opinion Applications are Being Refused more Frequently

Labour Market Opinion applications are necessary to bring workers to Canada

I have no statistics on this but, as predicted, the refusal rate for Labor Market Opinion (LMO) applications seem to be on the rise. With the downturn in the economy and more stringent regulations respecting LMO applications, foreign workers and their Canadian employers are having a harder time getting approvals.

A number of years ago, Service Canada, formally Human Resources Development Canada (HRSDC) followed what was known as the “Canada First” policy in adjudicating cases which was really a protectionist stance against foreign workers. During the Canada First days, HRSDC officers had to focus, among other factors, on whether Canadians were available to do the job offered to a foreign national first before granting a positive Labour Market Opinion.

This approach was never abandoned altogether but due to the reality of globalization, a more worldly, economically friendly attitude towards foreign workers and their employers was adopted.  During these golden years, Labour Market Opinions were approved in record numbers as the demand for foreign workers bringing their unique talents and skills to the Canadian labor market surged. However, it seems that the pendulum has swung once again towards the Canada First approach, unfortunately during a time when Canada needs international talent more than ever.

For the best chance of having your Labour Market Opinion application approved, contact an immigration lawyer

Labour Market Opinion applications therefore need to be prepared as persuasively and thoroughly as possible to avoid refusals. Labour Market Opinions that show that Canadian employers have made a sincere effort to find Canadian employers first will be considered more credible and have a higher chance of success.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

  • junoste

    i have a 2 year work permit left . i want to get lmia to get more points in EE.
    can i get lmia???
    will it be a problem for me to justify why i need onr as i have a 2 year permit left . .

  • Lorenzo

    Thanks a lot for the quick response Michael.
    I already thought on it, but I just wanted to be sure.

    Moreover it’s really weird Service Canada feels my wage is too low, since it fits perfectly in the wage’s range disclosed in “Working in Canada” (official web site from Government of Canada) for the NOC position the LMO was applied for.

    Now I started to get in contact with some immigration lawyers for analyzing potential legal actions I can take for obtaining this document.


  • Lorenzo

    My LMO gor refused for the same reason of Jencarl:
    “The wages you are offering are not consistent with prevailing wages paid to Canadians in the requested occupation”.

    But I have a question regarding to this refusal: since I am still an employee of them (my employment agreement will expire on July 2013), shouldn’t the employer try to get the LMO anyway fixing this issue? In other words, there are no obligations to the employer to increase the salary for satisfying LMO requirements?

    I was told by the employer that LMO got refused and I have to find an alternative solution, like this is just my problem, not their.
    Thank you in advance,

    • Michael Niren

      Hello Lorenzo

      I am sorry to hear your employer’s LMO was refused. Service Canada feels that the wage is not sufficient. Your employer can apply for reconsideration and offer a higher wage if they choose but are under no obligation. This is something you will have to discuss with your employer

  • Jenacarl

    We have submitted a LMO application on Aug. 20,2012. HRSDC received the application on August 24, 2012. On November 21, 2012, they called to do the assessment interview. We received a negative LMO on November 23, 2012 for the following reason: “The wages you are offering are not consistent with prevailing wages paid to Canadians in the requested occupation” – the wage of $12.00/hour being offered for this position is below the prevailing wage rate of $18.97/hour. This is very unrealistic!
    They are letting over a hundred miners from China to work here and everybody knows that those Chinese worker are not getting even a minimum wage and definitely will be living in a shitty place.
    We have a trucking company & needing an Accounting Bookkeeper. We are offering $12.00/hourly wage plus benefits. If you think about it, nobody makes more than $12.00/hour doing this job. I know someone who went to school and spent more than $10,000.00 and only makes $12.00/hour. My friend is an accounts payable & has been with her company for 9 years and only making $14.00/hour.
    Three (3) months was the total of application process from sending the application to receiving the result.

    • Michael Niren

      Hello Jencarl

      Thank you for the comment. Service Canada’s standard refusal is indeed “that he wages you are offering are not consistent with prevailing wages paid to Canadians in the requested occupation” . LMO cases are becoming tougher these days for sure. In order to maximize your changes for a successful LMO application you really have to have a well documented case. You can visit our LMO application info page for more information.

      Hope that helps


The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly. If you post on this blog, you assume full responsibility for disclosing your identity to the public and VisaPlace nor its affiliates are not responsible for protecting your privacy nor your identity concerning your participation in our blog and you assume any risks in participating.

Customer Reviews

Visa place is the best!!! I use Yasmeen to do paperwork work for my mom to come to Canada and she was amazing. Very helpful and always reply to your email promptly. My experience was awesome everything was a success and I will recommend VISA PLACE to anyone who want quick and successful results. Thank to all the team at Visa Place but a special thank you to Yasmeen again.

Donnica Waugh2 weeks ago

Working with the team as VisaPlace and their trusted partners was an incredibly wonderful experience! The team is extremely knowledgeable, responsive and has the partnerships to get the job done in an efficient and timely manner. Will definitely call them again should I have more visa requirements, issues or questions!!

P Eyre2 weeks ago

Spectacular experience. Completely smooth process, they were able to answer any of my questions any time and I had peace of mind throughout the application time, which was invaluable. I have recommended them to other friends looking for assistance with their applications, and will continue to do so. Worth every penny.

Faith Cheong4 weeks ago