Last Updated on September 18, 2010 by Steven Meurrens

A Labour Market Opinion is an opinion issued by Service Canada which states whether or not the hiring of a foreign worker for a specific job vacancy will have a positive, neutral, or negative affect on the Canadian labour market.  A positive or neutral Labour Market Opinion must be obtained in order for the company to be able to hire a foreign worker for the vacancy.

It is not possible to have a work permit application and a Labour Market Opinion application processed concurrently. Not only that, but all Labour Market Opinions now expire six months after issuance.

If you are an employer interested in hiring a foreign worker than you need to be aware of the following:

During the six months that the Labour Market Opinion is valid for, it is imperative that you notify the temporary foreign worker that the LMO was approved and send the LMO confirmation letter to the temporary foreign worker.  If a worker does not applied for a work permit within those six months, then the LMO will no longer be valid and you must apply for a new LMO if you wish to hire the foreign worker.

An exception to the six month rule exists for IT specialists and for Quebec live-in caregivers.

As well, if you did not provide the name of the foreign worker when applying for the LMO, then you must continue to attempt to recruit Canadians or permanent residents until a foreign worker is selected.

Furthermore, you should understand the difference between the LMO expiry date, the duration of a LMO, and the work permit expiry date.

The LMO expiry date is the date by which a foreign worker must have applied for a work permit

The LMO duration date identifies the recommended length of time that a work permit could be issued to a foreign worker without negatively impacting the Canadian labour market.

The work permit expiry date indicates how long a worker will be allowed to reside and work in Canada.

Finally, it is important that you advise the prospective employee to make sure that his/her passport is valid for the duration that you want to employee the individual. A work permit will not be issued for a period that is past the expiry date on a passport.