Applying for an Unnamed Labour Market Opinion

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, employers can apply for a labour market opinion (LMO) before a temporary foreign worker (TFW) has been identified. LMO applications that do not contain the names of the TFWs will be assessed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada and employers who meet the requirements will receive a positive “Unnamed LMO”, valid for 6 months.


This unnamed LMO option does not apply to all Program streams and is not offered in all provinces/territories. An unnamed LMO application can only be submitted for available positions in:

Exceptions by Stream and Province
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program Agricultural Stream Live-in Caregiver Program Stream for Lower-skilled Occupations Stream for Higher-skilled Occupations
Canada (except Quebec) Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Province of Quebec Yes No (unless the employment is for a period of less than 30 days) No (unless the employment is for a period of less than 30 days) No (unless the employment is for a period of less than 30 days) No (unless the employment is for a period of less than 30 days)

Note: In Quebec, employment offers less than 30 days do not require approval from the ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC).

The process for an unnamed LMO application consists of:

  1. The employer submits an LMO application without completing the "Foreign Worker Information" section or by indicating "Unnamed" in that section.
  2. The application must be accompanied by all supporting documentation as the assessment is the same as a standard LMO application.
  3. The employer must continue to make efforts to recruit Canadians and permanent residents until the names of the TFWs have been provided.
  4. ESDC/Service Canada verifies that the LMO application meets the criteria for an unnamed LMO, and assesses the application according to the Program requirements.
  5. If the result of the assessment is positive, a positive LMO letter labelled "Unnamed LMO" will be sent to the employer for a given number of positions, and a specific period of employment. The letter will include a "Foreign Worker Name Template".
  6. As soon as the TFWs have been identified, the employer must complete and submit the “Foreign Worker Name Template” to ESDC/Service Canada.
  7. ESDC/Service Canada will add the names of the TFWs into the system and issue an official positive LMO letter to the employer within 5 to 10 business days. The official positive LMO letter will include the same expiry date as the unnamed positive LMO letter.

TFWs must apply for a work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) before the expiry date of the positive LMO. Their applications for a work permit must include a copy of the official positive LMO letter, the annexes, and the employment contract.