LMIA- WORK PERMITS-IMMIGRATION CONSULTANTS
LMIA FOR EMPLOYERS IN CANADA. WANT TO HIRE A FOREIGN WORKER? Find out if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Our Immigration consultants have years of experience helping employers in all Canadian provinces with LMIA applications.
What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?
- A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document provided by Employment and Social Development Canada that may be needed by Canadian employers before hiring a foreign worker.
- An LMIA gives Canadian employers permission to hire a temporary foreign worker. It is a prerequisite for employers of certain types to higher temporary workers.
- Obtaining a positive LMIA indicates that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill a job vacancy that a Canadian worker or permanent resident is unable to fulfill. A positive LMIA is also referred to as a confirmation letter.
- An LMIA confirms that there is a legitimate need for a temporary foreign worker. There are no Canadians or permanent residents available to fill a job vacancy due to a shortage of skilled labour LMIA.
Obtaining a Positive LMIA: How can a Canadian Employer get an LMIA?
Obtaining a positive LMIA, also known as receiving a confirmation letter, is not necessarily as straightforward as filling out an application form.
You’ll need to file an LMIA application. The application process will be different for each employer and it will vary depending on the stream through which you are hiring:
The programs, also known as streams, available are:
• Stream for High-Wage Workers
• Stream for Low-Wage Workers
• Workers through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
• Workers through the Agricultural Stream
• Permanent Residence (except Quebec)
• Caregiver (Only from inside Canada except for Quebec).
LMIA Application Process for Employers:
Before hiring a temporary foreign worker, it’s important to determine if you need an LMIA. Most employers need an LMIA before a temporary foreign worker can be hired, however, there are some exceptions.
Find out if you need an LMIA to hire foreign workers.
An employee may be exempt from an LMIA if:
• They are also exempt from needing a work permit to work in Canada in accordance with the International Mobility Program
• Their type of work falls under a work permit code that is exempt from needing an LMIA
Foreigners of certain nationalities who may be from a visa-exempt country may also be exempt from needing an LMIA.
If your prospective temporary foreign employee does not fall under one of the exemptions mentioned above, you may need to apply for an LMIA.
In order to provide fair work opportunities to Canadians and Canadian permanent residents, employers in most provinces are required to show proof of a recruitment process before being able to apply for an LMIA.
Employers must be prepared to advertise job opportunities in the national or provincial job bank for at least 30 days prior to considering hiring a foreign worker. The advertisement must not be taken down until a positive LMIA has been received by the employer. Exemptions can apply for certain positions or LMIA streams.
Depending on the stream, some employers may also be asked to advertise the job vacancy on websites targeting different groups in Canada. At least one of these advertisements must have a national reach, be on a specialized website or target under-represented groups; the requirement that must be met will also depend on the stream.
Applying for an LMIA
Concerned Government Officials provides employers with a positive LMIA after taking into consideration certain requirements that must be met by the employers. These requirements will vary depending on the type of program through which you’re hiring.
The programs, also known as streams, available are:
- Stream for High-Wage Workers
- Stream for Low-Wage Workers
- Workers through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
- Workers through the Agricultural Stream
- Permanent Residence (except Quebec)
- Caregiver (Only from inside Canada except for Quebec).
LMIA Requirements for Canadian Employers:
Although LMIA requirements for Canadian employers vary depending on the stream, the general requirements are consistent for most employers. In order to apply for an LMIA, employers must:
• Have a legitimate business
• Provide goods or services to the public
• Be able to pay a salary to a foreign worker
• Have an open vacancy that a Canadian citizen or permanent resident cannot fill
• Pay LMIA processing fees
• Provide private healthcare for employees until they are eligible to be covered by the Provincial Health Insurance
• Cover round-trip transportation expenses for the worker
• Run a recruitment campaign for at least 30 days
LMIA Exemptions and Work Permit:
Hiring a temporary foreign worker does not necessarily mean you will have to file for an LMIA as not all work permits require an LMIA.
There are many work programs through which qualifying prospective employees can acquire work in Canada. These programs allow workers to skip the LMIA requirement and obtain work from a Canadian employer as long as there is a valid work contract in place.
LMIA and work permit exemptions can occur due to various factors, such as the worker’s nationality, the occupation (NOC), and the work program through which they qualify to obtain work.
Some nationalities are also exempt from an LMIA due to Canadian interests and trade agreements, such as it happens with Mexican nationals due to NAFTA.
Those obtaining work through a Working Holiday Visa are also exempt from needing an LMIA.
Some of the LMIA-exempt streams include:
• Canada-Chile FTA
• Canada-Peru FTA
• Canada-Colombia FTA
• Canada-Korea FTA
• Canada-European Union
• Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
• General Agreement on Trade in Services (G+ATS)
• International Mobility Program
• Intra-Company Transferees
• North American Free
• Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
LMIA Application Processing Time
The duration of an LMIA process can be unpredictable. It can take anywhere from six weeks to several months, taking into account the 30-day job advertising period that is required before filing an application.
According to Service Canada, the processing time after filing an LMIA application will vary depending on the type of application. See the table below to see average processing times in connection to the type of application.
Keep in mind that the table above provides average processing times, however, the actual processing time will vary depending on the number of LMIA applications that Service Canada is having to process at the time of your application, along with other delays and the difficulty of each case.
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