Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
Getting a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is an important step in getting a temporary work permit in Canada. It must be properly filed with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada, certifying that a business can hire a temporary worker.
An LMIA verifies that there is a need for a temporary worker and that no Canadian applicants are available to do the job, giving priority to Canadian residents over foreign nationals. If an employer hires a temporary worker through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), they will need to apply for an LMIA and pay the required fee.
Since the labour market in Canada changes quarterly, the final decision on issuing work permits rests solely with IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada). Not all occupations on a positive LMIA list are issued a work permit. There are several complexities when filling out documents, and knowing the most current information is key to your application’s success.
- What businesses are eligible to apply for an LMIA and hire foreign workers?
- The current list of professions eligible for LMIA
- Exemptions to the LMIA process
- Is IMP (International Mobility Program) exempting you from an LMIA?
- What are preconditions for a business to apply to LMIA
IRCC publishes annual statistics on the number of foreign workers who enter Canada in its Facts and Figures publication. These statistics are based on the number of work permits issued at ports of entry and encompass a variety of program streams beyond the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), such as temporary residents entering Canada for work, study or humanitarian and compassionate reasons.
An LMIA application is a lengthy process, and failure to comply with all the formal requirements, and not knowing which requirements are absolutely essential, can result in an application denial. This can be a costly ordeal for both the employer and potential employee. Once a business receives a negative LMIA response, it will diminish their chances of success when re-applying in the future.
The application process for an LMIA may take a couple of weeks, or a couple of months – however, there are certain categories that fall into an express process:
- Highest-demand occupations as specified by the region (ex. skilled trades)
- Highest-paid (top 10%) occupations
- Short-duration work periods (120 days or less)
An important part of a company’s application for the LMIA is to provide corresponding paperwork proving that the company has been unable to find an employee with suitable skills locally. In addition, it must provide details on the jobs they are advertising, the number of Canadian residents who have responded, who has been interviewed, and the reasons why they have not been hired.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) considers the following when assessing the eligibility of the applicant:
- Did the company meet the standards when advertising the position (in terms of duration and circulation)?
- Will hiring a foreign worker help create jobs in Canada?
- Are the salary requirements met for the advertised position?
- Are the working conditions acceptable?
- Did the company demonstrate sufficient effort to fill the position with a Canadian resident?
- Is the industry in the region doing well enough to sustain foreign labour?
It is important to understand that LMIAs are issued specifically based on the company that applied for it, as well as the job position that they used. If a work permit for a foreign worker has been issued based on it, the worker cannot work in any other occupation or relocate.
There are exceptions for certain job positions, for which LMIA is not required:
- Jobs included in an international trade accord, such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
- Jobs included in an agreement between the federal and provincial government
- Jobs deemed as in the best interest of Canada
However, it is important to understand that all the above-mentioned categories do require a work permit in order to be able to work in Canada.
There is a limited list (around 500 for entire Canada) of LMIA exempt employers who do not require an LMIA. Job offers from these employers will guarantee a much faster work permit application process.
Choosing the right strategy based on experience and knowledge is vital for an approved LMIA. Our company, Green Light Canada, has a high success rate in obtaining an LMIA.
While assessing a company for an LMIA, we take into consideration the latest changes in immigration law to minimize the chances of getting a negative result.