LMIA Work Permit

An approved or positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required to apply for most Canadian work permits. The LMIA verifies that there is a need for a temporary worker and that no Canadians or permanent residents are available to do the job.
In order to receive a positive LMIA, the employer must demonstrate to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that the hiring of a foreign worker will have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labor market.
Among other factors, it must be clear that no qualified Canadians were found to do the job. In order to demonstrate this, the employer is required to provide proof of recruitment, including job postings, interview results, and detailed reasons for rejecting each and every Canadian applicant.
In assessing a LMIA application, the ESDC officer will take into account the following factors:

  • Whether the employer has claimed a foreign language other than English and French and whether the employer can prove another language is required for the position if there is any
  • Whether the employment of the foreign worker is likely to result in direct job creation or job retention for Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Whether the employment of the foreign worker is likely to result in the creation or transfer of skills and knowledge for the benefit of Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Whether the employment of the foreign worker is likely to fill a labor shortage
  • Whether the wages offered to the foreign worker are consistent with the prevailing wage for the occupation and whether the working conditions meet generally accepted Canadian standards
  • Whether the employer has made, or has agreed to make, reasonable efforts to hire or train Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Whether the employment of the foreign worker is likely to adversely affect the settlement of any labor dispute in progress or the employment of any person involved in the dispute

Employer requirements:

Employers wishing to hire a temporary foreign worker to Canada must pay a processing fee of CDN $1,000 for each request for a Labor Market Impact Assessment.
English and French are the only languages that can be put forth as job requirements, both for LMIAs and for job advertisements, unless the employer can prove that another language is otherwise required for the position.
In addition, employers must advertise all job vacancies across the Canadian job market for at least four weeks before applying for a LMIA.
To this end, employers are required to prove that they have used at least two other recruitment methods in addition to having posted an advertisement on the Job Bank.
Employers must focus advertising efforts on groups of Canadians who are under-represented, such as First Nations or persons with disabilities.
Employers are required to attest to their awareness that they are prohibited from laying off or cutting the hours of Canadian workers working in the same position(s) as the temporary foreign worker(s) working at the company.

Note: ESDC refuses to process LMIA applications for low-wage positions in Accommodation and Food Services and Retail Trade sectors:
  • in an economic region with an unemployment rate of 6% or higher (as defined by the Program-specific Statistics Canada data used by Service Canada for the purposes of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program)
  • in the Accommodation and food services sector (North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 72) or Retail trades sector (NAICS codes 44 to 45); and
  • classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes 6541, 6611, 6622, 6711, 6721, 6731, 6732, 6733, 7611 and 8612

Processing time for LMIA applications?

Processing time for LMIAs can be somewhat unpredictable. It can range from a couple of weeks to a few months.
ESDC has pledged to process certain LMIA applications within 10 business days. The following will now be processed with a 10-business-day service standard:
  • All LMIA applications for the highest-demand occupations (skilled trades)
  • Highest-paid (top 10%) occupations
  • Occupations with short-duration work periods (120 days or less)

Apply for a work permit

After an LMIA application has been processed, employers will be issued a decision. If the a positive LMIA is issued, they can proceed with hiring a foreign worker.
Positive LMIAs are valid for 6 months from the date of issue. After receiving a positive LMIA, the employer must notify the foreign worker so that they can apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for their work permit.
Typically, the foreign worker will obtain a two-year employer specific work permit. For certain low-wage occupations, the validity of LMIA-based work permit is one-year.

Do you need help with an LMIA or work permit application?

Our team of licensed immigration consultants and lawyers are standing by to assist you. You can contact us by filling out an online assessment and we will get back to you with 48 hours.
You may also book an initial consultation with us if you would like our guidance through the application process.

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