As a Canadian employer, if you want to hire a temporary foreign worker, you may need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

A LMIA justifies the need to hire a foreign worker by assessing the labor and skill shortages in the domestic market. 

A LMIA confirms that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available for that occupation. 

A positive LMIA is required to apply for a temporary work permit in Canada. A negative LMIA means that the request was denied.

There are a few exceptions to LMIA requirements for specific work permits

What is the Process of Applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?

The process of applying for an LMIA differs for high-wage foreign workers and low-wage foreign workers. 

Temporary foreign workers being paid under the median wage according to the province or territory that they are residing in are considered low-wage workers

If the foreign workers are being paid at or above that province or territory’s median wage, then they would be considered high-wage workers.

Employers submitting LMIA applications for low-wage workers must meet additional requirements:

  • Meet the capacity limit on hiring temporary foreign workers
  • Provide adequate transportation to and from Canada
  • Provide adequate housing during the period of employment

There is also a process to apply for a LMIA to support temporary foreign workers for permanent residency. This is known as a Dual Intent LMIA and temporary foreign workers can benefit from additional job offer points to be used for their Express Entry permanent residence application. This can be done for applicants both in and outside the country.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) requires employers to apply for a LMIA 6 months before the date of employment.

What are the Requirements for the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?

As an employer, you will be required to comply with the conditions imposed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). You will be required to:

  • Meet all eligibility requirements of the TFWP for the LMIA application
  • Inform ESDC of any changes related to a positive LMIA or to the employment of the temporary foreign worker
  • Review your activities to ensure compliance with the TFWP
  • In addition to the above, you may be required to go through the Employer Compliance review, which includes inspection and ministerial review

Employers must meet the following requirements to apply for an LMIA:

  • Pay $1000 as an application processing fee
  • Prove business legitimacy 
  • Submit evidence of recruitment efforts to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Meet the minimum wage requirements
  • Provide evidence of workplace safety

Employers must meet advertising requirements for recruitment based LMIAs:

  • As an employer, you must advertise your job vacancies across the Canadian labour market for at least 4 weeks before applying for LMIA
  • The advertisement must mention English or French language proficiency requirements unless another language is required for the position. 
  • In addition to the above, unique occupation specific requirements must also be met

The above complex requirements can be correctly organized and greatly expedited by an experienced immigration lawyer and they will also increase your chances for success.

How Can I Expedite a Labour Market Impact Assessment Application?

Your application for an LMIA will be fast-tracked if you are hiring for the following occupations:

Global Talent Stream: The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is for employers who want to fast-track the process of hiring a skilled temporary foreign worker for specialized roles. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for work permits are processed faster, enabling Canadian employers to hire talented foreign individuals. Employers will be required to meet certain eligibility requirements.

Highest Demand Occupations: If you are hiring for a skilled trades position with a minimum wage above the provincial median wage, then your LMIA application will be processed within 10 days. These occupations are fundamental to infrastructure development and have significant benefits for the Canadian economy.

Highest Paid Occupations: If the wages offered are in the top 10 wages offered to Canadians in the provided location of the job, then your LMIA application will be processed within 10 days. The wage level demonstrates that the skill level required for that occupation is not available in the Canadian labor market.

Short Duration Occupations: If you are hiring a temporary worker for a duration of 120 consecutive calendar days with the wage offered at or above provincial median wage, then your LMIA will be fast-tracked. 

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