LMIA & Work Permits

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

Most of the temporary foreign workers require a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) formerly known as a Labor Market Opinion (LMO) to be able to legally work in Canada. Depending on the type of industry, a foreign worker may require a positive LIMA, in order to obtain a work permit.

What is a Labor Market Impact Assessment?

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a verification process which aims to ensure that an recruitment of a foreign worker will not negatively impact the Canadian labor market. This is done by the department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) also formerly known as Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). 

Labour Market Impact Assessment is a complex process and employers who intend to hire a foreign worker for the position has to provide comprehensive information about the position offered and many other factors needed to be considered. 

The employers will have to provide information of the position being offered to a foreign employee, how many Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents (PR) has applied for the position, how many Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents has been shortlisted and subsequently interviewed and profound explanation of why they were not hired. 

If the verification process turns out to be positive the employer will be given a positive decision on Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), allowing the recruitment of a foreign worker. Generally, the more specialized the position with a competitive salary being offered, the more the chances of a getting a positive decision on LMIA application. Once the employer has been issued a positive LMIA, the foreign worker can apply for a work permit visa. 

In order to give a positive decision on LMIA application, the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will analyze according to the following parameters:

  1. Do the working conditions coincide with labor laws and collective bargaining agreements?
  2. Whether the salary being offered is competitive to the position being offered and as per wage rate of the location of employment?
  3. Is the job being offered categorized as high wage or low wage?
  4. Is there genuinely a shortage of the particular occupation in that location?
  5. Has the employer legitimately made efforts to find a suitable candidate i.e. Canadian Citizen or permanent resident of Canada?
  6. Are there any labor disputes pertaining in the company/organization?
  7. Will the foreign workers be able to bring in unique skills and expertise to Canada?
  8. How will the foreign worker affect the job market?
  9. Will such employment create more jobs and retain previous ones?

Types of LMIA

There are three types of Labor Market Impact Assessment:

  • High-wage or low-wage LMIA: These types of LMIA(s) are used to process an application for a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
  • LMIA for Agricultural Worker: These types are used to process an application for a foreign worker under one of the programs of Agricultural Worker Streams. 

There are 4 sub-division of LMIA for Agricultural Worker:

  • LMIA for Seasonal Farm Workers
  • LMIA for Agricultural Workers (non-seasonal)
  • LMIA for High Wage
  • LMIA for Low Wage 
  • Dual Intent LMIA: This type is used to support both a work permit and Express entry application. Such an LMIA can be beneficial for an application for Permanent Residence in Canada. This type may help an applicant obtain 50-200 CRS points, depending upon National Occupation Classification (NOC) type.
  • LMIA for Caregiver: This type of LMIA is used to hire a foreign worker to provide caregiver services to children, old ailed persons or person with special medical needs.

There are 2 sub-division of LMIA for Caregiver:

  • LMIA for Caregiver for Children
  • LMIA for Elderly People or People with High Medical Needs

There are certain occupations which do not require for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and are LMIA exempt. See LMIA Exemption codes in order to take further information about professions which are LMIA exempted.

Requirements for an LMIA

All employers applying for an LMIA will have to:

  1. Pay a processing fee of CAD 1000 (certain exemptions applies to LMIA supporting PR applications only and LMIA for a caregiver to low-income families.
  2. Advertise a position for at least FOUR weeks in the Canadian job market before moving forth to offer a position to a foreign worker.
  3. Provide evidence of having used at least two other recruitment processes other than Canadian Job Bank website.
  4. Provide a transition plan to ESDC explaining how reliance on foreign workers will be reduced.
  5. Present evidence of investment in skill training of Canadian apprenticeship.
  6. Attest that Canadian workers will not be laid off.
  7. English/French are the only languages in order to hire foreign workers, as the ESDC officer may refuse the application if any other language is required.

NOTE: Employers hiring in the airline industry such as foreign pilots may need additional requirements.

Rejection on Applications

The ESDC may consider an application ineligible if any of the following conditions exist:

  1. If an employer is declared ineligible by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  2. An employer has a record of noncompliance or nonpayment.
  3. If there is a high unemployment rate in a particular region and the employer applies for a low wage job.
  4. If the occupation is a National Occupation Classification (NOC) type 72, 44 or 45. (Check occupation list)
  5. If the occupation is listed as Skill level D in the National Occupation Classification (NOC).
  6. If the economic region where the employment takes place has been facing an annual unemployment rate of over 6 %.
  7. If there is fraudulent information in the application.
  8. If incomplete documentation is provided.

Work Permits

An application for a work permit must be filed to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). To apply for a work permit the applicant will require:

  1. An offer letter.
  2. An employment contract.
  3. A copy of the LMIA (if not under LMIA exemption code)
  4. An LMIA number.

There are certain categories where even no work permit is required. Kindly contact us for more details.

Processing Time

ESDC may take up to 10 business days to process an LMIA application for jobs in high demand, offering high wages or pertaining for a short duration (less than 120 days) are prioritized. Regular processing time can take up to 8 weeks. 

If you would like to know more about LMIA or work permit programs, we request you to contact us for complete assessment and detailed information.