Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) plays a vital role in Canada’s immigration system. It is a process conducted by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to evaluate a job offer from a Canadian employer to ensure that hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the Canadian labour market. If no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available for a job, ESDC issues a positive LMIA, allowing an employer to hire a foreign national or support a PR application of the foreign national.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Application Process

The department responsible for LMIA is Service Canada, which is part of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The application for LMIA consists of the following stages:

  • Advertising the position
  • Signing a job offer with selected candidates
  • Submitting the application
  • Interview with the Service Canada officer (if applicable)
  • Getting the LMIA decision

Advertising requirements

The LMIA process begins with the recruitment process. Canadian employers must advertise the position for Canadian citizens and permanent residents on the government portal Job Bank for at least 30 days before offering a job to foreigners. In addition, the employers are obligated to advertise the position on at least two additional platforms.

Signing a job offer

Once the proper candidate is found, the employer and a prospective employee must sign a job offer. The signed job offer must meet all the requirements of the LMIA stream, such as prevailing wage, duration of employment, work duties and responsibilities, etc. This document is one of the central parts of the LMIA application.

Submitting the application

The next step is sending an LMIA application to Service Canada. The application can be submitted via the LMIA Online Portal, making the process slightly easier. The application includes all the information about the employer, his financial situation (to ensure he can pay the prevailing wage), and recruitment efforts (to demonstrate that no Canadian is available for this job at the moment). Service Canada then reviews the application, assessing whether hiring a foreign worker is necessary and if it would benefit the Canadian labour market.

Interview with the Service Canada officer

At the end of the application evaluation process, the officer may approach the employer to conduct a brief interview. The goal of the interview is to clarify some nuances and ask additional questions should the officer have them.

Getting the LMIA decision

Once the evaluation is complete, the Service Canada officer will issue a decision letter and email it to the employer. The LMIA decision letter includes the position, the work location, the duration of its validity, which currently is 18 months (this is enough time for a foreign national to apply for a work permit and/or permanent residence), and the name of the Temporary Foreign Workers that can be hired based on this LMIA.

Who can apply for an LMIA?

Almost any Canadian business can apply for LMIA. Regardless of the size and nature of the business, all employers struggling to find a suitable Canadian citizen or permanent resident for an open position and considering hiring a foreign national can apply for an LMIA. This applies to many businesses, from small-scale enterprises to large multinational corporations.

Unnamed LMIAs

If the employer still hasn’t found suitable workers, submitting an ‘Unnamed’ LMIA is possible. Service Canada can assess your application and issue the Decision letter without the names of the Temporary Foreign Workers. Once the business finds good candidates, their names can be added to the LMIA by formally requesting Service Canada.

LMIA streams

There are several LMIA streams created for the specific needs of Canadian employers:

  • Global Talent Stream
  • Agricultural stream
  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
  • Permanent resident stream
  • In-home caregivers
  • High-wage stream
  • Low-wage stream

The LMIA application process in Canada may differ depending on the job type offered to a foreign worker. There are several key job categories considered in the LMIA process:

High-wage positions

High-wage positions offer a salary exceeding the median wage for the same role in a given region. These roles often demand more skill and experience. The LMIA application process for such high-wage roles does mandate a transition plan or backing the eventual permanent residency of the foreign worker. Employers can obtain an LMIA for high-wage positions under the Global Talent stream, the High-wage stream, the Agricultural stream, and the Permanent resident stream.

Low-wage positions

Positions that fall below the regional median wage are classified as low wage. The evaluation process for these roles through the LMIA is detailed, examining the effect of foreign hires on the Canadian job market. This process investigates Canadian workers’ availability, the foreign worker’s proposed wage, and the work conditions. While employers are not required to have a transition plan for hiring low-wage workers, they are limited by a cap on the number of workers they can employ. For businesses with a workforce exceeding ten employees, a 10% limit on low-wage foreign workers is applied over two years.

LMIA for Express Entry applicants

Candidates considering the Express Entry route for immigration to Canada can significantly enhance their success by securing a job offer from a Canadian employer supported by LMIA. This job offer will substantially boost their points score, increasing their chances of being selected for permanent residency. A qualifying job offer in an occupation under Training, Education, Experience & Responsibility (TEER) categories 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) can add 50 points to the candidate’s score. Furthermore, foreign nationals with a job offer in Major Group 00 of the NOC may receive an additional 200 points.

Additional requirements for employers

Canadian employers looking to hire foreign workers must pay a processing fee of $1,000 for each LMIA application. This fee is waived if the application is made solely supporting the permanent residency of the worker.

It is illegal to charge fees for LMIA from foreign workers! Employers who violate this rule risk paying the penalty and getting banned from LMIA applications for five years.

The LMIA process with Schindler Visa Services at a glance:

The process
  • We validate your eligibility
  • We determine the employment position, the NOC, the LMIA stream, and other requirements
  • We instruct you about Job Bank creation and adding us as your representatives
  • We advertise the position on Job Bank and other platforms for at least 30 days
  • We prepare the application and job offer
  • The employer and his candidate sign the job offer
  • The employer signs the application forms
  • We submit the application
  • Service Canada processes the application (usually it takes between 2 to 3 months)
  • Service Canada schedules an interview with the employer (if applicable)
  • The employer gets the LMIA decision

Are you interested in applying for LMIA to hire foreign workers? Contact us today, and we can discuss the process!

Book a consultation about LMIA with Oleg Schindler!

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