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Labour Market Impact Assessment: All you Need to Know about LMIA Application

Table of Contents

1. What happens if I lose my implied status?

2. Can I travel outside Canada while on maintained or implied status?

3. What happens if my application is denied and I lose my maintained or implied status?

4. How long can I remain on maintained or implied status?

5. Can I switch from implied status to permanent residency?

6. How Immigration Pros Can Help

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Are you an employer in Canada looking to hire a foreign worker? Or are you a foreign worker looking to come to Canada to work? If so, you may have heard of the term “LMIA” (Labour Market Impact Assessment). But what exactly is an LMIA, and why is it important? Let’s take a closer look.

What is an LMIA?

An LMIA is a document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that assesses the impact a foreign worker will have on the Canadian labour market. In other words, it’s a way for the government to ensure that hiring a foreign worker will not have a negative effect on Canadian workers. It is a document where the employer asks the Canadian government for their approval to be able to hire a foreign worker.

Before July 1st, 2014, it was called an “LMO” (Labour Market Opinion).

Application is Approved

What is the LMIA Application?

The LMIA process starts with the employer applying to ESDC. In this application, the employer must provide detailed information about the job offer, including the job duties, wage rate, and working conditions.

Once the application is received, ESDC will assess it to determine if hiring a foreign worker is necessary and if it will positively impact the Canadian labour market. This involves considering factors such as the availability of Canadian workers for the job, the wage rate and benefits offered to the foreign worker, as well as the working conditions.

If the LMIA application is approved, the employer receives a positive LMIA, which allows them to then offer the job to a foreign worker. The foreign worker uses the positive LMIA to apply for a work permit through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Fill out the form and find out if you are eligible to apply for an LMIA.

Who Can Apply for an LMIA in Canada?

Employers

Any employer in Canada who wants to hire a foreign worker can generally apply for an LMIA as long as they cannot find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the position. This includes both small businesses and large corporations. However, to be eligible, the employer must demonstrate that there is an immediate need to hire a worker and the financial capacity to pay his/her wages.

Foreign Workers

Foreign workers who have been offered a job in Canada and wish to work in the country must have a positive LMIA from their prospective employer in order to apply for a work permit. Note that there are some exceptions to the LMIA process, including the International Mobility Program, which allows some foreign workers to enter Canada without an LMIA. However, this program is based on international trade agreements and reciprocal agreements between Canada and other select countries. Fill out the form and find out if you are eligible to apply for an LMIA.

Applying for an LMIA: High and Low Wage Positions in Canada

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application process in Canada can vary depending on the type of job being offered to a foreign worker. Two main categories of jobs are considered in the LMIA process: high-wage and low-wage positions. But what exactly do these terms mean, and how do they affect the LMIA application process?

High Wage Positions

High wage positions refer to jobs that pay a wage higher than the median wage published by the Canadian government for that occupation in the region where the job is located. These jobs typically require higher levels of skill and experience, and the LMIA application process for high wage positions requires a transition plan or supporting the future permanent residence of the foreign worker.

Low Wage Positions

Low wage positions refer to jobs that pay a wage lower than the median wage published by the Canadian government for that occupation in the region where the job is located. The LMIA application process for low wage positions will involve a more in-depth assessment of the impact that the hiring of a foreign worker will have on the Canadian labour market and the recruitment efforts done to fill this position.

The employer will be limited on the number of workers needed to be hired based on a CAP limit. The CAP is a percentage calculation of the number of full time and part time workers already employed by the company. The CAP percentage allowed varies depending on the company’s current employee numbers and industry. The LMIA application willl include a review of the availability of Canadian workers for the job, the wage rate offered to the foreign worker, and the working conditions

LMIA Employer Requirement Checklist

Job Offer Information

One of the main requirements for an LMIA application is a detailed job offer, including information such as the job duties, wage rate, and working conditions. The job offer must be for a position that you are not able to fill with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Recruitment Efforts

The employer must also provide evidence of recruitment efforts to hire Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents for the job. This may include proof of job postings on various Canadian websites, as well as an outreach to local job placement agencies. For some streams, it is mandatory to post the advertisement in a website addressed to underrepresented groups or specialized websites. The advertising that is required is very specific.

Wage Rate

The wage rate offered to the foreign worker must be in line with the prevailing wage rate for that occupation in the region where the job is located. Each province is broken into various regions and the wage rate required can vary between regions even when the province is the same. This information can be obtained from the Government of Canada’s Job Bank website, except for Quebec. For employers in Quebec, the wage is detailed in a guide issued by the province and updated each year.

Province/Territory Median hourly wages prior to April 30, 2022 Median hourly wages as of April 30, 2022
Alberta
$27.28
$28.85
British Columbia
$25.00
$26.44
Manitoba
$21.60
$23.00
New Brunswick
$20.12
$21.79
Newfoundland and Labrador
$23.00
$24.29
Northwest Territories
$34.36
$37.30
Nova Scotia
$20.00
$22.00
Nunavut
$32.00
$36.00
Ontario
$24.04
$26.06
Prince Edward Island
$20.00
$21.63
Quebec
$23.08
$25.00
Saskatchewan
$24.55
$25.96
Yukon
$30.00
$32.00

LMIA Exemptions Simplified

There are certain circumstances where an LMIA is not required. Here is a look at when you can hire a foreign worker without an LMIA.

International Mobility Program

The International Mobility Program (IMP) is a program offered by the Government of Canada that allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers without needing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The IMP is designed to help Canadian employers fill labour shortages, bring in specialised talent, and promote the exchange of knowledge and expertise between Canada and other countries. The program offers a range of work permits that are LMIA exempt. Some of the types of work permits available include.

1- Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Work Permit

This allows multinational companies to transfer their employees to Canada for temporary work assignments. The employee must have been working for the company for a certain period of time prior and have specialised knowledge or be in a senior management position.

2- Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Work Permit:

This type of work permit allows citizens of countries that have a free trade agreement with Canada to work in Canada without an LMIA. Some of the FTAs that Canada has signed include NAFTA, CETA, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

3- International Experience Canada (IEC) Work Permit:

This type of work permit allows young people from certain countries to work and travel in Canada for up to two years. The IEC program has three categories: Working Holiday, Young Professional, and International Co-op.

4- Global Talent Stream (GTS) Work Permit:

This type of work permit allows employers in Canada to bring in highly skilled foreign workers in certain occupations without the need for an LMIA. The GTS program is intended to help companies fill high-demand positions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

5- Researcher Work Permit:

This type of work permit allows foreign researchers to work in Canada on a temporary basis to conduct research activities. The researcher must be employed by a designated research organisation in Canada.

These are just a few examples of the types of work permits available under the IMP. Each work permit has its own eligibility criteria and requirements. We recommend you consult with one of our immigration consultants to determine which type of work permit is appropriate for your situation.

LMIA Exempt Work Permit

An LMIA exempt work permit is a type of work permit that allows a foreign worker to come to Canada without an employer first obtaining an LMIA. This means that the foreign worker can start working in Canada without the employer going through the LMIA process.

Navigating the LMIA Application Process in Canada

To apply for an LMIA in Canada, an employer must follow these steps:

Step 1: Determine Eligibility

The first step in the LMIA application process is to determine if you are eligible to apply. You must be an employer in Canada who is unable or struggling to find a suitable Canadian citizen or permanent resident for the job.

Step 2: Gather Information

Before you can submit an LMIA, you will need to gather a number of important pieces of information. This includes information about the job offer, such as the job duties, wage rate, and working conditions. You will also need to provide financial documents to demonstrate that you are capable of paying the wage and to show evidence of recruitment efforts to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents for the job.

Step 3: Submit an LMIA Application

Once you have all of the required information, you can submit your LMIA application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). You can do this online. There is a fee for LMIA applications, which must be paid at the time of its submission.

Step 4: Wait for Approval

Once you have submitted your LMIA application, you will need to wait for it to be processed. The processing time for LMIA applications can vary, but you can expect to wait anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Once your application is assigned to an officer you may be contacted for additional information or to schedule a phone interview. The officer will issue a final decision when all information and documents are provided and assessed.

Step 5: Receive LMIA Approval Letter

If your LMIA application is approved, you will receive a document called a positive LMIA confirmation. This document will include the conditions of the LMIA, such as the wage rate, working conditions, and duration of the job offer. The decision letter will include the employer information, work location and the name of the worker(s). Presently the LMIA is valid for 18 months from the date it was issued, which means that the employer has this amount of time in which a candidate can submit their work permit application(s).

Step 6: Obtain Work Permit

With an approved LMIA in hand, the foreign worker can then apply for a closed work permit to enter Canada. The foreign worker must submit the positive LMIA confirmation with their work permit application.

LMIA Application Processing Time

One of the questions that many employers have is how long the LMIA application process will take.

Factors that Affect Processing Time

The processing time for an LMIA application can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of job being offered, the location of the job, and the time of year. Here is some more information about a few of the factors that can affect the processing time:

Type of Job

Service Canada may process essential occupations faster than non-essential. An essential occupation is a position of high-impact on the Canadian community such as farm labourers, who are needed to produce food and food products or seasonal workers that need to arrive in Canada for a certain peak season. A non-essential occupation may be something like an administrative position.

Location

LMIA applications are assessed in different processing centres depending on the stream and the company’s location. Some processing centres are faster than others. Applications in Quebec generally take longer to process than any other centre.

Time of Year

LMIA processing times can also be affected by the time of year. For example, processing times may be longer during peak season, such as the summer months.

Average Processing Time

While the LMIA processing time can vary, you can expect the process to take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. It’s important to note that the processing time for LMIA applications can change at any time, so it is always best to check the most up-to-date processing times when you apply even if this is only an estimation.

Tips for a Faster LMIA Processing Time

To help ensure a faster LMIA processing time, it is important to follow these tips:

  1. Ensure that your LMIA application is complete and accurate.
  2. Provide all required documentation, such as evidence of recruitment efforts, job advertisements on Canadian websites to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents and financial documents.
  3. Pay the LMIA fee promptly.

 

LMIA Applications in Quebec

Are you an employer in Quebec looking to hire a foreign worker? The LMIA application process for employers in Quebec is similar to the process for employers in the rest of Canada. However, there are a few key differences such as the method to determine the wage and the assessment of the LMIA application by Service Canada.

First, it is important to note that Quebec has its own provincial immigration program, known as the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. This program allows employers in Quebec to recruit foreign workers who have progressed with their permanent residency application and received their CSQ (Quebec Selection Certificate) to get a work permit without the need for an LMIA. However, if they are not eligible for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program or are not at the necessary stage of their application, then you as the employer will need to apply for an LMIA through the federal government for their work permit.

For applications in Quebec, employers must submit a provincial application at the same time as the federal application (LMIA). The name of the provincial application is “Demande de Sélection Temporaire” (DST). To process the LMIA, Service Canada will communicate with the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration du Québec (MIFI) to evaluate both applications at the same time and reach a final decision on both. If the applications are approved, the employer will receive an LMIA approval letter, while the foreign worker will receive a Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec / “Certificat d’Acceptation du Québec” (CAQ). The worker has to include both documents with the work permit application and they will have the same validity period.

In terms of the LMIA application itself, the process is the same for employers in Quebec as it is for employers in the rest of Canada. You will need to complete the LMIA application form, provide all required documentation, and pay the LMIA fee, however, you must also include proof that the provincial application (DST) was submitted to the MIFI.

LMIA Exceptions in Quebec​

The Quebec Acceptation Certificate

If a foreign national has not applied for permanent residence in Canada, they may be eligible for an LMIA exempt, employer-specific work permit application, in this case, the Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ – Québec Acceptation Certificate)

Facilitated LMIA Processing for Quebec Employers

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) are allowing employers to apply for an LMIA without needing to provide proof of recruitment efforts. This pathway includes a list of specialised occupations, which is updated annually. The facilitated LMIA processing includes professions in high demand, and in industries experiencing labour shortages in Quebec.

Working with an Immigration Consultant for an LMIA

Immigration Pros offers much more than a filled out form. Our team will take care of the entire LMIA application process, from determining the correct stream for your business to filling out and submitting the application.

Our LMIA services include:

LMIA application assistance

Job posting and advertising according to government requirements

Guidance to collect necessary documentation

Assistance with communication with the government

We also provide separate services to assist new employees with work permit applications once the LMIA has been approved

Looking for Qualified Foreign Workers for Your Company ?

FAQ for LMIA Applications:

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications are submitted to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The application can be submitted online through the Employer Portal.

In order to submit an LMIA application through the Employer Portal, the employer will need to create an account and provide information about the job offer, the foreign worker, and the company. The employer will also need to pay the LMIA fee and submit any required supporting documents.

As of 2023, the fee for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application in Canada is still $1,000 CAD per worker. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid by the employer at the time of submitting the application. However, the fee may As of 2023, the fee for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application in Canada is still $1,000 CAD per worker. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid by the employer at the time of submitting the application. However, the fee may vary depending on the type of LMIA being applied for and the number of workers being hired. For some streams or in some specific situations, employers may be exempt from paying the government fee.

Yes, you can track your Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application with the file number through your online account.
You can check the status of your LMIA application on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank website by logging into your account and selecting “My LMIA Applications” from the menu.

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is valid for a specific period of time, presently, for most cases, for a maximum of 18 months (as per the last modifications in the guidelines made by Service Canada), during which the foreign worker can apply for a work permit.

The employment duration of an LMIA is determined by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and is based on the specific job offer and the expected duration of the work; some situations can allow for a maximum duration of three years in one approval. For example, if the job offer is for a temporary, seasonal, or project-based position, the employment duration is for the duration of the season.

Do not mistake the validity of the LMIA that determines the amount of time the worker has to apply for the work permit with the employment duration authorised by Service Canada. The work permit will have the same employment duration stated in the LMIA.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications in Canada can take a long time to process for a number of reasons, including:

The high volume of applications: The number of LMIA applications received by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) can be high, and the department may not have the resources to process them quickly.

The complexity of the application: Some LMIA applications may be more complex than others, requiring more time and resources to review and assess.

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