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LMIA-Based Work Permit in Canada

The LMIA-based Work Permit is a two-step process that allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers for a temporary period. The first part of the application is for the employer to receive a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) which serves to prove that the employer is actually in need of a foreign laborer to fill the position and that no Canadians or permanent residents are available to fill the position.

The second part of the process is to apply for a work permit with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The work permit authorizes foreign workers to work in Canada for a specific employer and a specific period of time. Not all jobs will require an LMIA, and therefore, different types of work permits are available. The process of applying can be daunting and difficult, we can help navigate it for better chances of success.

Benefits of LMIA-Based Work Permits

There are various benefits to obtaining an LMIA based work permit both for employers and foreign workers. For employers, the ability to legally hire skilled foreign workers when no Canadians or permanent residents are available allows employers to meet increasing demands. This helps address skill and labor shortages across various industries in Canada.

On the other hand, foreign workers are allowed to work legally in Canada and gain valuable work experience in their field of expertise. It also provides them with the opportunity to network, learn about Canadian culture, and potentially apply for permanent residency in the future.

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Eligibility for LMIA-Based Work Permits

There are several eligibility criteria an applicant must meet to be eligible for an LMIA-based Work Permit. First, the job offer from the Canadian employer must be genuine, offer wages and working conditions comparable to those offered to Canadian workers in the same occupation and geographic location. The foreign worker must also meet the requirements for the specific job, such as having the necessary skills, education, and work experience.

The employer then has to apply for an LMIA, providing information about the job, the efforts put towards recruiting Canadian workers, and why a foreign worker is needed for the job. If the LMIA is approved, the foreign worker can apply to IRCC for a work permit. They will need to demonstrate that they meet the requirements for the specific work permit category they are applying for.

There are various types of work permits that are LMIA exempt and the eligibility requirements for each program varies. We can help you navigate through the preparation of the application to avoid hiccups and delays for a smoother application process and higher chance of success.

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Applying for an LMIA-Based Work Permit

The application process can be quite lengthy; here is a breakdown of the steps:

  1. The Canadian employer applies for an LMIA from ESDC.
  2. Once the LMIA is approved, the employer sends the positive LMIA to the foreign worker so they can apply for the work permit.
  3. The foreign worker applies for a work permit online or by mail.
  4. The following documents are typically required to complete the application:
  • A copy of a passport or travel document
  • The original positive LMIA
  • A written job offer from the Canadian employer that details the job, wages, and working conditions.
  • Evidence that they meet the requirements for the specific work permit category (ie. proof of education or work experience)
  • Proof of financial support (ie. bank statements or a letter from an employer)
  • A police certificate or criminal record check
  • A medical exam
  • A processing fee

5. The IRCC will then review the application and may request additional information or documents.
6. If the application is approved, the IRCC will issue a work permit upon arrival, with which the foreign worker can legally work in Canada for the specified employer and duration of the work permit.

How Long Does it Take to Get an LMIA Work Permit?

The processing time for an LMIA-based Work Permit can vary greatly. Generally, the processing time for an LMIA can take anywhere from 2-12 weeks, depending on the type of work and the number of LMIA applications currently being processed. Once the positive LMIA is obtained, the processing time for the work permit application can take another 2-8 weeks, although this can vary depending on the volume of applications being processed by IRCC, country of residence, and whether additional documentation is required.

Generally, the more accurate and complete the application, the faster it will be processed. With years of experience assisting clients, we can help speed up the process by ensuring that your application is complete and that every step is done correctly.

How Much Does Applying for an LMIA Work Permit Cost?

There are some fees associated with the LMIA application and they typically vary based on the kind of application being submitted. Employers are typically responsible for the application fee for the LMIA itself including the $1,000 per employee fee. The employers will likely also have to cover the cost of advertising the job vacancy and various other recruitment efforts associated with the LMIA.

The workers are usually responsible for the payment of the fees relating to the work permit. This includes the $155 processing fee and can include other fees such as biometrics, medical exam and police certificate fees if those documents are required for the application.

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