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A Guide to LMIA Work Permits Canada

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Most foreign workers who wish to work in Canada require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This unique document is issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). It allows Canadian companies to hire foreign workers to fill labour shortages in certain occupations.

This guide will examine the different types of LMIA, their requirements, and the application process.

What is the purpose of an LMIA?

The ESDC requires employers to complete the LMIA process to demonstrate that hiring a foreign worker won’t negatively impact the Canadian economy. This includes demonstrating that there were no Canadian permanent residents or citizens available to fill the position the company is trying to fill. Foreign workers who receive a positive LMIA can then apply for a work permit that allows them to work for their new Canadian employer.

What does the LMIA Analysis include?

The ESDC examines various elements during the LMIA assessment process. This includes:

  • Whether the salary offered to the foreign worker is consistent with the occupation average in the region.
  • Whether working conditions are consistent with local labour laws and relevant bargaining agreements.
  • Whether there is a labour shortage for the occupation position the employer is trying to fill.
  • Whether any labour disputes are currently ongoing at the employer’s company.
  • Whether the employer has undertaken sufficient efforts to demonstrate that no Canadian permanent residents or citizens were available to fill the position they are advertising.
  • Whether the foreign worker will be able to transfer their skills or expertise to local workers.
  • Whether the foreign worker will be counted as an official employee of the Canadian employer hiring them.

LMIA Employer Requirements

Employers who wish to complete an LMIA must meet the following requirements:

  • Be willing to pay a $1,000 CAD processing fee. This applies to all LMIA categories except for caregivers working for low-income families and LMIA meant to support permanent resident applications.
  • Advertise their job position for a minimum of four weeks before providing an offer to a foreign worker.
  • Offer evidence they have used two or more recruitment outlets in addition to the Canadian Job Bank’s website.
  • Offer a transition plan that describes how they will reduce their reliance on foreign workers.
  • Offer evidence they have invested in training the worker.
  • Prove that they will not lay off Canadian workers after hiring the new foreign worker.

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Types of LMIA

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program enables recognized Canadian employers to hire foreign workers to fill shortages in certain positions temporarily. This program consists of many LMIA subcategories.

The different types of LMIA are:

1. Low-Wage LMIA

This type of LMIA must be completed if the foreign worker is being paid a wage rate that is lower than the provincial median wage.

2. High-Wage LMIA

This type of LMIA must be completed if the foreign worker is being paid a wage that is higher than the provincial median wage.

3. LMIA for Agricultural Workers

This type of LMIA is for employers who wish to hire foreign labour to work in primary agriculture positions on farms. It includes different subcategories such as:

  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program: This category is for foreign workers from Mexico or specific Caribbean countries.
  • Agricultural Stream: This category is for foreign workers from any country.

4. In-Home Caregivers

This LMIA category is for people who wish to hire foreign workers to work as in-home caregivers. Workers in this category must meet the following requirements:

  • They must offer full-time care that is equivalent to 30 or more hours per week.
  • They must work in the private household where they are offering care.
  • They must meet the ESDC requirements.

This LMIA category includes the following subcategories:

  • Caregivers for Children: This is for caregivers looking after children under the age of 18. It falls under National Occupation Code (NOC) 4411.
  • Caregivers for People with High Medical Needs: This is for caregivers looking after elderly individuals over 65. It also applies to caregivers looking after people with terminal or chronic illnesses and those with disabilities. This category covers workers under NOC codes 3012, 3233, and 4412.

5. Global Talent Stream

This LMIA type must be completed if the employer intends to hire a highly-skilled foreign worker in the specific field. This includes:

  • Information system managers
  • Database analysts
  • Software designers and engineers
  • Web developers and designers
  • Information systems analysts

This category is also open to workers in other occupations that have been chosen by a Global Talent Stream partner organization, such as:

  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • BC Tech Association
  • City of Hamilton Economic Development Office
  • Economic Development Winnipeg

6. Facilitated LMIA (Quebec)

The facilitated LMIA process is for Quebec employers who wish to hire foreign workers. This LMIA process is different from the others because it doesn’t require employers to demonstrate they made efforts to recruit Canadian permanent residents or citizens for the position they intend to fill.

Some of the requirements for the Facilitated LMIA include:

  • The LMIA application must be submitted in French.
  • There must be high demand and labour shortages for the position the employer intends to fill.
  • The occupation must fall under an approved list of occupations. These occupations vary depending on the Quebec region the employer is in.
  • The LMIA application must be approved by Provincial and Federal Authorities.

What happens After LMIA Approval?

If the employer is issued a positive LMIA, they can proceed with hiring their foreign worker. They must also inform the worker about the LMIA decision and instruct them to apply for their work permit. The worker must wait until they are issued this work permit before starting work at their Canadian employer.

What are LMIA-exempt Work Permits?

Foreign workers in specific occupations or situations aren’t required to apply for LMIA to obtain work permits. This includes:

  • Workers who significantly benefit the Canadian economy.
  • Entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals who may start their own business in Canada.
  • Skilled workers who speak French and possess a valid job offer in a territory or province outside Quebec.
  • Workers under international-specific international trade agreements.
  • Special exemptions are offered by the Minister of Immigration.
LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

How can ELAAR help you?

Prospective Canadian employers and foreign workers who intend to go through the LMIA process should contact Elaar Immigration. Our exceptional team of Regulated Immigration Consultants understands the LMIA process and can help ensure both the employer and the employee meet the ESDC’s requirements.

Start your LMIA Process Today!

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