Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a crucial document in Canada's immigration system, required for employers seeking to hire foreign workers.Its goal is to determine whether hiring a foreign worker will benefit or hurt the labour market in Canada. Before requesting an LMIA, employers must show that they are making an attempt to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents. A foreign worker who receives a positive LMIA is able to apply for a work visa to work in Canada. While addressing actual labor shortages with foreign talent, the LMIA procedure helps ensure that Canadian job opportunities are prioritized for Canadian citizens and permanent residents

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Educational Requirement

The employer must have a genuine job offer for the foreign worker for a position that meets the requirements set out by ESDC.

Employers must demonstrate that there is a genuine need for the foreign worker to fill the position and that efforts have been made to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents for the job.

Employers must offer wages and working conditions that meet the requirements set out by ESDC and are consistent with the wages paid to Canadian workers in similar occupations in the same geographical area.

Employers must demonstrate that hiring a foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market. This includes factors such as unemployment rates, availability of Canadian workers, and the employer's efforts to train and retain Canadian workers.

Employers are typically required to advertise the job opening and make efforts to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents before applying for an LMIA. The advertising requirements may vary depending on the type of position and the location.

 Employers must comply with all relevant federal, provincial, and territorial laws and regulations, including those related to employment standards, occupational health and safety, and immigration.

Types of LMIA

In Canada, there are two main types of Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) that employers may apply for, depending on the nature of the job offer and the intended foreign worker:

This type of LMIA is for job offers in which the wage being offered to the foreign worker is at or above the provincial or territorial median hourly wage for the specific occupation. Employers applying for a high-wage LMIA must meet specific requirements related to advertising and recruitment efforts, as well as demonstrate that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively impact the Canadian labour market.

Low-wage LMIA is for job offers where the wage being offered to the foreign worker is below the provincial or territorial median hourly wage for the specific occupation. Employers applying for a low-wage LMIA must also meet advertising and recruitment requirements and demonstrate that hiring a foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market. However, additional requirements and considerations apply to low-wage positions, such as caps on the percentage of low-wage temporary foreign workers that an employer can hire in certain sectors and regions.

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Aspects Considered for LMIA Approval

Genuine Job Offer

The job offer must be genuine and meet the requirements set out by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This includes providing a detailed job description, demonstrating that the position is necessary for the employer's operations, and offering wages and working conditions that comply with legal standards.

Labour Market Need

ESDC assesses whether there is a genuine need for the foreign worker to fill the position. This involves evaluating factors such as local labour market conditions, demand for workers in the relevant occupation, and efforts made by the employer to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents for the job.

Wages and Working Conditions

ESDC considers whether the wages and working conditions being offered to the foreign worker are fair and consistent with those offered to Canadian workers in similar occupations in the same geographical area. Employers must provide evidence of the wages being offered, including any benefits or bonuses.

Advertising and Recruitment Efforts

Employers are typically required to advertise the job opening and make efforts to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents before applying for an LMIA. ESDC evaluates the employer's advertising and recruitment efforts to ensure that they are genuine and comply with the requirements.

Time period of LMIA Approval

For most LMIA applications, the standard processing time is typically around 10 to 12 weeks. This time frame includes the time taken for ESDC to review the application, assess the employer's compliance with program requirements, and make a decision on the application.

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a fast-track option for certain high-demand occupations and skilled workers. LMIA applications submitted through the GTS are typically processed much faster than standard LMIA applications, often within 10 business days.

 In some cases, ESDC may experience a high volume of LMIA applications, which can result in longer processing times. Employers should monitor ESDC's processing times regularly and plan their recruitment and hiring timelines accordingly.

LMIA Execption For Foreign Workers

Foreign workers from countries with which Canada has international agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), or the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), may be exempt from the LMIA requirement for certain types of work.

Employees of multinational companies who are being transferred to a Canadian branch, subsidiary, or affiliate may be exempt from the LMIA requirement under certain conditions. This includes executives, managers, and specialized knowledge workers.

Foreign workers who can demonstrate that their employment in Canada will result in a significant benefit to the Canadian economy or society may be exempt from the LMIA requirement. This could include individuals in research, academia, or other fields where their expertise is in high demand.

Certain provincial nominee programs in Canada offer LMIA exemptions for foreign workers nominated by a province or territory for permanent residence. These programs are designed to address specific labour market needs in each province or territory.

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