A Labour Market Impact Assessment is required when a Canadian employer wishes to hire a temporary foreign worker (formerly known as a Labour Market Opinion – LMO).
An LMIA is a form of labour market verification meant to safeguard Canada’s domestic job market, and protect the temporary foreign workers employed in Canada.
Assessing the Merits of an LMIA Application
There are two steps involved in obtaining an LMIA. First, the Canadian employer should submit a qualifying LMIA application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). It is also mandatory for the Canadian employer to submit a detailed list of Canadians who applied for the position, the number of Canadians interviewed and a detailed explanation of why they weren’t hired. Canadian employers may be subject to inspection for compliance once a work permit has been issued.
When assessing the merits of the application, ESDC will consider:
- Will the working conditions meet Canadian labour standards.
- Whether the employer is going to pay a salary that is consistent with the regional average for the position at hand.
- Whether sufficient efforts have been made by the employer to hire Canadians for the position.
- Whether hiring a foreign national will help create or retain jobs in Canada.
If ESDC is satisfied with all the answers and finds that the industry is healthy enough to supplement the domestic workforce with international workers, a positive LMIA will be issued. The LMIA process distinguishes between “high-wage” and “low-wage” employees. Temporary foreign workers whose salary is below the provincial/territorial median wage are considered low-wage. Temporary foreign workers whose salary is above or equal are considered high-wage.
LMIA Processing Times
LMIA processing times vary and can be unpredictable. Some applications are processed within a couple of weeks, while others can take a few months. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has committed to processing certain LMIA applications within 10 business days. The following categories will now be processed within a 10-business-day service standard:
- All LMIA applications for the highest-demand occupations (skilled trades), or
- Highest-paid (top 10%) occupations, or
- Short-duration work periods (120 days or less).
LMIA Fees and Additional Employer Requirements
- A processing fee of CDN $1,000 applies to each Labour Market Impact Assessment application (unless the application is made strictly in support of permanent residency). A CDN $100 Privilege Fee is also required.
- Canadian employers must advertise the position in Canada for at least one month before making an LMIA application. They are also required to provide evidence of at least two other recruitment methods they used to search for candidates. ESDC will require evidence indicating that efforts were made to hire Canadians for the position.
- Canadian employers must show that hiring foreign workers will not negatively affect the working conditions, salary, or employment of Canadian employees.
At Guaranteed Immigration Vancouver, we are committed to helping our clients understand the complex LMIA process. Our immigration professionals have years of experience and will guide you right from the beginning till the end.