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If you are hiring a foreign worker for your business, you may be required to complete an LMIA. A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) may be required for companies hiring through Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program that need to get approval from the government to hire international talent. If you need to hire temporary foreign workers, you may be able to expedite hiring temporary foreign workers by expediting your LMIA - or your job may be LMIA exempt.
How Do You Apply For An LMIA?
An LMIA is done by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to assess the potential impact of hiring foreign workers on the Canadian labour market. The process can be complex and require extensive documentation, including
- a detailed job description,
- salary information
- and proof of recruitment efforts in Canada.
The first step in applying for an LMIA is to submit a job offer letter. This should define the terms of employment for the foreign worker and include details about their salary, working hours, benefits and other relevant information. You’ll also need to provide proof that you have done your best to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents for the role. Once your application is complete, it will be sent to ESDC for processing. Depending on the complexity of the request, it can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks for an LMIA to be approved. If everything goes smoothly and you are successful in your application, you’ll receive a Positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to use in your foreign worker’s Temporary Work Permit application.
Once you receive approval from ESDC, your business will be able to bring in the foreign workers you need. An LMIA and Temporary Work Permit will also be needed for any employee who wants to work in Canada on a temporary basis. As part of the process, employers will have to prove that they couldn’t find suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents with the skills they need. The process is designed to protect Canadians and ensure that foreign workers are being treated fairly. If you need help understanding the LMIA process or navigating the paperwork, there are plenty of resources available to help guide you through the process.
LMIA Processing Times
LMIA processing times vary depending on the number of applications received by ESDC. Here are average LMIA processing times, according to the latest figures available from IRCC,
Expedited LMIA Processing
For businesses that need to hire foreign workers quickly, there is the option of expedited LMIA processing. This allows employers to fast-track their LMIA applications and reduce the time it takes to receive approval. In order to be eligible for a priority processing, employers must meet certain criteria and provide supporting evidence as part of their application. In some cases, employers may be required to provide additional documents or proof that they are taking steps to recruit and retain Canadian workers.
Employers may receive a 10-business day LMIA processing service for workers in certain occupations:
Skilled Trades/Professions in High Demand
If you plan on paying your foreign worker more than the median wage and they are on the skilled list of occupations then you may be eligible for an expedited LMIA.
Top 10% Wage Earners
If your foreign worker is paid at or above the top 10% of wages earned by Canadians in your province, you may be eligible for an expedited LMIA.
If your foreign worker will only be employed for under 120 days and paid above the median wage in your province, then you may be eligible for an expedited LMIA.
Note: Effective April 3, 2023, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is moving to online LMIA applications.
Some jobs do not require an LMIA and allow employers to hire temporary workers without an LMIA or an Open Work Permit. These LMIA exempt jobs include:
- International Mobility Program (IMP) lets an employer hire a temporary foreign worker without a Labour Market Impact Assessment, and must be reciprocated between the two countries and can include athletes, education, co-op and cultural jobs.
- Global Talent Stream (GTS) lets you employ highly-skilled international talent and falls under LMIA exemption.
Canada has arrangements with other countries which may qualify for LMIA exemptions including Free Trade Agreements, CETA, NAFTA / CUSMA plus facilitated LMIA for Quebec employees.
- Canadian Employers: We Can Help With Your LMIA for Temporary Foreign Workers
- How To Recruit Your Ideal Foreign Worker and Get An LMIA
- Changes to LMIAs and Global Talent Stream To Help Employers Bring More Temporary Foreign Workers
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Don't Waste Time or Money: Consult An Experienced Immigration Lawyer To Help With Your LMIA
Do you need help bringing foreign workers to Canada? To start the process, it is essential to be aware of all the immigration methods available to employers. If you are a Canadian employer who wants to hire foreign workers for your business, give us a call at (403) 452-9515 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. With offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, Ackah Law can assist companies with all their global talent immigration needs.