Why would Canadian Employers require an LMIA; its Exemptions and Processing time

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If you are looking to hire foreign professionals, you would need a positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment), as Canadian employers require it, except for a few rare instances.

What is LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment)?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment is a Canadian government document that allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers.

An LMIA assesses-

  • If no Canadian citizen or permanent resident can perform the job or in other words, the employment of the foreign national does not hamper the domestic employment market
  • If there is a genuine requirement for recruiting a foreign national

Why Canada has an LMIA requirement?

Canada welcomes immigrants and foreign workers; however, it is also committed to protecting the rights of its citizens and permanent residents. Thus, the LMIA acts as a measure to safeguard the interests of the Canadian domestic workforce and to ensure that foreign workers are only recruited when there is a shortage of labor in the domestic market for a particular job role.

The myriad of requirements like an advertisement, the transition plan, and wages that employers/companies must comply with is in place to assert that employing foreign workers is the last-ditch effort when suitable staffing is not met.

Who are eligible for LMIA?

All Canadian employers are eligible for LMIA; however, you must satisfy specific eligibility requirements. These requirements are-

  • The companies/businesses must have a genuine requirement for foreign workers.
  • The employer should be capable of paying foreign workers
  • The company/employer should have zero attrition due to firing in the past
  • The business/company has to legitimate
  • The business must offer products or services

Requirements can vary depending on the type of business and long-term plans for employing foreign workers.

Who will apply for LMIA?

A foreign national with a job offer from a Canadian employer does not need to apply for LMIA; instead, the employer must apply and seek a positive LMIA to recruit a foreign worker.

Nevertheless, workers willing to settle and gain permanent residence in Canada can use the LMIA approval from their employer and fast-track their permanent residence process.

Who Does not require an LMIA?

Although it is mandatory for all Canadian employers/businesses/companies, there are some exceptions left open by the Canadian government known as the LMIA exemption Codes under the International Mobility Program. This section will briefly discuss the exceptions of LMIA or LMIA exemption codes. These are-

  1. If the foreign workers being hired are citizens of countries that have entered the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Canada, employers/businesses/companies do not require an LMIA.
  2. When employers/companies hire skilled foreign workers through the Global Talent Stream (GTS) they are exempted from LMIA. Moreover, the work permit processing will be much faster for foreign workers recruited through the GTS.
  3. You will also be exempted from LMIA if you hire foreign nationals from the US or Mexico.
  4. LMIA exemptions are also applicable for recruiting foreign workers in specific job roles from the European Union as part of the Canada-European Trade Agreement (CETA).
  5. When foreign employees are sent to offices in Canada to work as part of an Intra-Company Transfer, companies do not require an LMIA.
  6. You will not need an LMIA approval if your company/business is based out of Quebec.

Processing Time

The Employment and Social Development processes LMIA pretty quickly, and an employer can expect a turnaround of 10 business days.

Having said that, the ESDC can sometimes take a few months to process your LMIA if it has received tons of applications, thereby delaying the process.

Thus, it is recommended that you apply for LMIA 1 or 2 months in advance, as a delay can affect the work permit processing time.

Bottom Line

LMIA can use the LMIA approval or the Confirmation letter to apply for federal immigration programs such as the Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, and Canadian Experience Class (CEC). These programs will help foreign workers qualify for Express Entry permanent residence.

However, it is easier said than done, as the application process for LMIA or other immigration programs, for that matter, in Canada can be complicated and petrifying. For assistance with LMIA or other immigration-related matters, connect with regulated and expert Immigration consultants at Canizim Immigration Solutions Inc.