What is LMIA in Canada?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) may be required for an employer in Canada seeking to hire a foreign worker. However, there are some exemptions your company may be eligible for. An LMIA indicates whether there is a need for a temporary foreign worker and whether there are no Canadians or permanent residents available for the position. If both of these initial criteria are met, you may be granted a positive LMIA, or confirmation letter, which will allow you to then hire a foreign worker.

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How to Get an LMIA

LMIAs are available through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). You will then need to go through the appropriate program depending upon the type of position you are trying to fill. This includes programs for high-wage earner positions, low-wage earner positions, seasonal agricultural positions, and agricultural positions.

High-Wage Earner Positions

There is a $1000 processing fee for each position you wish to fill with a temporary foreign worker. Some exemptions are available. Your business will need to provide documentation that your business and job offer are legitimate. In order to acquire an LMIA for a high-wage earner position, you must produce a Transition Plan, which explains how your business plans to recruit, retrain, or train Canadians or permanent residents to fill job positions in order to decrease the use of foreign workers. Before applying for an LMIA, you must attempt to recruit Canadians and permanent residents through 3 different recruitment activities, one of which must be the Government of Canada’s Job Bank. One of the remaining two recruitment activities must be available nationally. Wages must be comparable to the median wage in other similar positions in Canada.

Low-Wage Earner Positions

The $1000 processing fee for each position you wish to fill with a temporary foreign worker also applies for low-wage earner positions, while exemptions are still available as well. As with high-wage earner positions, you will need to provide documentation proving your business and job offer are legitimate. If you are offering a wage below the territorial or provincial median hourly wage, there is a cap on the percentage of low-wage temporary foreign workers you may hire at a work location. If you hired a temporary foreign worker before June 20, 2014, the cap is 20%, if after, the cap is 10%. You must also attempt to recruit Canadians and permanent residents through 3 different recruitment activities, including the Government of Canada’s Job Bank before you can apply for the LMIA. As of August 28, 2017, each of the recruitment methods must target a unique underrepresented group, including Indigenous persons, vulnerable youths, newcomers, and persons with disabilities. Your business must provide or ensure that transportation, healthcare, and housing are provided for any temporary foreign workers.

Seasonal Agricultural Positions and Agricultural Position

There is no processing fee for primary agricultural positions. As with high-wage and low-wage earner positions, employers must provide documentation proving their business and job offer is legitimate, while attempting to first recruit Canadians and permanent residents. Employers must provide or ensure the provision of transportation, day-to-day transportation, housing, and healthcare for temporary foreign employees.

Every Situation is Unique

At Sobirovs Law Firm, we know that every business’s immigration goals are unique, that’s why you need a team on your side that understands how to help you take the right next step. We are proud to take the necessary time to fully capture where you would like to go and how you can get there. Contact us today, so we can get started helping you, your family, and your business.