Obtaining an LMIA From an Employer in Canada | Tips for Immigrants
As a citizen or resident of another country, working in Canada can give you access to new career paths, put you in touch with people from all over the world, and in many cases make you money. More importantly, living in Canada for a few years can make it much easier for you to get permanent residency (PR) in Canada in the future.
But it’s not easy for a temporary foreign worker (TFW) to find a job in Canada. Most people from outside Canada who want to work in Canada need a work permit. Before that, your Canadian employer may need a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to show why they should hire a temporary foreign worker. But what is an LMIA exactly, and why do we need it? This article tells you how to get an LMIA from a Canadian employer so that you can apply for a work permit.
Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that Canadian employers may need to get before hiring a temporary foreign worker for a job in Canada.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) gives out LMIAs to figure out how hiring a foreign worker will affect the Canadian job market. Basically, a positive LMIA means that there are no Canadians (citizens or permanent residents) who can do the job and that the employer can hire a temporary foreign worker to do it. A negative LMIA, on the other hand, says that there are enough qualified Canadians for the job and that the employer can’t give the job to a foreign national.
Requirements for a Canadian LMIA
Before hiring a temporary foreign worker and requesting an LMIA, employers must meet several requirements. Some are:
- Proof that their job offer and business are real
- A transition plan
- Proof of hiring or putting up an ad
- Fair pay
- Other requirements for jobs with low pay and agriculture positions
Exemptions to LMIA Requirements
In some situations, an employer may not need to get an LMIA in order to hire a foreign worker. The International Mobility Program is in charge of most of the LMIA exemptions. Find out more about exemptions from the LMIA and exemptions from the need for a work permit.
LMIA application process from Canadian Employers
Before offering a job to a foreigner, a Canadian employer must find out if they will need an LMIA, gather the necessary documents, and send an application to ESDC. Here’s a quick look at how to apply for an LMIA:
Figure out if you need an LMIA.
Before starting the hiring process, employers must find out if the job requires an LMIA. Employers should carefully look at the exemptions for LMIAs and work permits to see if a temporary foreign worker hired for the job will not need an LMIA. If there is an exemption code, the employer must put it in the job offer. Before hiring a TFW from a country where visas are not required, employers must check with the International Mobility Workers Unit to see if an LMIA is needed.
Send ESDC an application for an LMIA.
Employers must submit paperwork to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for LMIAs. LMIA Online applications require a Job Bank account for employers.
Application procedures vary by temporary foreign worker type. LMIA workers fall into four categories: high-wage, low-wage, Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, and Agricultural.
Employers can apply for an LMIA six months before hiring high- or low-wage workers. Employers must show proof that their business is real, proof that they have hired people, a completed and signed application form, and a processing fee for each position. Low-paying jobs and Agricultural stream hires must also submit an employment contract.
LMIA applications for high-wage jobs can request three years of employment, while low-wage and Agricultural stream applications can request two years. The Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program limits TFW hires to eight months.
Wait for the LMIA application to be assessed
After an employer sends in an LMIA application, ESDC will look at it to see if the business and job offer are real and to figure out how hiring a temporary foreign worker will affect the Canadian job market. The employer will get either a positive or negative LMIA based on the details of the application and the documents submitted. This will tell them whether or not they can move forward with the hiring process.
What Happens After the LMIA is Approved
After an application for an LMIA has been processed, a decision will be sent to the employer. If the LMIA is good, the employer can move forward with hiring a foreign national. If an employer gets a negative LMIA, they are not allowed to hire a foreign national.
Positive LMIAs are good for 6 months after the given date. After getting a positive LMIA, the employer must tell the foreign national so that they can apply for a work permit or permanent residency. Employers can ask for their LMIA application to be processed in 10 days if certain things are true. For fast processing, an employer must be outside of Quebec and meet one of the following requirements:
- Highest paid positions: the top 10% of salaries earned by Canadians in the province or territory where the job is located.
- Skilled Trades: Paid at least the average provincial or territorial wage for the job.
- Short-Term positions: 120 days or less
- Express Entry: The LMIA is meant to help an applicant for Express Entry
A foreign national cannot apply for an LMIA. LMIAs are instead pieces of paper that a Canadian employer will ask for. Even though it is sometimes possible to hire a foreign worker who doesn’t need an LMIA or a work permit, all of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) streams require an LMIA in order to hire someone from outside of Canada. Also, many ways to get permanent residency in Canada require applicants to show a positive LMIA in order to get points for a job offer in Canada.
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