LMIA Processing Time: Temporary Foreign Worker Program 2020

By Michael Niren February 20, 2020 5 min. read
Processing times LMIA

The Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been under intense media coverage over the last few months.

The Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) is one of the changes still in effect in 2019.

In most cases,  employers require government approval before hiring a foreign worker now called a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), formerly known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). An LMIA is issued by Service Canada in cases where a Canadian employer is unable to fill the position with a local Canadian worker. The main means of demonstrating this is though advertising the jobs in Canada and making efforts to hire Canadians, proving that the applicants are not qualified for the position offered.

Visaplace Can Help You with Your Application for LMIA

Applying for LMIA in Canada can be tricky and confusing if you are not completely sure what you are doing. Visaplace has been helping clients complete their LMIA applications with ease. Our immigration professionals are standing by to assist with your LMIA and Temporary Work Permit Applications. If you are an employer or a Temporary Foreign Worker, you can contact us directly by filling out a FREE online assessment and we will get back to you within 24 hours. You may also book a consultation if you know you would like our guidance through the LMIA process.

The LMIA Letter

Once an employer applies for the LMIA, he or she will await a document of approval from Employment and Social Development Canada. This document is known as a positive LMIA (sometimes referred to as a confirmation letter) confirming there is a need to hire a foreign worker for the job in question, and that there are no Canadians to fill the position. Once the employer receives the LMIA, the potential employee can apply for a work permit as long as he or she has a job offer letter, a contract, a copy of the LMIA, and the LMIA number.

More Details about LMIAs and the Recent Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The application fee for LMIA requests is now $1000 per worker, an increase from the $275 per worker fee for LMOs.

Under the new LMIA system job positions are to be be divided into just two categories: high-wage and low-wage. Jobs are considered high wage if the salary meets or exceeds the median wage in the province where the job will be performed, and low-wage if the salary is below the median.

How Long is the Processing Time for LMIAs and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program?

LMIA processing times can be somewhat unpredictable, and the LMIA process can range from a couple of weeks, to a few months. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has pledged to process certain LMIA applications within 10 business days. The following categories will now be processed with a 10-business-day service standard:

Types of LMIAs Needed When Applying for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

High-Wage LMIAs:

For high-wage positions, the LMIA process is much like that of the old LMO. However, a few major changes have been made:

Low-Wage LMIAs:
The procedures and criteria involved for Low-Wage LMIAs are somewhat different than for High-Wage LMIAs.  More restrictions are imposed on low-wage job offers than on high-wage, as shown by the following:

Do All Job Offers to TFWP Applicants Require an LMIA?

As in the case of the old LMOs, Canadian employers can recruit some TFWs without an LMIA. The following are categories where work permits are LMIA exempt:

In addition, beginning in summer 2015 employers hiring through some International Mobility Programs must have their job offers approved by a Canadian visa office before their hired employees can request a work permit. The processing fee for the job offer approval application will be $230.

Do I Need to Pass an English Test to Immigrate With a TFWP?

Language tests are required for Canadian Visas in order to demonstrate you have a strong grasp of English. There are several acceptable language tests you can take in order to demonstrate your proficiency. IELTS is the most widely recognized with all of Canada’s colleges and universities recognizing the test. You are also able to take the CELPIP test or the TEF test.

Do You Need Help With an LMIA or Temporary Work Permit Application?

Our immigration professionals are standing by to assist with your LMIA and Temporary Work Permit Applications. If you are an employer or a Temporary Foreign Worker, you can contact us directly by filling out a FREE online assessment and we will get back to you within 24 hours. You may also book a consultation if you know you would like our guidance through the LMIA process.