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How to Hire Foreign Workers With An LMIA

By Michael Niren May 3, 2018 (Updated August 3, 2022) 4 min. read
LMIA

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

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” which confirms there is a need to hire a foreign worker. 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.

New Rules for LMIA Canada 2022

Recently there have been slight changes to the LMIA process in 2021! Under the new LMIA system job positions are to 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.

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

LMIA Requirements

Hiring High-Wage Workers

When hiring high-wage foreign workers, a transition plan is an important requirement for all Canadian employers seeking to employ a temporary foreign worker(s) at a wage that is equal to or above the provincial/territorial median hourly wage. 

The Transition Plan is a Schedule C form to the Application for an LMIA. The Transition Plan represents commitments that an employer has agreed to undertake specific to the occupation and work location for which they are seeking TFWs.

Hiring Low-Wage Workers

When hiring low-wage workers, a Transition Plan is not needed when applying for an LMIA. Unlike high-wage workers, low-wage workers are subject to a cap that limits the number of workers a business can employ. 

Canadian employers with more than 10 employees will be restricted to a maximum 10% cap on low-wage temporary foreign workers.

This cap will be phased in over the next two years, to allow Canadian employers time to transition to a Canadian workforce.

How to Hire if You Need an LMIA

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) lets you hire temporary foreign workers to fill labour and skill shortages. Once the LMIA has been issued, you should provide a copy of the confirmation letter to each temporary foreign worker and tell each of them to apply for a work permit.

How to Hire if You Don’t Need an LMIA

The International Mobility Program (IMP) lets you hire temporary foreign workers without an LMIA. If you hire an employee through this program you will need to

LMIA Processing Time

Canada experienced a large volume of LMIA applications in 2021, which can result in longer processing times and possible delays, especially seen in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Below is a list of recent processing times per LMIA stream to help you estimate how long it will take to review your application:

Application TypeAvg. Processing Time
Global Talent Stream*8 business days
Agricultural Stream13 business days
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program7 business days
Permanent Residence Stream17 business days
In-Home Caregivers13 business days
High-Wage Stream33 business days
Low-Wage Stream29 business days

*Global Talent Stream and applications that qualify for expedited service have a service standard of 10-business days that is expected to be met 80% of the time. The service standard date starts on the business day after the application has been received.

Visit our page to learn more about other Canada Visa Processing Times.

After An LMIA is Approved, What Is the Next Step?

Once your LMIA application is approved, you will want to send a copy of this letter and Annex A to the foreign worker. Then, the foreign worker can apply for a work permit! Processing times for work permits can vary depending on where the application was submitted.

To apply for a work permit, a worker needs

Learn more about Canadian Work Permits.

Does Your Business Need Corporate Immigration Services?

Contact our corporate team at VisaPlace. Whether you are recruiting an individual foreign worker or transferring a group of employees overseas, the are several corporate immigration services available to you.

Need Help With Your LMIA Application? We Can Help!

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.

Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for VisaPlace legal, an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Have a Question related to your Corporate Immigration Needs?

Fill out the FREE Immigration Assessment form and get a response within 24 hours to see if you’re eligible.

The assessment form should take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. We will get back to you within one business day to let you know if we are able to help.

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