The Owner/Operator Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada will need to get before hiring a foreign worker in most cases. A positive LMIA is also known as a “confirmation letter” will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job.
Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit.
To apply for a work permit, a worker needs
- a job offer letter
- a contract
- a copy of the LMIA, and
- the LMIA number
Do I Need An LMIA?
Before you start hiring as an employer, you need to determine id it is necessary. The LMIA will simply confirm that the temporary work is needed and that no Canadians or permanent residents are available to do the job.
There are a few ways to check if an LMIA is needed. These ways include:
- review the LMIA exemption codes and work permit exemptions OR
- contact the International Mobility Workers Unit (IMWU (available only if you’re hiring a temporary foreign worker who is both currently outside Canada and from a country whose nationals are visa-exempt.
Who is Eligible for an LMIA?
After you have submitted your LMIA application, it will be sent to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). When reviewing your application, a few things will be taken into consideration. These factors include:
- Are there Canadians in the region available and willing to fill the job on offer?
- Has the employer made sufficient efforts to fill the position with a Canadian worker?
- Will hiring a foreign national help create or retain jobs in Canada?
- Is the employer offering a wage or salary that is consistent with the regional average for the position at hand?
- Are the working conditions acceptable by Canadian labour standards?
- Is the employer or the industry in which the job sits engaged in ongoing labour disputes?
How to Get An LMIA
Needing an Labour Market Impact Assessment depends on the program you are hiring through. You will also need to determine if you are hiring high-wage workers, low-wage workers, workers through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, or workers through the Agricultural Stream.
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
- pay an employer compliance fee
- submit an offer of employment form through the Employer Portal
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 a 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.
LMIA Processing Time & Fees
When applying for an LMIA, you can expect to get approved or denied within 10 business days on average. In some cases, due to delays, it can take up to a couple of months.
LMIA Cost: $1000/per employee request
Need Help Getting An LMIA? Let Us Help!
As an employer seeking to hire foreign employees overseas, one of the most important steps is obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) so let us help get it done correctly!
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