Canada welcomes more and more economic immigrants in the country who are eligible for obtaining permanent residence based on their skills and work experiences, compared to any other immigration category offered by the government.
An LMIA is a labour market verification process launched by the Canadian government whereby the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) ascertains a job offer to the foreign worker, ensuring that the employment does not entail a negative impact on the Canadian labour market. It requires the employer to submit documents and provide various information pertaining to the position. The LMIA also obliges the employer to submit the number of Canadian candidates that went through the hiring process, and an in-depth description as to why these Canadian prospects did not make the said job hiring process.
The LMIA will either result in negative or positive results. Once the employer receives a positive LMIA which is called a confirmation letter, the temporary foreign worker can now apply to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for their work permit. A positive result means that there is indeed a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and there is no Canadian candidate fit for the employment available.
To apply for a work permit, a foreign worker is required to show the following:
- a job offer letter;
- a contract;
- a copy of the LMIA; and
- the LMIA number.
Types of Labour Market Impact Assessment
1. LMIA for Express Entry
This type of LMIA is utilised to support an application for Permanent Residence in Canada under the Express Entry Program. Under the Express Entry LMIA, an employer that receives a positive result is tantamount to 50 or 200 CRS points on Express Entry in favour of the foreign worker whose name appears on the LMIA application.
2. Regular LMIA
The Regular LMIA is an LMIA used to support an application to get a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Once a Regular LMIA is received by the employer, the foreign worker whose name indicated on the LMIA can apply for a work permit.
Employer’s Guide in Applying for an LMIA
There are several steps that you need to take in applying for an LMIA, and these are the following:
1. Know the skill level
Determining the skill level of the intended occupation is the first step when applying for an LMIA. In order to be successful in doing so, it is better to visit the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system. For everyone’s knowledge, NOC is the nationally accepted system for Canada’s job groups and titles. To know more of the said system, an overview of its classification structure is available here.
2. Meet minimum advertising requirements
Showing that you have taken the necessary actions to employ a Canadian worker or permanent resident is also important. Proof of the said effort is required to prove that you have made a sincere attempt to hire from the Canadian labour market.
The Employment and Social Development Canada also has the discretion to demand the employer to further advertise for any employment if it is under the impression that a wider level of advertisement may locate qualified Canadian or permanent residents for the said vacant position.
3. Meet or exceed the median wage rate
Your wage rate should not fall below the median or prevailing wage rate, depending on your geographical location.
4. Double-check if you meet the eligibility requirements
It is important to take note that your LMIA application will only be successful if you cannot find qualified Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents for the vacant job, and hence, hiring a temporary foreign worker will not in any way adversely affect the Canadian labour market.
5. Submit your application
After making sure that you have successfully observed the preceding steps, your next move is by submitting your LMIA application before the Service Canada which should be done before identifying your temporary foreign worker.
6. Contact your foreign worker
Once you received an approved job offer from Service Canada, you can now send a copy of your LMIA confirmation letter to your temporary foreign worker, including a signed offer of employment and a contract of employment.
It is at this point also where you should advise your chosen temporary foreign workers to apply for a work permit before a visa office abroad, at the port of entry, or from within Canada if legally permissible. It is also imperative to keep in mind that a positive or neutral LMIA confirmation letter does not equate to a guarantee that the temporary foreign worker will get a work permit.
Undeniably, working in Canada is a great way to improve a person’s eligibility to obtain permanent residence. The LMIA is an excellent tool both for employees (eyeing for permanent residence in Canada) and for employers (looking to grow their business) alike as it has proven to benefit both parties and the country.
If you’re looking for further knowledge about LMIA, or interested in applying to be a temporary worker and in dire need of immigration services, do not hesitate to contact our professional team at Konan Law today and book an appointment!