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Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Canada

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) allows Canadian employers to employ foreign nationals for a job position.

As a Canadian employer seeking to employ a foreign worker, there are some documents required of you. In as much as Canada is a great place for immigrants to work, there are some compulsory permits for allowing immigrants to work, and these permits help to hold the economy of the country.

lmia canada

For a Canadian employer to hire a foreign national to work for their firm, they may need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

What is Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a permit document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to an employer who needs to hire a foreign national for a job position in Canada.

An LMIA is positive if there’s an indication that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident to occupy a position thereby creating room for a foreign national to be employed. More so, the LMIA is said to be negative when the position is to be filled by either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

LMAI Requirements

The submission of your Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications should be a hard copy of your documents and should be sent by mail. All the following criteria should also be met:

  • A $1000 CAD processing fee should be paid for your application. This fee is not refundable in any case whether your result comes in positive or negative. You may be exempted from paying this fee if you fall under the LMIAs for in-home caregivers.
  • Required documents to prove that your business is a legitimate Canadian business.
  • A ready-made plan for how the employer intends to address the need to hire foreign nationals. In any case, an employer is expected to hire Canadian citizens and permanent residents over a TFWs.
  • Proof or evidence that the employer has scouted for Canadain citizens and permanent residents to fill the position before hiring a TFW.
  • Information concerning TFWs wages in order to ensure that TFWs are paid accordingly and at the same amount for labour as their Canadian equals. This will differentiate the low-wage positions from high-wage positions.
  • Canadians and TFWs in the same position are entitled to the same standards of workplace health and safety. Hence, employers must provide evidence that TFWs insurance will be covered which is at minimum equivalent to the health coverage that is offered by the province or territory where the business is located.

Low-Wage Workers

If a Canadian employer submits an application for a low-wage position, they must address the following requirements:

  • Information on the number of TFWs you have hired before.
  • Provision of transportation for the low-wage worker to and from Canada, all expenses shouldered by the employer.
  • An employer should make provision for adequate housing for a low-wage worker for the duration of their employment in Canada.

How to Apply For LMIA

To apply for LMIA as an employer, you must understand what a complete and an incomplete application mean. An application is said to be complete when you have:

  • Made use of the latest version of the application form
  • Completed all the required fields in required forms (except the temporary foreign worker information, this is only  in the case of an Unnamed Labour Market Impact Assessment application)
  • included all documents required and supporting documentation
  • Signed your signature on everywhere necessary
  • Made submission of your  processing fee for each position requested (if applicable)

If an application is incomplete, it will not be processed and may not be returned as well. We recommend you make sure that you submit photocopies of your documents instead of the originals.

Extra: It is possible for one to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment for specific positions in specific provinces or territories without the information of a temporary foreign worker at the time of the application. These types of applications are referred to as “Unnamed Labour Market Impact Assessment” applications.

After LMIA Submission

After the application process, employers are being issued a decision. An employer may be issued a positive or negative LMIA depending on the situation.

After an employer receives a positive LMIA, they should notify their foreign employees to get their work permit or permanent residence ready. A positive LMIAs has a 6 months validity period. 

In order to qualify for expedited processing, you need to be located outside of Quebec and meet the following requirements:

  • Highest wage positions: This is the top 10% of wages earned by Canadians in the province/territory of the job
  • Skilled Trades: The pay should be at least the median provincial/territorial wage for the position.
  • Short-Term Positions: This is 120 days or less
  • Express Entry: The LMIA helps to assist an Express Entry candidate.

Median Hourly Wages by Province or Territory

For an employer to hire a TFW and pay them above the median hourly wage for their province or territory, they would have to go through the high-wage workers’ stream for LMIAs. Otherwise, in a situation where an employer is hiring a TFW to be paid below the median hourly wage, the low-wage workers’ stream is the way to go.

Province/Territory 2017 Wage ($/Hour) 2018 Wage ($/Hour)
Wages prior to April 22, 2019 Wages as of April 22, 2019
Alberta 26.40 26.67
British Columbia 23.00 23.98
Manitoba 20.83 21.00
New Brunswick 19.35 20.00
Newfoundland and Labrador 21.98 22.00
Northwest Territories 32.00 34.00
Nova Scotia 20.00 20.00
Nunavut 31.00 30.00
Ontario 22.50 23.08
Prince Edward Island 19.00 19.49
Quebec 21.75 22.00
Saskatchewan 24.00 24.52
Yukon 28.00 30.00

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Processing Time?

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have dedicated 10 business days for LMIA applications, this is a service standard. Applications related to jobs in high demand (such as skilled trades), jobs offering wages in the top 10% of wages earned by Canadians in that province or territory, and for jobs with a short duration work period (less than 120 days) are qualified for the 10 days processing time.

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