In most cases, a Canadian employer who wishes to hire a foreign worker should initially apply for government approval before the foreign worker applies for a work permit.
The LMIA process represents a number of required actions, including vigorous advertisement requirements, that should be undertaken by the Canadian employer for the purposes of the determination whether the hiring of a foreign worker will have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market. It is important to understand that no qualified Canadian were ignored in favour of the foreign worker and that the foreign worker would be treated similarly by getting a salary and benefits that meet federal and provincial standards.
Before we proceed with the LMIA application, we determine which of the following streams is suitable for a Canadian employer to meet the recruitment needs:
Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Labour Market Impact Assessment Application Process
Labour Market Impact Assessment process and its streams:
- High Wage Workers
- Low Wage Workers
- Foreign Agricultural Workers
Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Canadian employers are prompted to obtain a neutral or positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), a complex application, which is processed by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The process, which involves recruitment efforts, selection reports, proof of business legitimacy, which results in an inability to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with the right set of skills and required expertise.
Upon the receipt of the positive or neutral LMIA, the employer provides a copy of the LMIA approval along with the detailed job offer letter to the foreign worker it wishes to hire. A foreign national then may proceed with the LMIA-based Work Permit application, which requires different from the LMIA application set of documents, proof of employment experience ability to fulfil the required job duties, etc. This application process differs from the LMIA application itself and should be treated very seriously, as the LMIA approval letter does not constitute a guarantee for a Work Permit approval.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program – Global Talent Stream (an expedited LMIA process)
The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a two-year pilot program launched in June 2017 through a partnership between Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The GTS assists certain Canadian employers to hire highly-skilled global talent enabling them to compete on an international scale. Employers who are successfully referred to the program will be able to expedite the process for hiring foreign nationals through the Global Skills Strategy.
Labour Market Impact Assessment application – Expedited Processing
There is an opportunity to expedite the processing of the LMIA application and ask for a ten business day processing if the application meets at least one of the following criteria (subject to certain restrictions):
- The positions requested have a prevailing wage that is equal or above the top 10% of wages earned by Canadians or permanent residents in the province/territory where the job is located
- The positions are for skilled trades on the list of eligible occupations; and
- The wage offered is at or above the provincial or territorial hourly median wage
- The positions requested are for a period of employment of 120 calendar days or less; and
- The wage offered for the requested positions is at or above the provincial or territorial hourly median wage
- The job offer is to support a skilled worker’s application for permanent residence under one of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry eligible programs.