What is the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in Canada?

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a form of assessment used by the Canadian government for some companies looking to hire foreign talent. It analyzes whether an offer of employment to a foreign national will negatively impact the domestic employment market.

If the job offer is deemed to not adversely affect Canadians, the employer receives a positive LMIA and can proceed with hiring the foreign national.

Not All Employers Need an LMIA

You only need to apply for an LMIA if the job offer to your foreign employee falls under the LMIA framework. If exempt, you can hire foreign workers directly through:

  • Global Talent Stream
  • Intra-Company Transfer
  • International Mobility Program

LMIA Application Process: Step by Step

Here are the 6 steps employers must follow to receive LMIA approval:

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Step 1: Verify Employer Eligibility

  • Ensure your company can apply for LMIA

Step 2: Comply with LMIA Requirements

  • Meet requirements for advertising and wages

Step 3: Submit LMIA Application Online

  • Send application form to ESDC

Step 4: ESDC Evaluates Job Offer

  • Review of employer eligibility

Step 5: Interview with ESDC Officer

  • Discuss application and respond to questions

Step 6: Receive Confirmation Letter

  • Approval notification from ESDC

After approval, the foreign worker can apply for a work permit using the LMIA documents.

Employer Requirements for LMIA

The main LMIA requirements for employers are:

1. Proof of Recruitment Efforts

  • Evidence showing qualified Canadians were not available

2. Transition Plan (High-Wage Workers)

  • Outlines commitments to transition worker into workforce or reduce reliance on foreign talent

3. Limit Low-Wage Foreign Workers

  • Maximum 20% of workforce can be low-wage foreign workers

There are also industry-specific caps that allow 30% for some sectors.

LMIA Eligibility

When reviewing LMIA applications, ESDC analyzes factors like:

Labour Shortage

  • Evidence that positions cannot be filled locally

Recruitment Efforts

  • Proof employer attempted to hire Canadians first

Work Conditions

  • Compliance with regulations

Salary Offer

  • Fair pay compared to industry averages

Job Creation Impact

  • Hiring foreign worker will have positive impacts

ESDC tailors assessments based on work and worker type.

LMIA Processing Times in 2023

Current LMIA processing times range from 10 days to 2 months. However, some applications take longer if complex.

Having experienced legal assistance can prevent delays from application mistakes.

Expedited Processing

10 business day processing is available for:

  • High demand skilled trades paid over median wage
  • Top 10% highest wage earners
  • Short term workers (under 120 days)
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How Much Does LMIA Cost in 2023?

  • $1,000 per employee
  • Employer pays application and legal fees
  • 5 workers = $5,000 in application fees

Employers sometimes pay work permit fees too.

LMIA Advertising Requirements

To prove genuine need for foreign workers, employers must:

  • Advertise on Job Bank for 4+ weeks
  • Use 2 other recruitment methods
  • Target underrepresented groups

LMIA Exemption

Some foreign workers are exempt through:

  • Free trade agreements
  • Global Talent Stream
  • NAFTA countries
  • Intra-company transfers
  • International Mobility Program

Approval Rate for LMIA in 2023

Our data shows 60-85% approval on well-prepared applications. Approvals depend on:

  • Meeting all LMIA requirements
  • No misrepresentations
  • Compliance history

Experienced immigration lawyers can increase chance of success.

Top 3 Reasons for LMIA Rejection

  1. No genuine need for foreign worker
  2. Non-compliance with labour laws
  3. Misrepresentation of information

Why Does Canada Use LMIA?

Canada welcomes immigrants but also protects domestic workforce interests.

LMIA ensures:

  • Foreign workers are last resort
  • Transition plans to reduce reliance
  • Priority given to Canadian citizens

So LMIA verifies that all alternatives were exhausted before foreign talent sought.

LMIA Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for LMIA?

  • Financially stable employers
  • Genuine need for foreign workers
  • No recent layoffs
  • Legitimate business

Who pays for LMIA?

In most cases, the employer pays all LMIA and work permit costs.

Can LMIA help permanent residency?

Yes, LMIA strengthens Express Entry applications for programs like FSWP, FSTP and CEC.

How many Express Entry points for LMIA?

Can get 50 or 200 CRS points depending on position.

How long are LMIA work permits?

Up to 18 months, but varies case by case.

Also Read  Global Talent Stream

What about Owner-Operator LMIAs?

Business owners can get personal LMIAs to hire themselves. Similar requirements as standard LMIA.

We hope this overview has provided clarity on LMIAs! Let us know if you have any other questions.

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