LMIA Processing Times Reduced In Some Categories, Up In Others

According to the recent figures from Canada’s federal government, processing times for Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) are down in some programs but up in others. The LMIA processing times reduced in some programs categories, while others show increasing times.

Three (3) out of seven (7) Temporary Foreign Worker Programs categories see a reduction in the average processing times in January 2020, compared to last year June of 2019, according to statistics received from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Processing times are reduced for the Agricultural Streams, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the High-wage Streams.

Meanwhile, the four (4) categories to show increased processing times are the Permanent Residence Stream, the Global Talent Stream, In-home Caregivers and the Low-wage Stream.

The Table below shows LMIA processing times reduced in some certain categories but increased in others.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Average Processing Times 2020

Application types LMIA Processing Time June 2019 (business days) LMIA Processing Time January 2020 (business days)
Global Talent Stream 10 12
Agricultural Stream 36 23
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program 20 10
Permanent Residence Stream 39 49
In-home Caregivers 20 25
High-wage Stream 95 80
Low-wage Stream 102 108

Source: Employment and Social Development Canada

Of greater concern for Ottawa will be the increased Global Talent Stream processing times, from Ten (10) to Twelve (12) business days.

The Global Talent Stream is the federal government’s flagship work permit program, providing an employer with the benefit of bringing in the best foreign skilled workers in the highest demand occupations with Ten (10) business day processing.

Officials will not want to see the average processing time increase much high than Twelve (12) days.

ESDC blames the rise in processing times on the high number of applications being submitted, due to the rise in demand for Canada work permits through the Temporary Foreign Worker Programs.

Work permit holders have continued to be a healthy source of new permanent residents in Canada.

Between January and October 2019, a total of 55,110 newcomers were admitted who previously held work permits through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program. The same figure for the whole of 2018 was 56,365.

How To Get Labour Market Impact Assessment In Canada

Before hiring a temporary foreign worker through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Canada a Labour Market Impact Assessment, LMIA is important and often required. If there is no Canadian citizen for the job, the TFWP then permits employers to fill positions with foreign workers.

It is a labour market verification process where the Employment and Social Development Canada or simply (ESDC) assesses employment offers to ensure that employing a foreign worker will have no negative impact on the labour market in Canada.

For this reason, the employer will have to give a variety of information on the vacant position they wish to hire a foreign worker. However, information on the total number of Canadians who applied for the position and those interviewed as well as a detailed explanation of why no Canadian worker was considered for the position.

Once a Canadian employer file in for the LMIA, he/she will expect a document of approval from Employment and Social Development Canada. This document is generally known as a positive LMIA (sometimes called a confirmation letter) confirming there is a need to employ a temporary foreign worker for the job in question, and that there are no Canadian citizens to fill the position.

Once the Canadian employer receives the LMIA, the prospective employee can file in for a work permit so long as he/she has an employment offer letter, a contract, a copy of the LMIA, and the LMIA number.

For international applicants that are willing to immigrate to Canada for work, you may want to check the country-specific processing times here for all Labour Market Impact Assessment for your country.