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Things Every Employer Should Know Before Applying For LMIA

With the high rate of temporary foreign workers currently in Canada, it is true to say that Canadian employers rely on the experience and skills of internationally trained workers. In many cases, temporary foreign workers enter the country tied to a specific job as well as employer. There are some certain Things Every Employer Should Know Before Applying For LMIA.

If you’re an employer, you may first apply for a Labour Market Assessment (LMIA) before looking to hire foreign workers. This depends on your circumstances and how many workers you wish to hire.

What is LMIA?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment is designed to determine if there is a need for foreign workers to fill the vacant jobs, and that Canadian workers cannot fill these positions at this time due to a lack of availability in the market.

You will receive your LMIA in the form of a confirmation letter that has been issued by a department of the federal government of Canada, usually Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). A positive or neutral LMIA simply means that:

  • You are in need of a temporary foreign worker as a Canadian employer.
  • You’ve already taken steps and genuine effort to employ either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, but there were no candidates with the correct skills or qualifications to fill the vacant position.
  • As a Canadian employer, if not for the current circumstances, you’re willing to train Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.
  • You’re willing to complete a Transition Plan if the wage you’re offering meets, or is above, the provincial/territorial average hourly wage.
  • You’re hiring a foreign worker on a temporary basis, pending when a local candidate will be available.
  • Bringing a temporary foreign worker to Canada will probably have either a positively or neutrally effect on the Canadian labour market.

Applying for an LMIA

Below are the various steps you will need to take when applying for an LMIA

1. Determine the skill level

Take your time to determine the skill level of the intended occupation. To do this, you should check out the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system.

NOC is the nationally accepted system for Canada’s job groups and titles, with each group allocated its own four-digit code which classifies occupation-type according to job nature and skill level.

2. Meet minimum advertising requirements

You must be able to prove that you have made a genuine effort to employ a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. ESDC can reserve the right to require further advertising for any job if it is under the impression a broader level of advertisement may find Canadian or permanent residents who would qualify for the vacant job position.

3. Meet or exceed the median wage rate

The median wage rate is worked out by looking at the average hourly wage for your requestional occupation, according to your specific geographical location. You must ensure that your wage rate don’t fall below this rate.

4. Check the special conditions

Depending on the industry sector you are hiring the temporary foreign worker from, you may find out that certain special conditions apply. This includes seasonal agriculture work,  live-in caregivers, ad well as some occupations that may require lower standards of training.

5. Check you meet eligibility requirements

You can only be successful in your LMIA application if you unable to find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is suitable for the job, and prove that the hiring of your temporary foreign worker will not impact negatively on the Canadian labor market.

6. Submit your application

You can submit your LMIA application to Service Canada before identifying your temporary foreign worker.

7. Contact your foreign worker

Upon the approval of the job offer by Service Canada, you can then send a copy of your LMIA confirmation letter to your chosen temporary foreign worker as well as a signed offer of employment and a contract for employment. At this point, you should strongly advise that they apply for a work permit via CIC.

Your chosen foreign worker can then either apply for a work permit at a visa office abroad, at port of entry, or if legally permitted, from within Canada.

8. Ensure they meet all requirements

CIC will have to be convinced that your chosen temporary foreign worker has the needed skills and qualified for the job, as well as meeting all certification and licensing requirements that apply to regulated occupations in Canada.

Your chosen foreign worker may also need to undergo a medical examination, depending on the type of work they plan to undertake, and where they have been living for the past year.

You can also see how to migrate to Canada as a temporary foreign worker.