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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Five Basic Steps to a Successful LMIA

Five Basic Steps to a Successful LMIA

LMIA for Employers

Most employers will need apply for and obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before they can hire a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW). An LMIA is an assessment conducted by Service Canada. This blog post is for you if you have previously tried to apply for an LMIA but were unsuccessful with it or if you simply want to submit an LMIA correctly for the first time. Read on for five basic steps to obtain a successful LMIA.

1. Gather all the necessary documents to show that your business is an operating business

Employers who want to apply for an LMIA must have an operating business. The vacant position being offered to the temporary foreign worker must be related to a good or service that the employer’s business provides.

If this is your first time applying for an LMIA, you will need to submit documents regarding your business activity. You may need to provide:

  • Business license;

  • Business registration or legal incorporation documents;

  • Canada Revenue Agency documents;

  • Commercial lease agreement;

  • Workplace safety and insurance clearance letter/certificate; and

  • Other documents depending on the nature of the employer.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. As stated, the documents required to support an LMIA varies depending on the nature of the employer (e.g. incorporated business, sole proprietor, or a family seeking to hire a caregiver).

Furthermore, note that some provinces require additional documentation to show that the employer is, in fact, operating a business. For example, employers who wish to hire a temporary foreign worker for a position in Manitoba must also obtain a Certificate of Registration.

2. Recruiting and Advertising

The employer must show that they made attempts to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents for this particular job, but have failed. In light of this, the employer must advertise the open position to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The advertising efforts must be made available to the general public to ensure that qualified Canadians and permanent residents are aware of this opportunity.

Employers must advertise on:

  1. Job Bank or if the job is in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, or Quebec, the respective provincial employment websites

  2. Two or more additional methods of recruitment and advertisement consistent with the normal practices of the occupation

Generally, all advertisements must be posted and available to the general public for a minimum of four consecutive weeks before you can apply for an LMIA. The advertisements must have been posted within three months of your LMIA application.

Importantly, the Job Bank posting (or the provincial equivalents) and the other advertisements must remain posted, continuously, until you receive a decision on your LMIA application.

The employer’s advertisement must also, as much as possible, target underrepresented groups. Examples of underrepresented groups include students, youth, new immigrants, persons with disabilities, and Indigenous people.

The advertisements must include details about the employer and the vacant position, such as (but not limited to) the location of work, job duties, wage offered, and required experience.

Please note that there are small variations to the recruitment and advertisement requirement for a limited set of occupations and for some provinces.

3. Interviewing the eligible applicants

You may have received many resumes from potential candidates, some of who may be Canadian citizens or permanent residents. If you choose not to extend interviews to all applicants, carefully keep track of who applied to the position and note your reasons for not interviewing them.

For the applicants who you interview, keep notes during the interview. Note why this person may or may not be eligible for the vacant position. You will need to submit this information to Service Canada when you submit your LMIA application. In addition, you will need to tell Service Canada how many people applied, how many people were interviewed, how many people were qualified, among other information.

4. Job offer to Foreign Worker

Assuming you could not find a qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the vacant position, you may decide to extend a job offer to a temporary foreign worker. The job offer must be signed by both the employer and the temporary foreign worker, preferably on company letterhead. The job offer should include details such as the length of employment offered, job duties, wage offered, expected number of work hours per week, etc.

5. Submitting the LMIA application

After you have gathered all your documents and have met the recruitment/advertisement requirements, you may now submit your LMIA application. Generally, employers will also have to pay a processing fee of $1,000 for each position you wish to have filled by a temporary foreign worker. Please ensure that your application is complete, as incomplete applications will not be processed.

After you submit an application, an officer may contact you for more information about your application or ask for you to do certain things.

Unfortunately, there are no fixed processing times for an LMIA application. LMIA applications are processed across Canada depending on the stream and work location, and the processing times vary accordingly.

However, some applications may be processed within 10 business days if it falls within one of the following categories:

  • Highest-demand occupations – Skilled trades on the eligible list of occupations and the prevailing wage of the occupation is at or above the provincial/territorial median hourly wage

  • Highest-paid occupations – Occupations where the prevailing wage in the region the job is located, is at or above 10% of wages in the entire province/territory

  • Short-duration work periods – The period of employment is for less than 120 days and the prevailing wage of the occupation is at or above the provincial/territorial median hourly wage

Contact Akrami & Associates

Although LMIA applications may seem straightforward, that is not always the case. There are many reasons why your application may not be successful. Your application could be delayed or refused for a number of reasons. For example, if you do not provide the correct supporting documents in the initial application and/or you do not respond to the Officer’s inquiries within a specified time period, your application could be delayed or refused. Please contact Akrami & Associates so that we may assist you in minimizing the possibility of refusal and assist you in putting forward your best application every step of the way!

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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