Shabnam Akrami Blogs
Labor Market Impact Assessments
Hiring a Foreign Worker Temporarily
If you are a Canadian employer who is looking to hire a foreign national to fill a position temporarily, the government does not want to prevent you from doing this, though, they do want to prevent foreign nationals from taking positions from Canadians who need them. It is important to the Canadian government, that Canadian have access to jobs in Canada, before those positions are filled by an individual visiting the country temporarily. To do this, there is the requirement that foreign nationals and their employers obtain a labor market impact assessment, prior to being able to obtain a work permit. In other words, before you will be able to apply for an LMIA successfully, you must have your application supported by a positive LMIA. Because this is such an important step, and most work permits require an LMIA, we will take the time to break down the application process, to help you prepare an application for an LMIA.
What is an LMIA?
Well, as mentioned, it is a document which confirms a position was available to Canadians, and that no Canadian can be found to fill the position, so a foreign national is needed to serve the needs of the company, and the company is permitted to hire a foreign national because no Canadian is available.
Who Needs an LMIA?
Anyone coming to Canada who will obtain an employer specific work permit, and is not covered by a free trade agreement, will need to apply for an LMIA. One of the major benefits of applying for a work permit under a free trade agreement is that barriers such as an LMIA are removed. Other than that, only individuals applying for an open work permit are LMIA exempt.
What is the Difference between an Open Work Permit and a Closed Work Permit?
The main difference between an open Work Permit and a Closed Work Permit is that with an open work permit, you have permission to work for any employer in Canada, without first obtaining an LMIA. With a closed work permit, you are only permitted to work for the employer which is listed on your LMIA, and your work permit.
How do I Apply for an LMIA?
To apply for an LMIA successfully, you must show there has been a genuine effort to secure a Canadian employee, but this cannot be done, so you must seek help elsewhere. In order to prove your attempts to hire an employee were genuine, there are quite a few things the Government of Canada is expecting. First and foremost, employers are required to advertise their positions for a minimum period of four weeks before they can apply to hire a temporary foreign worker, or have an LMIA approved. In addition to this, advertisements must appear on a minimum of 5 recruitment sites.
In addition to showing there is no other Canadian to do the job; you must show your employees will be paid fairly. The Canadian government has determined the employer should pay a salary as per the median wage which is paid to individuals in similar positions with similar experience in Canada.
Furthermore, you will have to include the following:
- Business license or documentation showing proof of employers’ involvement in the business
- Drafted and signed an employment contract which shows proof that the employee will be paid at a rate which meets the median pay of that individuals working a similar position with similar credentials
- Documentation of recruitment efforts to hire a Canadians and permanent residents before offering this job to a temporary worker;
- Proof of all required advertisements
- Proof that the work place is safe
- Proof of health insurance coverage for temporary foreign worker paid by employer
- Proof that employer will accommodate foreign worker with affordable housing
- Receipt of payment for round trip to Canada and home to country of origin, paid by employer
- Prove that the temporary foreign worker will leave Canada once your work permit expires
- May need to provide education of foreign worker
What about after I get an LMIA?
You are now ready to apply for a work permit, to move one step closer to actually working in Canada. Your application for a work permits and the requirements for this will vary based on the type of work permit you wish to obtain specifically, as there are a variety of different work permits. Though, the important thing to understand is that the process is NOT done once you have an LMIA, you have only completed step 1.
How long is my LMIA good for?
Logically, an LMIA is only a temporary document because the status of working Canadians changes frequently and the labor market must be able to adapt constantly. Though, this does not necessarily mean you will not be able to continue to work in Canada, but it does mean you have to verify your status in Canada. You must re-apply for a new LMIA if your employer would like to keep you for a longer period than your LMIA is valid for, then, the impact of your presence on the Canadian labor market will be re-assessed. You should always remember to do this with plenty of time to spare, as you will also have to submit a new application for a work permit, before the old one expires.
If it is the case that your work permit is going to expire within the next two weeks, and you do not have a new LMIA from the government you can submit your application for a new work permit without an LMIA. However, you must follow very specific regulations. To be granted a new work permit without having a valid LMIA at the time of applying you must submit proof that the LMIA was submitted to the government. This can be done with a simple copy of the receipt confirmation number if the request was submitted online. Or, you should indicate in the section “Details of Intended Work in Canada” of the new work permit application the following details, if it was not submitted online:
- the date the LMIA was sent,
- the office in which it was sent to,
- the employer’s name and,
- the confirmation number for the submission if you have it.
Please note, if you submit an application without a new LMIA, you must contact the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Call Centre with the LMIA confirmation number within 2 months of submitting your application, once it is received.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Should you have any further questions or feel confused or unclear about how to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, it is important to talk about any questions you may have and discuss your concerns. By talking to immigration professionals about your concerns, this will ease your worries and assist with the application process. Many immigration applications are difficult to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients gain temporary foreign workers for their Canadian business. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!