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

Temporary Foreign Worker Program and LMIA

Temporary Foreign Worker Program and LMIA

Hiring Temporary Foreign Worker to Canada?

Are you an employer looking to hire a temporary worker? You may be wondering what an LMIA is and how it may apply to your situation. An LMIA is a common abbreviation for Labour Market Impact Assessment, which is a document that may be needed if you are an employer looking to hire a foreign temporary worker. This can be done through either the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program (IMP).

Temporary Foreign Worker Program versus International Mobility Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows employers to hire workers to fill temporary work shortages, which can be either labour-related or skill-related. In this program, you would likely need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment from Employment and Social Development Canada or Service Canada. The International Mobility Program also allows the employer to hire a temporary worker; however, this program does not require an LMIA. This is because the employees to be hired from this program may provide broader economic, cultural, or other competitive advantages for Canada or can provide reciprocal benefits to Canadians or other permanent residents. However, there may be other requirements for the IMP program. For example, you may need to pay a fee or submit an employment offer to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) through the Employer Portal. For more information regarding the specifics of each program, consider visiting the Canadian and Immigration Canada website.

How do I know if I need an LMIA?

Knowing whether or not you need an LMIA can prove to be a confusing task. In terms of the hiring a temporary worker, there are situations where you may not need an LMIA. To verify which ones these are, you would need to either review the LMIA Exemption Codes or contact an International Mobility Worker Unit.

In the first situation, you would need to review the Exemption Codes available online at the Canadian and Immigration Canada website. There is a table on the website with all of the various codes there are, which goes by circumstance (For example, Canada-International Non-Trade employees, Canada-Provincial/Territorial employees, Significant Benefit Entrepreneurs employees, etc). Once you find the circumstance that suits the employee you intend to hire, you will be able to select the code and obtain information about how it applies. If you are exempt from an LMIA, include the code you found in your offer of employment when submitting the application.

If you are unable to do so, you may also contact an International Mobility Worker Unit (IMWU), which is dependent on where you reside (province/territory). They will be able to help determine if your prospective employee is exempt from the LMIA, as well as if they are exempt from a work permit. You may contact an IMWU worker if the prospective employee is from a visa-exempt country or is currently outside of Canada; if this does not apply to you, you will need to obtain assistance from the processing officer to find out if you need an LMIA or not. Also note that if you intend to contact an IMWU worker, you must do so at least 30 days in advance of when you need the result (which is most likely when the employee is set to arrive in Canada).

The International Mobility Worker Unit differs depending on the province or territory where you reside. They can predominantly be reached by email. If you live in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories, or Nunavut, you would need to contact the Toronto International Mobility Unit. If you live in any of the remaining provinces/territories (Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, or New Brunswick), you would need to contact the Montreal International Mobility Worker Unit.

What happens if my employee needs an LMIA?

If your employee requires an LMIA, you will only be able to hire them using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. You will need to fill in the LMIA application, which will demonstrate that you absolutely need the foreign worker to fill the job position. This must also show that you put in effort to find a Canadian worker, but there were none available that were appropriate for the job. This can be done by providing supporting documents, such as job postings on Job Bank. This kind of LMIA application is considered to be “positive”. If a positive LMIA application is issued, you will receive a confirmation letter. You must provide a copy of this letter to the worker(s) who are coming to Canada and then proceed to seek a work permit. Also note that there may be differences if you are an employer living in Quebec. You may need to also obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ). This is done through the Quebec Government; therefore, if this applies to you, you may need to visit Quebec’s Immigration Department website.

What happens if my employee does not need an LMIA?

If your employee does not need an LMIA, you can continue through the International Mobility Program. In this case, you will need to submit an offer of employment and pay required fees before moving forward to obtain a work permit. For more information regarding the International Mobility Program, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website.

Can I apply for an LMIA by myself?

The forms required for an LMIA are made publicly available online on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. Therefore, it is indeed possible to complete the application without any assistance. If doing so, you will need to complete the required forms and provide adequate supporting documents. Also note that there is a processing fee for the LMIA application. Ensure that you include proof of payment, such as a receipt, in your application.

Contact Akrami & Associates

Though it is theoretically possible to complete the application individually, your chances will be higher if you choose to obtain the assistance of an immigration professional. The LMIA application can be confusing, and it may be difficult to include the appropriate documents if you have no previous experience with immigration related documents. If you are in the situation where you will need to hire foreign temporary workers and require an LMIA, consider contacting Akrami and Associates. Our dedicated and experienced team will be able to assess your situation and help compile a strong application tailored to your needs.

With Akrami and Associates there is always a way!!

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