How Long is a LMIA Valid For
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) can be vital for the issuance of a job offer from a Canadian employer to a temporary foreign national worker. Therefore, it is essential to know for how long the LMIA will be valid for and if the Canadian employer and/or foreign worker will need to apply for a new one in the future. Since May of 2009, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has enforced a maximum 6 month LMIA validity period. During this 6 month period, an LMIA may be utilized for a temporary foreign worker to apply for a work permit. In this article, I will address the validity period for LMIAs, the duration of employment based on the LMIA, exceptions, and more.
Validity Period of a Labour Market Impact Assessment
When issued an LMIA, the validity period and the expiry date will be specified under “Opinion Expiry Date” on the LMIA document.
If you have submitted your application online, the expiry date of the LMIA will be indicated on the employment validation screen under the field “Offer Valid To.” In other words, this date is date by which Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) must receive the work permit application. Keep in mind, if you have submitted an application overseas, the border services officers will finalize the application even if the LMIA has expired. The border services officers will ensure that the LMIA expiry date was still valid during the initial application receipt.
However, abiding by the expiry date is extremely important before accepting any work permit applications. As a result, any work permit applications that are pending a receipt of a valid LMIA may not be permitted.
The only exception to this is for inland processing and if the temporary foreign national’s work permit will expire within two weeks. If this is the case, then the temporary foreign national worker will have to provide a valid job offer as well as evidence that the Canadian employer has requested a new LMIA.
Additionally, if a Canadian employer requests a specific time line for a short term employment opportunity, then ESDC may allow an LMIA that has an expiry date in less than six months. Keep in mind, the expiry date of an LMIA has no effect on the processing time needed by CIC for a work permit application after the LMIA has already been submitted.
Work Permit Applications Received Past Expiry Date
Unfortunately, any work permit applications that are received after the expiry date of an LMIA will be refused under Section R203. Furthermore, any work permit applicants that are entering Canada through a port of entry must acquire a valid LMIA expiry date prior to entering. Therefore, if the expiry date has already passed, then the LMIA can no longer be utilized as supporting the work permit application.
Duration of Employment based on the LMIA
It is essential to know the difference between the LMIA expiry date and the LMIA duration of employment or the work permit expiry date. These are two very different and separate things. The work permit expiry date and the LMIA duration of employment can be much longer than the LMIA expiry date; this entirely depends on the employment circumstances. To be clear, the duration of employment in the LMIA document is the time period of work that the Canadian employer has requested and that ESDC has agreed to.
CBSA or CIC will issue a work permit for the expected duration of work indicated on the LMIA. Yet, if the temporary foreign worker’s passport will expire, then the work permit will be issued for a shorter duration period than designated on the LMIA. For instance, should the LMIA employment duration indicates two years, and the temporary foreign national’s passport expires in one year, the Immigration officer will only issue the work permit for the one year. If the temporary foreign national worker’s passport will only expire, and there are no other stipulations, then the worker will be able to renew their existing work permit without having to obtain a new LMIA. Although the LMIA expiry date may have passed, the temporary foreign national worker has still met the time frame for the application and may extend it until the employment duration first indicated on the LMIA document. This is so long as the passport has been renewed accordingly.
On the other hand, if a work permit is issued overseas, then the Immigration officer will calculate the validity of the work permit based on the date the work permit is authorized for the employment duration approved by ESDC. Of course, they must also take into consideration any other stipulations or the validity of the temporary foreign national worker’s passport. Additionally, when the work permit is issued, there must be a remark from the Immigration officer at the port of entry regarding the issuance upon the date of entry into Canada and not beforehand. This will indicate the duration of employment starts upon arriving in Canada.
Contact Akrami & Associates
If you are a Canadian employer and would like to apply for an LMIA to hire a temporary foreign worker, we can help you with this process. Applying for an LMIA can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with how Immigration applications work. Moreover, any Immigration application can become overwhelming if done alone; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Additionally, it is extremely important that you take into consideration the aforementioned validity periods of LMIAs prior to submitting your application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients acquire temporary foreign workers for their business. If you believe that you might be eligible, 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!