LMIA Application Requirements, Forms and Processing Time During COVID-19 (2023)

LMIA application requirements for employers in Ontario

LMIA requirements are as follows:

Employer eligibility for LMIA will be decided by a stream in all other cases. To obtain an LMIA for permanent residency, an employer must have been in business for at least one year. Employers must meet the following criteria to be eligible for LMIA coverage for all other types of businesses:

  • Has a legitimate business.
  • Provides goods or services to the public.
  • Can pay a salary to a foreign worker.
  • Has a genuine need for a foreign worker.
  • Has not laid-off employees in the 12 months preceding application.

LMIA Processing time 2023

In 2023, the processing time for an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) in Canada may be varied and uncertain, but the Canadian government is making efforts to streamline the process and provide faster and more efficient service. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) reports that the processing time for an LMIA application can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. This is due to the fact that ESDC thoroughly examines each application, including the qualifications and experience of the foreign skilled worker being considered for hire by a Canadian employer.

LMIA application fee

Employers aiming to hire a temporary foreign worker to Canada must pay a processing fee of 1,000 CAD for each request for an LMIA application. There is also an additional $100 privilege fee on employers charged by Employment and Social Development Canada. English and French are the only languages that can be determined as job requirements, both for LMIAs and for job vacancy advertisements, unless the employer can prove that another language is otherwise required for the position.

Additionally, employers must advertise all job vacancies across the Canadian job market for at least four weeks before applying for an LMIA. Towards this end, employers are required to prove that they have used at least two other recruitment methods in addition to having posted an advertisement on the Canada Job Bank. Employers must focus advertising efforts on groups of Canadians who are under-represented, such as First Nations or persons with disabilities.

Employers are also required to submit a transition plan to ESDC, along with the LMIA application, for high-wage positions. This transition plan should indicate how the company plans to reduce its reliance on temporary foreign workers in the future.

Proof of investment in skills training or hiring Canadian apprentices are examples of how employers can prove this. Alternatively, employers can demonstrate how they are assisting their high-skilled temporary foreign worker(s) in becoming Canadian permanent residents. If the employer is chosen for an inspection, or if they apply to renew their LMIA application, they will be required to report on the progress of the transition plan that they have submitted.

Employers are required to attest to their awareness that they are prohibited from laying off or cutting the hours of Canadian workers working in the same position(s) as the temporary foreign worker(s) working at the company.

How to get a positive LMIA?

To receive a positive LMIA, the Canadian government officer reviewing the LMIA application must determine that the hiring process will result in a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market. Among other factors, it must be clear that no qualified Canadians were passed up in favor of the foreign worker, and that the latter will be given a salary and benefits that meet federal and provincial standards.

High-Wage Workers

To hire high-wage workers, employers must submit transition plans along with their LMIA application to ensure that they are taking steps to reduce their reliance on temporary foreign workers over time. High-wage workers are those earning above the median hourly wage for a given occupation in a specified region.

The transition plans are designed to ensure that employers seeking foreign workers are fulfilling the purpose of the program. This entails that they are using the program as a last and limited resort to address immediate labour needs temporarily when qualified Canadians are not available, ensuring that Canadians are given the first chance at available jobs.

Province/TerritoryWage ($/hr) as of April 1, 2019
British Columbia$23.98
New Brunswick$20.00
Newfoundland and Labrador$22.00
Northwest Territories$34.00
Nova Scotia$20.00
Prince Edward Island$19.49

Low-Wage Workers

Employers aiming to hire low-wage workers do not need to submit transition plans with their LMIA applications. However, they must follow a different set of guidelines.

To restrict access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), while ensuring that Canadians are always considered first for available jobs, the Government of Canada has introduced a cap to limit the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers that a business can employ.

Furthermore, certain low-wage occupations may be refused for LMIA application processing. Employers with 10 or more employees applying for a new LMIA application are subject to a cap of 10 percent on the proportion of their workforce that can consist of low-wage temporary foreign workers.

Employers offering a wage that is below the provincial/territorial median hourly wage must:

  • pay for round-trip transportation for the temporary foreign worker;
  • ensure affordable housing is available;
  • pay for private health insurance until workers are eligible for provincial health coverage;
  • register the temporary foreign worker with the provincial/territorial workplace safety board; and
  • provide an employer-employee contract.

As of April 30, 2015, the TFWP uses the latest Labour Force Survey results for the unemployment rates in regions across Canada.

These rates determine which regions are eligible for employers to submit Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) for low-wage/lower-skilled occupations in the Accommodation and Food Services sector and the Retail Trade sector. LMIA applications for these sectors will not be processed in economic regions where the unemployment rate is 6 percent or higher.

LMIA exemptions

A scenario in which a Canadian company does not need to get an LMIA to hire a temporary foreign worker is referred to as an LMIA exemption. ESDC, in collaboration with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), maintains a list of LMIA exemptions arranged by immigration programs.

In a limited number of situations Canadian immigration officials may issue Work Permits without the LMIA application requirement, as follows:

  • Under international agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
  • Due to the significant economic, social or cultural benefits the work activity will bring to Canadians;
  • As part of reciprocal agreements Canada and its provinces/territories have entered into with other countries, such as youth and teacher exchange programs;
  • So that international students studying in Canada can fulfil academic requirements, known as co-op placements;
  • To allow the spouses/common-law partners of Work Permit and certain Study Permit holders in Canada to work in Canada;
  • Because the nature of the work is charitable or religious;

In recognition that certain persons in Canada for reasons other than the above-mentioned, such as the making of a refugee claim, need to support themselves.

LMIA business legitimacy

Together with their Labour Market Impact Assessment application, all employers applying for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) must provide documentation. This will prove that their company and job offers are genuine. Please see the following link for more information.

What documents are required for LMIA?

When submitting an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) application, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Completed and signed LMIA application form (EMP5593)
  • The name of the foreign national the employer wishes to hire
  • Schedule D – Skilled trades job offer – Employer #2 (EMP5595) (if applicable)
  • Proof of the employer’s business legitimacy
  • Evidence of recruitment efforts, such as copies of advertisements and information on where, when, and for how long the position was advertised.

It’s worth noting that employers who are supporting a foreign national’s application for a permanent resident visa are not required to pay the processing fee.

Exception to LMIA

A Canadian employer must receive a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to bring a temporary foreign worker to Canada. However, there are several cases, where the LMIA may be waived.

Below are the most common LMIA-exempt streams:

  • Intra-Company Transfer
  • Significant benefit
  • Reciprocal employment
  • Charitable and religious worker

Being exempt from obtaining an LMIA does not mean the applicant is exempt from obtaining a work permit. All streams on the LMIA exemption list require obtaining a work permit to work in Canada legally.

How can I get LMIA?

To obtain an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), your employer must submit an application and pay a fee of $1,000 under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The process may involve your employer providing evidence of the recruitment efforts they have made to fill the position with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, as well as a plan to transition the position to a Canadian worker in the future.

Are you a Canadian Employer who needs to obtain Work Permits for new employees?

Canadapt Consulting takes care of the entire Work Permit process for both Canadian employers and foreign workers. Please be informed that Canada Temporary Work Permit is for those foreign workers who plan on working in Canada for a finite period.

A Temporary Work Permit is a stepping stone to Canadian permanent residency. To be able to work and live in Canada permanently, foreign workers must undertake the Canadian immigration process.

Once in Canada on a Temporary Work Permit, a foreign worker may qualify for Canadian immigration (permanent residence) under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), through a Skilled Worker category, or one of the Provincial Nominee Programs.

Do you have a Canadian job offer and need a Work Permit?

In most cases, individuals with a valid job offer from a Canadian employer must secure a Temporary Work Permit to perform work in Canada. A Temporary Work Permit may be issued for a period ranging from a few days to a few years. In almost all cases, the process of applying for a Work Permit is twofold.

First, the Canadian employer must receive government permission to hire outside of Canada. After this permission has been granted, the designated employee must apply for and receive his or her Work Permit.

The granted Work Permit for the specific job in Canada will be tied to that job only. However, if an employee finds different employment and does not yet have permanent resident status, he or she must apply for a Work Permit before performing another job in Canada.

There are several different ways of securing a Work Permit in Canada. Depending on one’s nationality, occupation, and intended work in Canada, there may be possibilities for expediting the process.

Feel free to contact us and find out the best immigration options for you. As a professional immigration consultant, Canada Consulting has successfully helped thousands of clients in their recruitment efforts.

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