How to apply for an LMIA in Canada?
Many businesses in Canada are facing a situation where there is a lack of laborers / skilled workers to fill in the job positions. And these are essential for businesses to operate. Thus, employers are turning towards the possibility of hiring foreign workers to do the job. This is beneficial for both immigrants and the Canadian economy as the conditions are more adaptive.
To put this in motion, employers would need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) – which is a formal document that is issued by the Canadian government. This permit allows employers to hire foreign workers under certain conditions.
What is LMIA?
The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in detail is a verification process conducted by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The department assesses the employer’s application to verify and ensure that the hiring of foreign workers will not impact the labor market in a negative way. There is the information required by employers to complete before a foreign worker is hired. Once an employer has applied for an LMIA, they will need to wait for the approval, which is referred to as the “confirmation letter.” And only then will they be able to pursue the hiring of foreigners. More of these will be discussed further below.
What are the requirements needed for an LMIA application?
There are 2 ways to file an application form. (a) It can be done from the LMIA Online Portal or (b) by submitting the requirements to the Service Canada Center.
Using the Online Portal
There is a dedicated LMIA Online Portal (https://tfwp-jb.lmia.esdc.gc.ca/employer/), available for employers or a third-party representative of them to fill out. If this is their first time doing it, they can sign up on the same site for it. The registration process will already guide you and should not take longer than 15 minutes to accomplish. Once completed, you will be given a Job Bank user account which you can use to log in the next time. Within the site is also a guided process so that you can complete your LMIA application.
Submitting through the Service Center
To submit your LMIA application, you will need to complete the following requirements. Otherwise, you will encounter delays in the processing. Make sure you have everything ready. And once you have it, take the time to double-check and even triple-check that all information is complete and accurate.
- LMIA Application Form (EMP 5593). Form reference:
- (If applicable) Schedule D – Skilled Trades Job Offer. Form reference:
- Signed job offer by the employer and worker
- Evidence showing proof of the business legitimacy. Reference:
- Evidence that the job position was advertised, when it was posted, where it was posted, and for how long it has been open
Once everything is accomplished, the employer must bring all the requirements to the Service Center responsible for the processing. List of service centers:
If an application has incomplete requirements, the processing staff will notify the employer about the issue. Be sure to submit only the copies and not the original documents as the submitted documents will not be returned or retained by the processing center.
What happens in the assessment process?
The submitted documents and application of the employer will be processed by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) / Service Canada Center in a systematic manner. They will review the following:
- Employer’s eligibility to apply for a Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)
- Consistency of the offered job position based on Canada’s territorial agreements
- The authenticity of the job offer
- Accuracy of the job offer in English and French languages, unless proven that another language must be supported
- Impact of hiring a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) to Canada’s labor market
Once ESDC / Service Canada Center has ensured that all documents of the employer have met the requirements, the assessment process will be completed, and the employer will be informed of the result.
What results can an employer expect?
The employer should receive a confirmation letter on the approved LMIA application. This letter has a validity of 6 months from the date it was issued. It will not include private information, such as the name of the foreign worker applicant but will, however, have specifics on the job offer such as salary wages, working conditions, and other pertinent data.
This positive confirmation letter should be able to support a foreign worker’s application for a Work Permit and VISA processing. It is the employer’s responsibility to forward a copy of this letter to the foreign worker and to ask the foreign national to start an application to the Canadian VISA office.
It is possible for an approved / positive LMIA to overturn to a negative. This decision is based on new and relevant information. During the validity period, the LMIA may be revoked if there are inconsistencies discovered such as employer information proving to have false or misleading information, new facts to support the revocation, or if the opinion was an unintentional error based on facts.
The Employment and Social Development Canada / Service Canada Centre will issue a negative letter should the employer fail to accomplish the requirements. The department takes the TFWP seriously, which is why employers that intend to hire foreign workers must be compliant in all areas. Employers must uphold the terms and conditions set for employment as stated in the job offer. Employers are expected to strictly work within the territorial regulations and laws in Canada since it serves labor and human rights protection.
Because of the over-pouring of applications that came in 2021, there have been minor changes to the rules when it comes to the LMIA application. And this includes the application fee processing. As of now, an application fee of $1,000 per worker is charged for processing LMIA requests. This is a huge leap from the $275 per worker processing fee in the past.
From 2021, there has been a large volume of applications that the department had to process which resulted in longer processing times and delays. And the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is not new to this. Depending on the type or complexity of the application, the processing time of LMIA can take from 8 business days to 30 business days. There are applications that are of quality for expedited service but it has its specific criteria.
Expedited service reference:
Following the new rules from 2022, the LMIA job system recognized 2 categories. This is streamlined from the previous 4 divisions. The 2 categories are (a) high-wage workers and (b) low-wage workers. For each Canadian jurisdiction, there is a median wage. Going above that is high and going below that is low. This helps distinguish where you are from the range.
What matters here is to understand that hiring high-wage workers under an LMIA application now requires a Transition Plan from employers. This is the Schedule C form. This Transition Plan is a hard requirement for all Canadian employers because it represents the employer’s commitment to upholding the specifics when hiring a Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW). This is represented as formal documentation that indicates clear and relevant plans and measurable commitments of the turnover.
When it comes to hiring low-wage workers, it will not be necessary to have a Transition Plan because, unlike high-wage workers, those that are in this category have a cap or limit to the number of allowed workers to employ. This allows Canadian employers ample time to transition over to a Canadian workforce over the next 2 years. And after that, the cap or limit is revested.
When the LMIA application yields a positive result is successful, meaning that a confirmation letter is received – then the employer can go ahead and move forward into the processing of the foreign applicant’s work permit and VISA. To apply for a work permit, the foreign worker must have the following:
- A signed job offer, by the employer and applicant
- A copy of the job contract
- A copy of the approved LMIA application
- The Serial Number or LMIA number reference
The requirements for VISA processing and work permits may change considering the situation. Especially with the travel restrictions that could still be in place affecting the workers’ application. However, it is always best to review and rely on the references available where you will be processing your VISA from.
The application for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) can be intimidating, especially for those that are doing it for the first time. But it is not an impossible task. For as long as you have your documents accurate and intact, and you have understood your eligibility to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) then there is nothing to worry. You must ensure that you follow Canada’s rules and regulations at all costs from the hiring process to the monitoring phase. Your first application may be tricky but the trade-off on acquiring a skilled foreign worker may be well worth it.
What does hookjobs do?
we help you to apply for a LMIA. we help you to go through the process. what we need is as below:
- the job titles you need to fill in.
- a brief description of the jobs
- the criteria you require from the candidates
- financial and company registration documents
After applying for the LMIA and getting invited to the interview we will help you to go through the officer’s questions and answer them correctly.