LMIA Application Process - Eligibility, Requirements and Exceptions

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What is an LMIA?

An LMIA is a document issued by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to assess the impact of a foreign worker in the Canadan Labour Market. It ensures that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively affect the Canadian workers. It is a document issued by the ESDC that allows the firm to hire foreign workers.

What is the LMIA Application?

The LMIA process starts with the employer applying to the ESDC for the LMIA. The employer must provide details about the job and provide information on why he need to hire a foreign worker. This includes the job duties, wage rate, and working conditions.

Once the application is received by the ESDC, they will assess it and determine if you need a foreign worker for this and can issue you a positive LMIA. They also consider other factors like the availability of Canadians for the job. The wage rate and benefits offered by the employer and working conditions. If the LMIA Application is Approved the employer is free to hire foreign workers. The foreign worker can use the lMIA to apply for a work permit through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Who Can Apply for LMIA?

Employer: Any employer in Canada can apply for LMIA to hire a foreign worker as long as they are not applying to find a suitable candidate for the job. A positive LMIA means the employer is allowed to hire a foreign worker and is not able to find a Candidate in Canada. Any small or large corporation can apply for the LMIA. However to be eligible the employer must prove that he immediately needs to hire and is capable enough to support the Candidate for the full period of the LMIA work permit.

Foreign workers: Foreign workers who wish to work in Canada must have a positive LMIA from their prospective employer in order to apply for a work permit. There are some exceptions to the LMIA process, including the international mobility program, which allows foreign workers to work in Canada without LMIA. However, this program is based on international trade agreements between Canada and other countries.

High and Low Wage LMIA in Canada

The Labour Market Impact Assessment application can vary depending on the type of job being offered to the foreign worker. There are two main categories of the LMIA, Low-wage and High Wage Positions.

High-Wage Positions: High-wage positions are those job positions that offer wages above the median wage published by the Canadian government for that occupation in that region. These jobs require a high level of skill and experience for the LMIA application process. This job requires employer support for the future permanent residency of the foreign worker.

Lower Position: These are the jobs that pay a lower wage than the median wage published by the Canadian government for that occupation in the region where the job is located. The lower wage positions require more effort by the employer because the ESDC will assess the impact on the Canadian worker and labor market.

LMIA Exemptions

The International Mobility Program (IMP) offers several pathways for Canadian employers to hire foreign workers through LMIA-exempt work permits. Here’s a breakdown of some key options:

1. Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Work Permit: This permit allows multinational companies to transfer employees to Canada for temporary work assignments. Eligible employees must have been with the company for a specific period and possess specialized knowledge or hold a senior management position.

2. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Work Permit: Citizens from countries that have a free trade agreement with Canada, such as NAFTA, CETA, or the CPTPP, can work in Canada without an LMIA under this category.

3. International Experience Canada (IEC) Work Permit: Young individuals from certain countries can participate in the IEC program, which includes categories like Working Holiday, Young Professional, and International Co-op, allowing them to work and travel in Canada for up to two years.

4. Global Talent Stream (GTS) Work Permit: This stream is for employers seeking highly skilled foreign workers in specific occupations within STEM fields. The GTS expedites the process of hiring such talent by exempting the LMIA requirement.

5. Researcher Work Permit: Foreign researchers employed by designated research organizations in Canada can obtain a work permit to conduct temporary research activities in the country.

Each of these programs serves different needs and promotes the exchange of expertise and knowledge between Canada and other countries. Understanding the specific requirements and eligibility criteria for each program will help employers navigate the process of hiring foreign workers without an LMIA.

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