LMIA processing times

Understanding the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Process

In today’s globalized economy, the ability to hire skilled foreign workers is crucial for many businesses striving to remain competitive. For employers in Canada, the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process is a pivotal step in securing the talent needed to drive growth and innovation. Understanding LMIA timelines and considerations is not just about compliance—it is about strategically planning to enhance your workforce and maintain a competitive edge.

When considering hiring temporary foreign workers, understanding the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process is crucial. Below, we provide updated information on LMIA timelines and considerations to help you plan effectively.

Current LMIA Processing Times as of May 2024

Processing times for LMIA applications can vary based on several factors, including the stream under which the application is submitted. The most recent average processing times for various LMIA streams are as follows:

  • Global Talent Stream: 7 business days
  • Agricultural Stream: 17 business days
  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program: 8 business days
  • High-wage Stream: 43 business days
  • Low-wage Stream: 50 business days
  • Permanent Resident Stream: 81 business days

These times are averages and can fluctuate depending on the volume of applications and other factors​​.

Important LMIA Considerations

  • Complete Applications: Ensure that your application is complete with all required documents and the processing fee (if applicable). Incomplete applications will not be processed and may lead to delays.
  • Start and End of Processing Time: Processing time starts once a complete LMIA application is submitted using the LMIA Online portal and ends when you receive a decision letter from Service Canada.
  • High-wage and Low-wage Positions: Different requirements and processing times apply to high-wage and low-wage positions. Be sure to check specific requirements for each category.
  • Applications in Quebec: For positions in Quebec, applications must be submitted simultaneously to Service Canada and Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) to be considered complete.

Before You Apply for LMIA

  • Review Requirements: Carefully review the requirements for the specific stream you are applying under to ensure compliance.
  • Supporting Documents: Gather all necessary supporting documents such as business licenses, tax documents, and recruitment efforts evidence.
  • Provincial Requirements: Be aware of any additional provincial requirements that may apply to your LMIA application.

After You Apply

Once you submit your LMIA application, you will receive a decision letter indicating whether your LMIA has been approved or denied. If approved, provide a copy of the decision letter to the temporary foreign worker so they can apply for a work permit.

For more detailed information, you can visit the Government of Canada’s LMIA processing times page.

LMIA Application Streams

High-wage Positions: These positions are paid at or above the provincial/territorial median wage. Employers must submit transition plans demonstrating efforts to reduce reliance on temporary foreign workers.

Low-wage Positions: These positions are paid below the provincial/territorial median wage. Employers are subject to caps on the proportion of low-wage temporary foreign workers at a worksite.

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP): This program allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers from specific countries for seasonal agricultural work. The processing time for SAWP applications is generally quicker.

Agricultural Stream: For non-seasonal agricultural positions, the processing time is slightly longer than SAWP but still prioritized due to the nature of the work.

Global Talent Stream (GTS): This stream is designed for employers seeking highly skilled talent. The GTS has the shortest processing times and is part of the Global Skills Strategy.

Permanent Residence Stream: Employers can support a temporary foreign worker’s application for permanent residence through this stream. The processing time is the longest among all streams.

LMIA Requirements for Employers

To ensure compliance and increase the likelihood of a successful LMIA application, employers should:

  • Demonstrate genuine efforts to recruit Canadians and permanent residents.
  • Provide details on the job offer, including wages and working conditions.
  • Ensure the job offer aligns with current labour market standards.

Tips for a Successful LMIA Application

  • Documentation: Keep detailed records of recruitment efforts, including job postings and interview notes.
  • Accuracy: Ensure all information provided in the application is accurate and complete.
  • Professional Assistance: Consider seeking professional legal assistance to navigate the complexities of the LMIA process.

By staying informed about the LMIA process and ensuring all requirements are met, you can streamline the hiring of temporary foreign workers and reduce the likelihood of delays. If you need assistance with your LMIA application or have any questions, please contact Achkar Law for guidance and support.

Contact Achkar Law Today

At Achkar Law, we understand the complexities and challenges of the LMIA process. Our experienced team of employment and labour lawyers is here to guide you through every step, ensuring your application is thorough, accurate, and timely.

Why Choose Achkar Law?

  • Expert Guidance: Benefit from our deep knowledge and experience in employment and labour law.
  • Personalized Service: We tailor our approach to meet your specific needs, helping you navigate the LMIA process smoothly.
  • Proven Success: With a track record of successful LMIA applications, we know what it takes to get results.

Phone toll-free at 1 (800) 771-7882 |Email us at [email protected]

Need Assistance with LMIA? Contact Achkar Law for Guidance

Securing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a crucial step for employers seeking to hire foreign workers. Achkar Law provides comprehensive guidance and support throughout the LMIA process, ensuring compliance with employment and immigration regulations. Our services are designed to streamline the application process, reducing complexity and enhancing your chances of a favorable outcome.