Labour Market Impact Assessments

Labour Market Impact Assessments, also known as LMIA, consist of filing documentation on behalf of a corporation to bring an employee from abroad and give them stable employment in Canada.

Before workers are allowed to work in Canada, they must first be eligible to not only work but also to live in Canada.

Through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the Canadian government allows employers to supplement the workforce with foreign workers. The Program enables Canada to supplement its workforce when there is no qualified worker in Canada to do the job. The Federal Government undertakes Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) before allowing any employer to hire foreign workers.

Our employment lawyers regularly help employers apply for LMIAs. Whether you are an employer considering the hire of a foreign worker, or if you have any questions about the LMIA in general, our legal professionals can guide you through the process. Contact Achkar Law to get the best person for the job without worrying about how to get them here.

What is LMIA or Labour Market Impact Assessments?

All foreign nationals who arrive in Canada need the appropriate government authorization to work here. 

The authorization to work comes in the form of a work permit, an exemption from a work permit, or a Canadian Permanent Residency. A foreign national may receive authorization to work through either a work permit, an exemption from a work permit, or a Canadian Permanent Residency. 

The application process and eligibility conditions will vary depending on the authorization option.

The LMIA process is administered and regulated by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The EDSC ensures that only qualified people enter the Canadian job market to fill a position that can’t be filled by a Canadian resident.

During the LMIA application process, the EDSC will assess the impact that foreign employment would have on the Canadian labour market. A positive LMIA will likely follow the determination that foreign employment would have a positive or neutral impact on the job market.

If an employer receives a positive LMIA they can then offer the job to a foreign national.

Who needs to file for LMIA, and when?

Unless exempted, any employer seeking to employ a foreign worker must apply for LMIA. The earliest possible time that an employer may file for an LMIA application is 6 months prior to the start of the proposed employment.

While employers can select the foreign workers they want to hire before applying for LMIA, it is not mandatory. Companies can appoint international workers within 6 months following the approval of their LMIA application by using the Unnamed Labour Market Impact Assessment. 

Since LMIA applications are time-sensitive, employers must be proactive while filling out the applications and complying with its essential conditions.

What does an employer need to do?

Employers must ensure that their LMIA applications are complete in all respects.

The three things that an employer must do before applying for an LMIA approval are:

  1.  They must ensure that no qualified Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available for the job. To get the LMIA approval, employers must show that they searched for qualified domestic workers but could not find them. They can do so by showing that they advertised the position, hired a head-hunter, or attended a job fair.
  1.  They must determine the salary to be paid to the foreign worker. Under the LMIA application process, the foreign workers are classified as high-wage or low-wage employees. If the foreign worker is expected to be paid above the province’s median wage, they will be considered a high-wage employee. Foreign workers that are expected to be paid below the province’s median wage will be considered low-wage workers. The LMIA approval process varies based on whether the employee is high-wage or low-wage. So, the employer must decide whether they’re hiring a high-wage or low-wage employee before applying for LMIA.
  1.  They must be ready for inspection for compliance with regulations and reporting on the Transition Plan’s progress. This requirement applies to employers already employing foreign workers under LMIA. The Transition Plan documents any efforts that an employer has made in recruiting, retaining and training non-foreign workers (Canadians and permanent residents). The employer must show that they tried to reduce their reliance on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program before reapplying for LMIA approval.

If an employer receives a negative LMIA response, the chances of success of their future LMIA applications diminish. Therefore, the first LMIA application that an employer files will oftentimes be the most important one. Our lawyers and legal professionals can help you fill out an LMIA application for the best chance of approval.

Our employment lawyers understand that an LMIA application is a lengthy process. An employer’s application may be denied for a multitude of reasons.

This may include an employer’s lack of knowledge about the essential conditions that need to be met or a failure to comply with all the formal requirements.

When an employer prepares an application without any prior LMIA experience, there is a greater risk that it will be denied. While seeking legal and professional advice may incur some costs for an employer, the denial of an application may have greater cost implications for both the employer and potential employee.

Contact Us

If you want to hire a foreign worker to fill a position on an urgent basis, our employment lawyers would be glad to help you. Contact us at 1-800-771-7882, or email [email protected], and we would be happy to assist.