If you are planning on working in Canada, you must have done due research and come across the term LMIA or Labour Market Impact Assessment.
In case you are wondering what this is, it is a document that shows the assessment results of hiring a foreign worker in Canada. It is issued by Employment and Social Development Canada or ESDC.
The assessment report can be both positive and negative.
A Positive report means no Canadian permanent resident or citizen can fill a particular job position. This means the employer can hire a foreign national to fill the position.
A Negative report means that the job position should be filled by a Canadian permanent resident or citizen.
Do note here that you, as a foreign national, cannot apply for an LMIA. It has to be applied for by a Canadian employer. They have to do so by advertising the job position for at least a month and, if possible, interview Canadian permanent residents or citizens.
If the business is able to prove that none of the interviewees was able to meet the job description, it is allowed to hire a foreign worker.
Once selected, the worker has to apply for a Canadian work permit that’s supported by LMIA. Once they receive that, they can commence working in Canada.
The Application Process
The application procedures vary on the basis of wages given for the position. An employer can apply for LMIA at any time, even six months before the job’s starting date.
Before they do that, they should check if their position falls under the high-wage or low-wage category. For that, they can consult the median hourly wages of their territory or province.
This is because employers whose positions fall under the low-wage category have to meet some additional criteria.
LMIA applications are quite detail-oriented. Several pertinent documents have to be attached along with, and they contain lots of statistical tabulation. A description of each un-hired Canadian permanent resident or citizen who was unfit or unqualified for the position has to be provided as well.
All applications must be submitted to a Service Canada Processing Centre in hard copy via mail.
Here is the list of evidence required, along with the application.
- Proof that you have paid the processing fee for the assessment, which is CAD $1000. Even if the result is negative, this fee is not refunded. In some cases, such as LMIAs for in-home caregivers, they are exempt from paying this fee.
- You have to attach documents related to your business’s legitimacy i.e. your status as a legitimate Canadian business.
- You have to provide a detailed transition plan that shows how you will address the requirement of hiring foreign nationals for the job position. This is because the Canadian government wants you to hire Canadian permanent residents or citizens and thus wants you to put effort into that over hiring foreign workers.
- You must attach proof that you put ample effort into recruiting Canadian permanent residents or citizens before you decided to look for foreign workers.
- A proof of wages for the foreign worker also has to be attached. Not only does this help in differentiating between high- and low-wage categories, but it also ensures that foreign workers are paid the same as their Canadian counterparts.
- You have to attach proof of workplace safety. The government wants to ensure that foreign workers have the same workplace safety standards as their Canadian counterparts, and so you have to prove that they are covered by insurance that’s equal to the health plan offered in the province or territory where the business premises are located.