The LMIA Process for Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

In Canada, unless a specific exemption applies, employers who wish to hire temporary foreign workers must comply with the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process, which aims to ensure hiring foreign workers do not negatively impact the Canadian labor market.

The first step in the process is to advertise the job to Canadian citizens and permanent residents to demonstrate that the employer has made reasonable efforts to hire from the domestic labor market before turning to foreign. The minimum recruitment process requires the job to be advertised on at least three different recruitment platforms, including the Federal Job Bank which is mandatory, for a minimum of 30days. The content of the job posting must comply with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)  guidelines, including the wage offered for the particular occupation or risk rejection.

Once the minimum recruitment period is complete, the employer can apply for an LMIA, which includes a non-refundable application fee of $1,000CAD for each LMIA application, and provide proof of prior advertising. The application must include detailed information about the job and the company, including the salary offered, qualifications required, the company’s size, the number of Canadian employees, and its financial situation.

The application is assessed by ESDC who will examine the recruiting efforts, the wages and benefits offered for the occupation in question, and the genuineness of the offer. ESDC Officers may also contact the employer directly to discuss the application. If ESDC determines, the hiring of a foreign national will have a positive or neutral impact on the Labour Market in Canada, a positive LMIA will be issued.

Once the employer has obtained a positive LMIA, the foreign worker can apply for a work permit. The work permit application must include the positive LMIA, a valid job offer, and proof that the worker meets the qualifications for the job. However, some situations may exempt employers from the LMIA process, such as if the job falls under one of the International Mobility Program categories.

In conclusion, while hiring temporary foreign workers can help address labor shortages in Canadian companies, employers must comply with the LMIA process to ensure they have made reasonable efforts to hire Canadian or permanent residents first. It is recommended that employers work with a qualified immigration lawyer to assist with the LMIA process.

Need assistance with the LMIA process or hiring foreign workers in Canada? Contact Bruce Harwood at Boughton Law of our Immigration Practice Area.