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5 Basic Steps to Obtaining an LMIA

Hiring skilled workers continues to be a challenge for several Canadian businesses. Labour shortages and low employee retention have been major contributing factors to this challenge. According to Statistics Canada, nearly two-fifths (36%) of businesses expect recruiting skilled employees to be an obstacle and over one-quarter (27%) expect retaining staff to be an obstacle over the next few months. During these trying times, an increasing number of Canadian employers have considered hiring foreign workers. A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is crucial for many employers who wish to hire temporary foreign workers. As such, it is essential to understand the process of obtaining an LMIA.

Step 1: The Employer Determines Whether a Positive LMIA is Required from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

A positive LMIA indicates that hiring a foreign worker has no impact on the Canadian labour market and that no Canadian worker is available to take the position.

Step 2: The Employer Applies for an LMIA from ESDC.

In order to make their decision, ESDC will consider whether:

  • The job offer is genuine;

  • The wages and working conditions are comparable to those offered to Canadians working in the occupation;

  • The employer made reasonable efforts to hire or train Canadians for the job (the employer will most likely be required to provide proof of recruitment efforts);

  • The foreign worker is filling a labour shortage;

  • The employment will directly create new job opportunities or help Canadians retain jobs;

  • The foreign worker will transfer their knowledge and skills to Canadians;

  • The hiring of the foreign worker will not affect a labour dispute or the employment of any Canadian involved in such a dispute.

Step 3: The Employer Hires a Foreign Worker of their Choosing

Once ESDC approves the job offer and provides a positive LMIA, the employer sends a copy of the LMIA and a letter of employment to the foreign worker so that he or she can apply for a work permit. If it was determined that a positive LMIA was not required, the employer can skip this step.

Step 4: The Worker Applies for a Work Permit Through IRCC

The foreign worker may require a work permit to work legally in Canada. The work permit is usually specific to the employer making the job offer and the position.

Step 5: Wait for a Decision on the Application

The processing time is dependent on the type of application and the country in which the applicant is applying, the current processing times can be checked using the link below.

How We Can Help

Our dedicated immigration experts specialize in streamlining the process of hiring foreign workers in Canada. From obtaining LMIAs to facilitating work permits, we ensure compliance with immigration regulations while you focus on growing your business. Schedule a Consultation to discuss options with one of our knowledgeable regulated Canadian immigration consultants!


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