The LMIA or Labour Market Impact Assessment is a process to determine the probable impact on the Canadian labor market due to the recruitment of a foreign worker.
Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
Before hiring a foreign worker, IRCC requires a Canadian employer to justify that recruitment of a foreign worker will not hurt the Canadian labour market. IRCC also wants to confirm that the recruitment is necessary because there is no qualified worker in the Canadian labour market available to undertake the job.
The LMIA Document
Upon conducting the LMIA process, The Employment and Social Development of Canada (ESDC) approves a document known as the LMIA (previously known as Labour Market Opinion or LMO) for the Canadian employer. Procurement of the LMIA is the responsibility of the Canadian employer, and once approved, the employer can proceed with the recruitment process of one or more foreign workers for the particular position.
Applying for LMIA
There are typically two employment categories – high-wage and low-wage. The LMIA application process for the two categories differs from each other. An employee who is paid above the provincial minimum wage is considered high-wage, and who is paid below the provincial minimum wage is considered low-wage.
For high-wage LMIA applications, employers also need to submit transition plans specifying how they would reduce their reliance on the foreign workforce in the long term. And, for low-wage positions, IRCC limits how many foreign workers an employer can recruit based on the employer’s size of operations.
The employer must also pay CAD 1,000 for each LMIA approval request.
Having a positive LMIA
Typically, employers located in Canada’s major cities have a greater chance of having a positive LMIA. Also, highly specialized positions requiring special skills and certifications may receive positive LMIAs quickly.
IRCC may approve LMIAs within 10-business days if the application falls into one of the following categories:
- Highest-demand occupations (usually related to major infrastructure development and material extractions)
- Highest-paid occupations,
- Shortest-duration occupations (up to 120 calendar days, usually for equipment manufacturing and maintenance works)
Some high-in-demand LMIA positions
At present, some of the most high-in-demand include the following positions:
- Farm supervisors: There are more than 2.3 million jobs related to aquaculture, horticulture, and grain and animal production.
- Caregivers: Statistics suggest that more than 20% of the Canadian population will move past the retirement page within a decade, and there will be a constant demand for caregiver positions.
- Truck drivers: Canadian manufacturing companies significantly rely on road transport for their logistics and procurement, and almost all provinces continuously seek experienced truck drivers.
- Web designers and developers: With a rapid increase of online service platforms, Canadian provinces are actively opening more positions for skilled tech and web development professionals. Global Talent Stream has been introduced to issue expedited work permits for such professionals.