2021 LMIA policy – Brighter prospects for foreign workers

LMIA for 2021

The need for skilled foreign workers to work in Canada is high in the Canadian labor market. Immigration is a mainstay and biggest source of talent in Canada. But when Canadian employers choose to hire foreigners for their job positions, the Canadian government has to be sure that such a choice is not made at the expense of the native Canadians’ opportunity to work.

That’s why LMIA is in place. It’s a document that the Canadian employer may need to obtain to hire a foreign worker. Its necessity depends on the position for which the worker is hired. Not every Canada work visa applied for temporary foreign workers has a need for an LMIA.

For positions that need LMIA, it has to be obtained by the employer before the Canada work permit visa is applied for. The document validates the necessity of the employer to recruit a temporary foreign worker for a particular position as no Canada PR or citizen is available for the job.

For job positions that need LMIA, an employer-specific work permit will be applied for. Even after the work permit expires, the workers can be retained until the next permit is approved. LMIA policy allows time between the previous permit and the next pending permit application.

The applicants eligible to apply for LMIA are:

  • Business visitors
  • Super visa holders
  • Those who entered Canada via an exemption under the Global Skills Strategy work permit

Those foreign workers who are aiming to benefit from the LMIA policy need to:

  • Have a job offer
  • Have been in Canada on August 24, 2020, and has remained in Canada hence
  • Have a valid visitor status in Canada on the date of application
  • Apply for an employer-specific work permit that’s supported by LMIA / LMIA-exempt employment offer no later than March 31, 2021
  • Meet all other standard criteria for admissibility

LMIA policy for 2021

Horticultural producers trying to hire temporary foreign workers in 2021 can submit LMIA applications for arrivals in January and February 2021. ESDC is accepting LMIA applications 6 months ahead of the first worker arrival that’s mentioned in the application. In case there’s more than one date, they will work back from the earliest date. If it’s within 6 months, while others are beyond that time frame, it will not be rejected.

Ontario’s FARMS cites the first possible arrival date to be January 5, 2021. From June 10, 2020, Service Canada doesn’t need SAWP employers to advertise for certain jobs. These include:

Employer type NOC
Nursery and Greenhouse Workers 8432
Harvesting laborers 8611
General farmworkers 8431

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LMIA – Labour Market Impact Assessment

PR – Permanent Resident

WALI – Western Agriculture Labour Initiative

ESDC – Employment and Social Development Canada

FARMS – Foreign Agricultural Resource Management

PR – Permanent Residence

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Anshul Singhal

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