Are you contemplating overseas employment in Canada? Then, you will have to be mindful that Canadian employers requiring skilled/semi-skilled foreign workers could have to expressly state that they need foreigners because sufficiently skilled workers are not available in the native population. If you are to work in Canada migrating on a work permit, the job offer your Canadian employer gives would have to be backed up with an LMIA.
What’s an LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment)
It’s a policy of Canada that if Canadian employers are willing to recruit skilled foreigners, that should not be at the expense of the native talent available in Canada. So, LMIA is a check on employers preferring to recruit foreign workers to work in Canada.
When a foreign employer applies for a work permit for a selected foreign worker, that employer will have to apply for an LMIA to get an LMIA certificate. The certificate that’s issued by ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada) will prove that the employer isn’t able to recruit a suitable candidate for a particular job/role from the native population.
If the application is approved, the employer will get an LMIA certificate and will be allowed to hire an overseas worker to work in Canada.
The LMIA process
The process of obtaining LMIA happens in 2 steps. The first one is to apply for an LMIA to ESDC. The application for LMIA is filed to get an LMIA certificate that establishes that giving a foreign worker the job/role will have a positive or neutral impact on the labor market of Canada.
Formalities the Canadian employer has to meet for LMIA
- The employer advertises the job vacancies in the Canadian job market for at least 4 weeks before applying for LMIA to try to find local talent
- In case the employer is offering highly-paid jobs and applying for an LMIA under FSWP, the job offer has to be permanent, full-time, and one that required high-skilled candidates.
- The employer will provide all necessary information to the Canadian government including the total number of Canadians who applied for the job, how many of them were interviewed, and an explanation as to why they weren’t hired.
- The employer will also pay the required fee for each foreign worker requested.
The second step taken after obtaining a positive LMIA is to apply for a work permit in the name of the foreign worker hired. The application in this regard is submitted to IRCC.
Types of work permits issued
Skilled work permits
These temporary work permits are obtained under skill levels 0, A, or B. These work permits are granted to workers with 1-3 years of experience based on the occupation. In some cases, relevant educational qualifications will also be considered for fulfilling job requirements.
|The introduction of the new TEER system in place of NOC from the second half of 2022 will reflect as respective changes in the skilled work permits with LMIA involved.|
The applicants for these work permits will also have to prove their skill levels in the English/French language to meet the job requirements to work in Canada.
Semi-skilled work permits
These are work permits obtained under NOC skill levels C and D. The candidates are expected to have a maximum of high school education or training specific to the job role in Canada.
For permanent job offers, the LMIA will be issued for a period of 2 years. It can be extended once for another 2 years.
For a temporary job, the LMIA will be issued for a maximum period of 2 years. This LMIA can’t be extended.
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NOC – National Occupational Classification