A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is an application that Canadian employers submit when they wish to hire a foreign worker to fill a labour shortage. The shortage can be for various reasons, however, the two most common reasons as to an employer can find workers are either the Canadians are not interested in the position based on the occupation, wages and/or location or there is a shortage of skilled Canadian to fill the position in question.
The employer must exhaust every avenue and first try and fill the position with a Canadian or permanent resident .Should they be unsuccessful in filling the position after 28 days, they can then submit an LMIA application requesting to fill the position(s) with temporary foreign workers.
The two most common reasons as to an employer can find workers are either the Canadians are not interested in the position based on the occupation, wages and/or location or there is a shortage of skilled Canadian to fill the position in question.
As part of the LMIA process, the employer is required to demonstrate that they have made significant efforts to fill the position with a Canadian worker. The employer is requested to publicly advertise the occupation, wage and working conditions on the Canadian Job Bank and other common recruitment platforms such as, Internet, newspapers etc.
The employer must also offer the median wage specific to the position in question, which is different in each province and each area within the province.
When submitting the Canadian LMIA , employers are required to demonstrate the legitimacy of the their company and their ability to afford and pay the foreign worker. These supporting documents can include, CRA corporate return documents, proof of payroll deductions, provincial/municipal business license and other documents.
Once the Service Canada officer has determined the legitimacy of the company and their ability to afford the new wage being offered, they will then assess whether granting this request to hire foreign workers will have a positive or a negative on the Canadian labour market.
Here is one example of each
Positive Impact – By approving the job offer, the new position will create more jobs for Canadians and/or the Canadians will receive training and experience from the foreign worker. This will also fill a current shortage in the industry
Negative Impact – If this job offer is approved, a Canadian has potentially lost out to a job opportunity as the Canadian was qualified for the position. This would now increase unemployment.
The most important thing to understand about LMIA’s is what the primary purpose of this application is and why it exists.
The Canadian Governments primary focus is the well being of Canadian citizen’s and permanent resident’s which includes employment growth and job opportunities in Canada. The LMIA process exists to ensure that Canadians are the first to benefit from employment opportunities in Canada which in turn reduces the unemployment rate.
There are different types LMIA’s depending on the employer’s needs.
LMIA for a caregiver
This application is submitted by Canadian citizens or permanent residents who wish to hire a caregiver
Low Wage LMIA
This application is used when the wage being offered is below the provincial median rate.
High Wage LMIA
This application is used when the wage being offered is equal to or above the provincial median rate.
LMIA to support permanent residency
This application is used when the employer wishes to support the applicant in becoming a permanent resident. There is also an option to apply for an LMIA to support a work permit while the worker waits to become a permanent resident.
This application is used when an individual wishes to be self-employed and will improve the Canadian economy and may also create or maintain Canadian jobs.
Although the required recruitment time is 28 days before an employer can submit an LMIA, depending on the occupation or type of LMIA, the minimum recruitment requirements will differ.