About LMIA Application
LMIA application must be submitted by an employer aiming to hire a foreign worker, and approved from Canadian Government, before the hiring can take place.
The procedure is named Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA application), formerly known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO).
To receive a positive LMIA, the Canadian government officer reviewing LMIA application must determine that the hiring of a foreign worker will have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market. Among other factors, it must be clear that no qualified Canadians were passed up in favour of the foreign worker, and that the foreign worker will be given a salary and benefits that meet federal and provincial standards.
Depending on whether the targeted employee is classified as “high-wage” or “low-wage” the LMIA application process is different. Temporary foreign workers being paid under the provincial/territorial median wage are considered low-wage, while those being paid at or above are considered high-wage. Depending on whether a prospective employee is classified as high-wage or low-wage, certain specific provisions apply.
All Canadian employers must provide evidence that they have attempted to find qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill job positions before turning to foreign workers. Also, employers may be inspected for compliance to government regulations after their employee has begun working in Canada.
In order to hire high-wage workers employers must submit transition plans along with their LMIA application to ensure that they are taking steps to reduce their reliance on temporary foreign workers over time. High-wage workers are those earning above the median hourly wage for a given occupation in specified region.
The transition plans are designed to ensure that employers seeking foreign workers are fulfilling the purpose of the program. This entails that they are using the program as a last and limited resort to address immediate labour needs on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians are not available, ensuring that Canadians are given the first chance at available jobs.
Median Hourly Wages by Province/Territory
|Province/Territory||Wage ($/hr) as of April 1, 2019
|Newfoundland and Labrador||$22.00|
|Prince Edward Island||$19.49|
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2017 and 2018
Employers aiming to hire low-wage workers do not need to submit transition plans with their LMIA application. However, they must follow a different set of guidelines.
To restrict access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), while ensuring that Canadians are always considered first for available jobs, the Government of Canada has introduced a cap to limit the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers that a business can employ. Furthermore, certain low-wage occupations may be refused for LMIA application processing. Employers with 10 or more employees applying for a new LMIA application are subject to a cap of 10 percent on the proportion of their workforce that can consist of low-wage temporary foreign workers.
Employers offering a wage that is below the provincial/territorial median hourly wage must:
- pay for round-trip transportation for the temporary foreign worker;
- ensure affordable housing is available;
- pay for private health insurance until workers are eligible for provincial health coverage;
- register the temporary foreign worker with the provincial/territorial workplace safety board; and
- provide an employer-employee contract.
As of April 30, 2015, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program uses the latest Labour Force Survey results for the unemployment rates in regions across Canada. These rates determine which regions are eligible for employers to submit Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) for low-wage/lower skilled occupations in the Accommodation and Food Services sector and the Retail Trade sector. LMIA applications for these sectors will not be processed in economic regions where the unemployment rate is 6 per cent or higher.
Employers aiming to hire a temporary foreign worker to Canada must pay a processing fee of 1,000 CAD for each request for a LMIA application. There is also be an additional $100 privilege fee on employers charged by Employment and Social Development Canada.
English and French are the only languages that can be determined as job requirements, both for LMIAs and for job vacancy advertisements, unless the employer can prove that another language is otherwise required for the position.
Additionally, employers must advertise all job vacancies across the Canadian job market for at least four weeks before applying for a LMIA. Towards this end, employers are required to prove that they have used at least two other recruitment methods in addition to having posted an advertisement on the Canada Job Bank. Employers must focus advertising efforts on groups of Canadians who are under-represented, such as First Nations or persons with disabilities.
Employers are also required to submit a transition plan to ESDC, along with the LMIA application, for high-wage positions. This transition plan should indicate how the company plans to reduce its reliance on temporary foreign workers in the future. Proof of investment in skills training or hiring Canadian apprentices are examples of how employers can prove this. Alternatively, employers can demonstrate how they are assisting their high-skilled temporary foreign worker(s) in becoming Canadian permanent residents. If the employer is chosen for an inspection, or if they apply to renew their LMIA application, they will be required to report on the progress of the transition plan that they have submitted.
Employers are required to attest to their awareness that they are prohibited from laying off or cutting the hours of Canadian workers working in the same position(s) as the temporary foreign worker(s) working at the company.
Whether you are an Employer in Canada or a Foreign Worker seeking help with LMIA application, contact us and our expert will assess your application to offer you the best solution.