Canada is a country endowed with a plethora of resources, resulting in the existence of hundreds of job opportunities, if not thousands. Its robust economy, good healthcare system, excellent working conditions and pay, friendly culture, and stable political environment make it the kind of country where dreams come through. The country attracts skilled and resourceful people from all over the world who are looking for stable jobs and quality living.
Joining the Canadian workforce, on the other hand, is not that simple for people who come to work from other countries. When it comes to obtaining Canadian work permits and proper work visas, prospective candidates frequently confront several challenges. Without relevant documentation, such individuals can’t move to Canada for their dream jobs. To apply for a work permit as an immigrant, the need to receive an employment offer from a Canadian-based employer becomes paramount.
An LMIA becomes critical at this point. Companies in need of international workers must apply for this document. Once in place, the skilled professionals can proceed to get work permits. The process can be a bit confusing and time-consuming. The good news is that this guide has the right information to help any interested candidate understand how it works.
Introduction to Labour Market Impact Assessment
An LMIA is an assessment that determines whether or not a Canadian job opening will have an adverse impact on the Canadian workforce. This document is a prerequisite for hiring foreign skilled workers. However, it is only granted when a thorough investigation of the job offer shows that there are no Canadian citizens or permanent residents qualified to fill in the advertised position. In this case, it is referred to as a positive LMIA or a confirmation letter.
However, if the demand for foreign skilled workers will have a negative impact on the labour market, an employer will not be allowed to receive the necessary permits.
Employer Information Required
ESDC reviews and approves LMIA applications. It takes into consideration several factors during the evaluation process.
• Job posting for foreign skilled professionals
• Figures pertaining to application and interview processes
• Working conditions that are in accordance with employment contracts and labour regulations
• Impact of the recruitment on the labour market in the area
• Existence of a labour shortage in a recruiting professional sector
• Salary equivalence to the national average
• Transfer of foreign-trained skills to citizens
• Reasons for employment applications from citizens and permanent residents being rejected
After approval comes the work visa application. There are certain conditions for this.
• A letter announcing that a job offer has been made to a particular applicant
• An employment contract with a specific Canadian-based company
• A copy of the LMIA document and its assigned number
At this point, an LMIA does not provide enough information to grant or deny the application, so a formal application process will need to take place. It’s important to note that LMIA is only applicable to a foreign skilled worker if the employer applies for the document. If not, the applicant will have to apply for the open work permit and the employer would have to hire a permanent resident or citizen.
Understanding the Alternative
A candidate who uses the LMIA method only accepts an offer from a single employer of interest. The open work permit, on the other hand, permits the same person to apply to any company rather than just one. It isn’t restricted to a single field. Likewise, it doesn’t require an offer letter from an employer who has applied for an LMIA document.
General Must-Have Visa Application Documents
To proceed with a work visa application after receiving an LMIA paperwork, a candidate will be required to provide the following.
• Application fee
• Two recent passport-sized photographs
• Certificates of educational qualifications
• A valid passport that is valid for at least six months after the intended arrival date in Canada.
• Evidence of sufficient financial means to meet expenditures during the stay
• Medical examinations to be conducted at licensed hospitals.
• Professional credentials, including work experience
Applicants who are willing to work in Canada but do not intend to seek permanent residency during their stay must demonstrate that they will return to their home country once their employment ends.
How Long Does an LMIA Document Take to Process?
An LMIA application can take anywhere from ten days to three months to complete, depending on the skill type, income level, and employment duration. The document is valid for six months from the date of approval after it has been acquired. It is a one-time document, which implies that it cannot be renewed beyond its expiration date. Instead, the employer will apply for a new LMIA document.
What Does it Cost to Apply for an LMIA?
Applying for an LMIA document will set an employer back by CA$1,000, excluding a privilege fee of CA$100. Coupled with these costs, the employer is to ensure that:
• Strong language skills are a must for international skilled employees. The desired language could be English, French or any other language that is crucial for the job.
• For at least four weeks, the job offer is posted on the Canadian Job Bank website, along with two or more hiring channels.
• There is a transition plan. This factor is essential for high-income roles. The employer must submit this plan to the ESDC.
• There is evidence of transferring skills to locals, investing in apprenticeships, or assisting foreign skilled workers in becoming permanent residents.
The Bottom Line
Getting a closed work permit for Canada takes time and effort. The applicant must first obtain the LMIA paperwork and then apply for an employment visa. Nevertheless, the long-term benefits from an LMIA application outweigh the time required to complete it. The applicant will get the chance to relocate to Canada, work in an excellent environment, meet fellow employees, and gain employment experience before proceeding with any immigration application.
Canada is known for its highly-skilled workforce — no doubt. This is why the Canadian government has developed the LMIA, classified within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), to ensure that it receives a sufficient number of competent foreign employees.