How does Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application work?

The biggest headache for every employer is probably finding the right employees. A competent employee not only brings growth and revenue to the company, but also benefit the economy as a whole. So, what should you do if there are no Canadian or permanent residents available to meet the labour needs that you have to resort to foreign workers?

Unless the LMIA exemption applies to the position that requires to be filled, employers need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before the foreign worker can apply for a work permit. An LMIA is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada that gives the employer permission to hire a temporary worker. A positive LMIA indicates that hiring of a temporary foreign worker will have a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labour market.

Before applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, the employer must conduct at least three different recruitment activities. Effective August 28, 2017, the employer must advertise on the Government of Canada’s Job Bank. If the employer chooses to use an alternative method, a written rationale and explanation of the alternative method must be submitted. The employer must also conduct at least two additional methods of recruitment that are consistent with the occupation (targets an audience that has the appropriate education, professional experience or skill level required for the occupation). For high-wage positions, one of the methods used must be national in scope, and easily accessed by residents of any province or territory, as people in high-wage positions are often mobile and willing to re-locate for work. For low-wage positions, effective August 28, 2017, each of the methods used must target a different underrepresented group: Indigenous persons, vulnerable youth, newcomers, and persons with disabilities. If the two additional methods of recruitment are online, they must each have unique value and reach different audiences. The employer must also ensure that the job advertisement has occurred in the three months prior to submitting the Labour Market Impact Assessment application and is for a minimum of four consecutive weeks within the three months prior to submitting a Labour Market Impact Assessment application.

In order to ensure that Canadian and permanent residents are given priority in the recruitment process, caselaw also requires that the employer makes ongoing and proactive efforts during the advertisement period, e.g., help existing employees acquire the additional skills, offer on-the-job training to existing employees or new hires, contact a union to look for qualified candidates in construction industry, and raise the advertised wage.

Once the employer meets the recruitment requirement, the employer should fill out the appropriate application form and submit the proof of business legitimacy along with proof of recruitment.

The most common reasons for an LMIA application to get refused include failure to demonstrate sufficient efforts to hire Canadians in the occupation; insufficient demonstration of a reasonable employment need for the job at the business; failure to demonstrate why a specific requirement is bona fide for the job; labour worker information does not support a labour shortage for the position in the geographic region.

Want to hire foreign workers but don’t know where to start? Contact us today for a free consultation.


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