LMIAs & Work Permits

Most foreign nationals need a work permit to work in Canada

The work permit can be employer-specific work permit or open work permit. Temporary foreign worker may be eligible to apply for employer-specific work permit once the employer gets a positive LMIA to hire that foreign national.

An LMIA is a Labour Market Impact Assessment that an employer has to get from ESDC in order to hire a foreign national. A positive or neutral LMIA will let employer hire a foreign worker if it defines that hiring a foreign national will have no impact on the Canadian labour market. Most employers in Canada will need an LMIA before hiring a temporary foreign worker with few exceptions.

  • Types of Work Permits
  • Types of LMIAs
  • LMIA- Work Permit Process

Employer-specific work permit 

An employer-specific work Permit lets you work in Canada according to the conditions on your work permit, such as:

  • the name of the specific employer you can work for
  • how long you can work
  • the location where you can work (if applicable)

Before you submit your application for an employer-specific work permit, the employer who wants to hire you must fulfil few requirements and give you either a copy of a Labour Market Impact Assessment or an offer of employment number to include in your application.

Open work permit

An open work permit lets you work for any employer in Canada and you may be exempt from the requirement of getting an LMIA. You can only get an open work permit in specific situations like below.

  • are an international student who graduated from a designated learning institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
  • are a student who’s no longer able to meet the costs of your studies (destitute student)
  • have an employer-specific work permit and are being abused or at risk of being abused in relation to your job in Canada
  • applied for permanent residence in Canada
  • are a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence
  • are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student
  • are the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
  • are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member
  • are under an unenforceable removal order
  • are a temporary resident permit holder
  • are a young worker participating in special program

Canadian employers can apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire a foreign worker under the 8 main streams. It is vital to choose the correct type of LMIA. In fact, the selection will determine the requirements that employer has to be meet, including his eligibility, job advertisement requirements, and related documents. Below are streams that have been identified:

  1. LMIA to Support a Permanent Residency (PR): Employers who wish to hire skilled foreign workers and support their permanent resident visa application can make a job offer under Express Entry system. The job offer must meet the criteria of 1 of the listed economic immigration programs. This LMIA is only for high-wage jobs under Skill Type and Level A and B in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

  2. LMIA for Global Talent Stream: Under this stream, 1) innovative firms in Canada referred by the designated referral partnerscan hire unique and specialized foreign nationals, or 2) Canadian companies can hire for in-demand highly-skilled positions that are listed on the Global Talent Occupations List.

  3. Low-Wage LMIA:If the salary offered to a foreign worker is below a provincial or territorial median hourly wage than the LMIA will be a low wage. The employer may have to meet other requirements set out by ESDC in order to get a positive determination for low-wage LMIA.

  4. High-Wage LMIA:Employers who wish to hire under this stream need to offer median or higher than median hourly wage to the foreign worker determined by that province. The wage is an important factor in determining if it will be a low wage or high wage LMIA.

  5. Dual Intent LMIA: Employers who wish to hire skilled foreign workers through one of the immigration programs may also want to hire these workers temporarily while their application for permanent residence is being processed by IRCC. As a result, employers can apply for a dual intent Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which requires paying the processing fee. These dual intent LMIAs can be used to support the foreign national’s application to IRCC for a permanent resident visa, and temporary work permit at the same time.

  6. LMIA for In-home Caregivers: Canadians can hire foreign caregivers to care for children, seniors, or persons with medical needs, when Canadians and permanent residents are not available. Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), families can hire foreign caregivers. However, the caregivers must provide care on a full-time basis (minimum 30 hours per week), work in the private household where the care is being provided, and must meet the requirements set by ESDC and IRCC.

  7. LMIA for Agricultural Workers:In this stream, employer can hire foreign workers only for on-farm primary agriculture activity. The employer can only hire foreign workers in the following sector: apiary products, fruits, vegetables (including canning/processing of these products, if grown on the farm), mushrooms, flowers, nursery-grown trees including Christmas trees, greenhouses/nurseries, pedigreed canola seed, sod, tobacco, bovine, dairy, duck, horse, mink, poultry, sheep, and swine.

  8. LMIA for Seasonal Agricultural Workers: To hire citizens of approved countries to perform on-farm primary agriculture activity. Canadian employers can only hire foreign workers who are national of these countries under this stream: Mexico and Caribbean countries of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. The duration of LMIA in this category is 8 months.

Need help with your application to work in Canada? Simply click the link below to speak to one of our highly qualified consultants for more information about the visa and work permit application process.

Depending on the type of LMIA, your employer may need to take some or all of these steps to get an LMIA from ESDC and then you can proceed with a work permit application to IRCC:

We at Immisa Immigration can assist employer with LMIA application and can also help foreign national to get the work permit.

Need help with LMIA application or Work Permit?

Simply click the link below to speak to one of our highly qualified consultants for more information about the visa and work permit application process.

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