Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)


In most cases, Canadian employers needs a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before they care hire a temporary foreign worker. An LMIA is a verification process whereby Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada assesses the impact of an offer of employment to a foreign worker on the Canadian labor market. A positive LMIA will indicate that there is a shortage of Canadian citizens or permanent residents available to do the job and a foreign worker is required to fill the labor shortage. The new position will be likely to create more jobs for Canadians and/or the Canadians will probably receive training and experience from the foreign worker. A negative LMIA will be issued if the assessment shows that hiring a foreign worker will not have a positive or neutral impact on the labor market.

The employer must first make significant efforts to try to hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill the position. During the LMIA application process, the employer must demonstrate that they have publicly advertised the job, wage and working conditions on the Canadian Job Bank and other additional recruitment platforms. Interview records should justify the decision why the employer did not hire the Canadian citizens or permanent residents whom they interviewed.

Wages offered to temporary foreign workers should be similar to wages paid to Canadian and permanent resident employees hired for the same job and work location, and with similar skills and years of experience. Also, the employer must provide documents along with their LMIA application to demonstrate that their business and job offer are legitimate.

After ESDC/Service Canada has determined the business legitimacy of the employer and their ability to afford the new wage being offered, they will assess the application to decide whether to grant a positive LMIA to allow the employer to hire a foreign worker. A negative LMIA, unfortunately, means that the Government has determined if the job offer is given to a foreign worker, a Canadian or permanent resident may lose a job opportunity, thus negatively affecting the Canadian labour market.
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