In most cases, employers are required to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before they can hire foreign. In order to obtain a positive LMIA, a Canadian employer must prove that there is no Canadian or permanent resident worker available to complete the job in question and a foreign worker is therefore required.
LMIA applications should show the following:
- Efforts made to recruit available Canadian citizens/permanent residents
- Wages offered for the position are consistent with the prevailing wage rate paid to Canadians/permanent residents in the same occupation in the region
- Working conditions for the occupation meets the current provincial labour market standards
- Any potential benefits that hiring a foreign worker might bring to the Canadian labour market, such as the creation of new jobs or the transfer of skills and knowledge; and
- Transition plans will be required for high-wage positions whereby employers must demonstrate increased efforts to hire Canadians in the long-term.
The positive LMIA is provided to the foreign worker to submit with his/her application for a work permit, which is typically issued for one year if granted. LMIAs are overseen by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and have an associated application fee of $1,000 for each temporary foreign worker position applied for.
There are shorter processing times of 10 days available for highest-demand, highest paid and shortest duration occupations, i.e. skilled trades within top 10% of pay bracket and for positions that are less than 120 days.