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EXPLAINED: LMIA process to obtain a Canadian Work Permit

The work permit is one of the most coveted permits by Immigrants looking to come to Canada as it gives them the ability to experience the Canadian job market and increase their chances at Canadian Permanent Residency through the Express Entry stream.

The standard process for a foreign national to obtain a work permit is divided in two steps:

1. the employer applies for an LMIA; and

2. the employee applies for the work permit.

A couple of months ago, we explained the SIMPLIFIED LMIA process to obtain a work permit in the province of Quebec.

We will now explain the regular Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process to obtain a work permit in Canada. For those in Quebec who do not qualify for the simplified process, the regular LMIA process is also a possibility.

The first step in the LMIA application is to determine if the position offered is a high-wage or low-wage position. In order to determine this, you need to verify if the offered wage is higher or lower than the median average in your province.

High-wage Position:

-The employer will have to submit a transition plan to describe the employer's future commitments to recruit and train Canadians and permanent residents for their open positions.

-The recruitment requirements will have to be consistent with the target occupation and easily accessed on a national scope.

Low-wage Position:

-There will be a cap on the number of temporary foreign workers hired at a specific work location

-There will be minimum recruitment requirements to advertise to underrepresented groups such as indigenous persons, vulnerable youth, newcomers and person with disabilities.

The second step in the LMIA application is the recruitment process. The employer must conduct and provide proof of recruitment efforts to hire Canadians and permanent residents before offering the jobs to a temporary foreign worker.

Minimum recruitment requirements :

-The employer will need to post a minimum of 3 advertisements for the position and one of these must be on the Government of Canada's job bank.

-The advertisements must be posted for at least 4 consecutive weeks and in the 3 months preceding the submission of the LMIA application

-The employer must document the recruitment/advertising process and keep records of it for a minimum of 6 years.

Required supporting documents: The following documents will be required from the employer to support the legitimacy of the LMIA application:

-Municipal /provincial/territorial business licence -Legal incorporation proof -Canada revenue agency documents including T2 schedule 100 and T2 schedule 125 -Attestation by a lawyer or CPA that the employer is engaged in legal business and good financial standing

-Letter from a a legal business confirming the existence of a service/goods contract

-commercial lease agreement

Specific requirements for each province:

The provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan have additional specific requirements which can be determined here.

Processing fees:

The cost of applying for an LMIA is 1000$ CAD for each position.

After a positive LMIA is issued:

Once the LMIA application is approved, the worker will be able to apply for a closed work permit within the next 6 months.

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