Work permit with LMIA

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker. A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker is available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.

If the employer needs an LMIA, they must apply for one.

Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit.

To apply for a work permit, a worker needs:

  • a job offer letter,
  • a contract,
  • a copy of the LMIA, and
  • the LMIA number.

In some cases, foreign workers may qualify to work in Canada without an LMIA under various programs.

Foreign workers and employers need to  go through the proper channels before temporary employment in Canada may begin. In order to work in Canada, the foreign worker will need a work permit. However, there are a number of circumstances where you may be able to work in Canada without a work permit. In addition, there are number of other ways to work in Canada without undergoing the traditional work permit application process, including work permits granted for working holidays, post-graduate work permits or permits issued under international agreements, such as NAFTA.

The following steps have to be followed to get a work permit :-

Step 1: Employer applies for Labour Market Impact Assessment, if necessary.

Before a Temporary Work Permit can be issued, the Canadian employer who wishes to hire a temporary foreign worker may need to apply for and be granted a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) by ESDC, which will grant a positive LMIA if it is satisfied that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available to do the job.

Step 2: Employer extends Temporary Job Offer.

Once the LMIA is granted, the Canadian employer can provide a temporary job offer to the foreign worker. The employer must send a copy of the positive LMIA along with a detailed job offer letter to the foreign worker.

Step 3: Foreign Worker applies for Work Permit.

After getting all these  documents, the foreign worker can apply to ESDC for a Canada Temporary Work Permit..

Step 4: Work Permit is issued.

A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer will issue the Canada Temporary Work Permit at the point of entry when the foreign worker arrives in Canada.

Employer-specific work permits with LMIA exemptions (International Mobility Program)

For LMIA-exempt, employer-specific work permit applications, the employer is required to use the Employer Portal to submit the offer of employment directly to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) before the foreign national makes an application for a work permit.

The work permit application is the second step in the employer compliance regime. It is important that the offer of employment be correctly reviewed to ensure that there are no issues if a compliance inspection is initiated. If, during a compliance inspection, the information provided is determined to be inaccurate, it could result in the revocation or cancellation of work permit.

The offer of employment must match the work permit application.

The LMIA-exempt offer of employment status remains “pending” in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) until the work permit application is received; the offer and application are matched based on the passport number and the citizenship. The validations in GCMS require that the biographical information included in the offer of employment exactly match the passport and citizenship information provided by the work permit applicant in order for GCMS to match them. This includes hyphens, accents, spaces, capitalizations and numbers on all sets of documents. When the offer is correctly matched with the work permit application, GCMS will automatically populate the following fields and allocate the compliance fee automatically:

  • LMIA-exemption code
  • Employer name
  • Occupation title
  • NOC code

On successful submission of the offer of employment through the Employer Portal, an offer of employment (LMIA-exempt) number is generated for the employer to see. The employer must provide this number to the foreign national for inclusion in their work permit application form.

Employers who want to hire a foreign worker need to ensure they are compliant with immigration laws and employ workers who have a work permit.  Depending on the type and scope of work, duration of work, country of citizenship and other factors of the foreign worker, different rules and requirements apply.

Most job positions and foreigners require an LMIA and a Work Permit, others only require a work permit, and some do not require a work permit at all.

​​Employer in Canada wishing to hire a foreign worker must first receive government approval before the hiring can take place. This is to ensure that no qualified Canadians were passed up in favour of the foreign worker, and that the foreign worker will be given a salary and benefits that meet federal and provincial standards.  The government approval comes in the form of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

​Canadian employers must provide evidence that they have attempted to find qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents to fill job positions before turning to foreign workers. In addition, employers may be inspected for compliance to government regulations after their employee has begun working in Canada.

Can I change employer on Canada work permit?

If you are currently working in Canada and want to change conditions on your work permit (e.g. change length, employer or occupation), you must apply and obtain a new work permit. You should apply before making the change. For any permit, you should always apply at least 30 days before your status expires.

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