Concept of work and the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

In most cases, foreign nationals need a “work permit” to work in Canada (business visitors being the narrow exception). An employer can help the foreign worker to apply for a work permit by submitting an application called the Labour Market Impact Assessment with the Employment and Social Development Canada


Note that a work permit is generally quite restrictive: it is normally occupation specific, location specific and employer specific
A really important point to understand is that the standard work permit process is a two-step process, which involves the application for a LMIA:


1. The prospective employer applies for a LMIA and if successful

2. The prospective employee applies for the work permit


LMIAs are processed by a different government agency than IRCC, GAC or CBSA.

  • They are processed by the LMIA Processing Centres of Service Canada. Service Canada is the public service portion of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
  • LMIAs are processed by a different government agency than the agencies that process work permits because the purpose of a LMIA application is very different.
  • Service Canada charges CAD$1,000 per position for processing LMIA applications.


Genuineness factors in assessing a job offer and issuing a work permit

1. Labour Market Impact Assessment is to be made by an employer who is legally and actively engaged in the business

2. The offer of employment is consistent with the reasonable employment needs of the employer

3. The Employer can reasonably fulfill the terms of the offer of employment

4. Be compliant with Laws regulating employment and recruitment


*Further employer requirements are necessary as well as prospective employee requirements for a successful LMIA and to obtain a genuine valid work permit.

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