Congratulations on your decision to work in Canada. In order to work in Canada, a work permit is required. It is important to know that a work permit allows the applicant to work in Canada and is not a visa for arrival. To enter Canada, a visa is also required. There are two types of work permits: Open work permit , and Employer-specific work permit. While an open work permit does not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), an employer-specific work permit does. This is due to the fact that an open work permit is not restricted to a specific job like the employer-specific work permit. In other words, the Canada open work permit is not job-specific and allows the individual to work in other fields as well. In contrast, the employer-specific work permit is limited to the individual’s field and requires an LMIA in most cases along with a job offer. In many cases, the employers need an LMIA to be allowed to hire foreign temporary workers. The LMIA is required on top of the work permit. This means that although not all work permits require an LMIA, an LMIA alone is not enough to be able to work in Canada.
But what is the point of an LMIA? The assessment informs that there is a need for a temporary foreign worker at a job when no Canadians or permanent residents are available. When this is confirmed, a positive LMIA confirmation letter is issued, showing that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. This needs to be obtained before applying for a work permit. The estimated processing fee for most LMIA applications is 10 days but it could take longer. However, more updated and accurate estimates can be obtained from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). In order to change employers, a new work permit must be obtained. The application fee is $1000. Not every applicant is the same and with that in mind, LMIA applications are processed through different pathways. One of the paths/streams is the Global Talent Stream LMIA. This is done under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) when the job in demand cannot be filled by a citizen or permanent resident of Canada. The Global Talent Stream LMIA is divided into categories A and B. Category A is for applicants who are unique individuals with a specialized talent who are referred by the one of the stream’s designated partners. Category B is for highly-skilled foreign workers filling in-demand jobs on the Global Talent Occupations list. Under this stream, the employers
The LMIA application is completed by the employer/business owner. Therefore, the requirements rely on the business owner looking to hire temporary foreign workers. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) assesses businesses approved for LMIA to make sure that local workforce is indeed not available to carry out this occupation. Employers applying to the TFWP must also present documents to demonstrate the legitimacy of the business and job offer as well as a Labour Market Benefits Plan to demonstrate efforts for a positive impact on the Canadian labour market. To qualify for Category A, a referral from the stream’s designated partners is needed to deem the company work as unique and specialized. The list of these designated partners are as follows:
The company must be working in Canada, has a focus on innovation, willing to scale up, and is seeking to fill a unique and specialized position. This position is indicated by an hourly wage of at least $38.46 or a prevailing wage and a minimum of 5 years of experience. To qualify for Category B, highly skilled foreign workers are hired by Canadian firms from the Global Talent Occupations List:
|213||Computer and information systems managers|
|2147||Computer engineers (except software engineers and designers)|
|Sub-set of 2161||Mathematicians and statisticians|
|2171||Information systems analysts and consultants|
|2172||Database analysts and data administrators|
|2173||Software engineers and designers|
|2174||Computer programmers and interactive media developers|
|2175||Web designers and developers|
|2281||Computer network technicians|
|2283||Information systems testing technicians|
|Sub-set of 5131||Producer, technical, creative and artistic director and project manager – Visual effects and video game|
|Sub-set of 5241||Digital media designers|
The estimated processing fee for most LMIA applications is 21 days but it could take longer. However, more updated and accurate estimates can be obtained from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
The LMIA application costs $1000. In order to change employers, a new work permit must be obtained and the application fee is $1000.
Rejection. Refusal. Damage control. These are things you hopefully would not face with hiring an immigration lawyer. Although hiring a lawyer is not required by law, the immigration process is difficult and often confusing. By consulting an immigration lawyer, you can put your mind at ease and let the professionals help you along the journey.