How does the LMIA process work?
Generally, if a Canadian employer would like to hire a temporary foreign worker (TFW) to work in Canada, they must submit a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA *formerly called LMO) application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada.
The purpose of the LMIA is to assess the likely impact of hiring the TFW on the Canadian job market. If the employer receives a positive LMIA, then the TFW can apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for their work permit.
How do I get an LMIA?
The LMIA process is started when an employer offers a job to a TFW when there is no suitable Canadian citizen or permanent resident for the position. The requirements to obtain a positive LMIA are rigorous and the employer must be prepared to comply with all conditions imposed by ESDC/Service Canada.
Employers should be prepared to answer questions about the recruitment process, whether the job offer is genuine and if they have submitted a LMIA in the past. The LMIA was previously known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). TFWs should be prepared to show IRCC that they are qualified for the position being offered.
Some skilled foreign workers are professionally qualified to use Express Entry to come work in Canada. Express Entry cannot be granted until a Labour Market Impact Assessment, or LMIA, has been completed.
Naturally, this leads applicants to wonder how to get an LMIA for Express Entry. It must be completed by a Canadian employer, who must determine that a foreign worker is desirable because there is no Canadian worker available to fulfill the specific role.
This is a process of many stages and is typical of Canada’s complex immigration system. Further complicating matters, a potential employer may not be especially good at performing all the steps required to complete the LMIA, which is why it is so important for applicants to consult an immigration professional. Applicants must sometimes prompt a potential employer to take work on the LMIA.
Immigration professionals know how this process works for both the applicant and the employer. The immigration professional will ensure that the applicant remains aware of what must happen for the LMIA to be granted.
Without an immigration professional helping to clarify what must be done, applications can easily get tangled in the weeds of bureaucratic confusion.
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