LMIA Permanent Resident Stream

An employer in Canada may need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before employing foreign workers.

A positive LMIA will show that a foreign worker is indeed needed to fill the role and no Canadian citizens or permanent residents are available for the job.

An employer that needs an LMIA must apply for one.

After the employer gets an LMIA, the employee can then apply for a work permit.

Table of contents

Permanent Resident Stream overview

The Federal Government of Canada believes that international workers can help businesses meet their labour demands when Canadians and permanent residents are unable to do so. The government supports foreign workers with skillsets in order to help them establish economically in Canada, as well as assist business employers who are experiencing shortages of skilled labourers.

If you want to hire a skilled foreign worker and support their permanent resident visa application, you can make them a job offer through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Express Entry system. Job offers must adhere to the conditions of one of the economic immigration programs. These programs are:

Programs

In order to apply, the employer must be offering a job that:

  • jobs that require high levels of skill, such as management, professional, scientific, technical or trade occupations. National Occupational Classification (NOC), skill type 0, and skill levels A and B
  • full-time (a minimum of 30 hours of work per week)
  • for at least 1 year, and
  • a non-seasonal position

Note: The foreign worker must have at least 12 months of full-time (or an equivalent amount in part-time) skilled work experience in Canada within the 36 months preceding the application for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class.

In order to apply, the employer must be offering a job that:

  • jobs that require high levels of skill, such as management, professional, scientific, technical or trade occupations. National Occupational Classification (NOC), skill type 0, and skill levels A and B
  • full-time (a minimum of 30 hours of work per week)
  • for at least 1 year, and
  • a non-seasonal position

In order to apply, the employer must be offering a job that:

Note: The employment offer can be made by up to two employers under the FSTP.

Employers who want to hire skilled foreign workers through on of the immigration programs above may also want to temporarily hire these workers while their application for permanent residence is being processed. As a result, employers may obtain a dual intent Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) by paying the processing fee. These LMIA’s that have dual intent be used to support the foreign national’s application for a:

  • permanent resident visa, and
  • temporary work permit

Employers applying for an LMIA to hire high-wage positions can request an employment period of up to 3 years. The duration of the employment must be consistent with the employer’s legitimate business demands. (High-wage positions include the High-wage Stream including caregiver positions, Global Talent Stream, Agricultural Stream and Express Entry). In exceptional cases, the duration may be extended for a period of time that is acceptable to the employer and justifiable given the circumstances.

Low-wage positions will be eligible for 2 years of employment, subject to the legitimate demands of the employer.

Program requirements

Processing fee

Employers must pay $1,000 per position to cover the cost of processing a dual intent LMIA application.

Individuals or families wanting to hire a foreign caregiver to provide home care for people requiring assistance are exempt from paying the Labour Market Impact Assessment application processing fee. The processing fee exemption is available to families or individuals with a gross annual income of $150,000 or less who want to hire a foreign caretaker to provide childcare in their home for a youngster under the age of 13.

The processing fee also does not apply to:

  • employers who only support a foreign national's application for a permanent resident visa
  • positions related to on-farm primary agriculture that require higher skills, such as farm managers/supervisors and specialized livestock workers. (NOC codes 0821, 0822, 8252 and 8255 specifically)

Recruitment fees

There are may be a number of expenses and expenditures incurred throughout the process of recruiting temporary foreign workers, including but not limited to:

  • the cost of using a third-party representative
  • advertising fees
  • fees for finding or securing work for a foreign national
  • employer-paid fees for help or guidance when hiring foreign nationals

As an employer, you are legally required to confirm that neither you nor anyone else recruiting on your behalf charges or recovers any recruitment fees from the qualified foreign worker. If you do not follow this, your LMIA application will be denied.

Language of work

When employers post job advertisements or apply for an LMIA, they can only request that English and French be spoken. However, if the position requires a different language, you must provide a justification with your application.

There are some exemptions to the language requirement.

Education, training and experience

Employers are responsible for ensuring that foreign workers have the required training, qualifications and experience to do their jobs.

Health insurance

If you live in a province/territory where this is applicable, you must get and pay for private health insurance that covers emergency medical care for any period during which the TFW is not covered by the applicable health insurance system.

The employer-purchased coverage must match the TFW’s first day of work in Canada, and the costs cannot be taken from the employee.

To comply, the employer must provide proof of payment for suitable private health insurance for each TFW and the terms of the policy coverage (for example, what is covered).

Regulated occupations

Employers hiring foreign workers in regulated positions must make arrangements with the appropriate regulatory body for the certification, registration, or licensing of those skilled workers.

A “regulated” profession is one in which a professional or regulatory body has the power to establish entry requirements and standards of practice that lead to certification or registration, as well as licensing (for example, skilled trade positions that must be certified).

It is the employer’s and employee’s responsibility to gather all necessary documents in order to work in Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) must be confident that the skilled worker can do the task they have been offered before issuing a work permit.

The IRCC will check that the skilled worker has any required certification or licensing to practice their occupation in Canada, which is regulated. If the applicant is not certified or licensed, IRCC will check whether the applicant is likely to qualify for certification when in Canada, before issuing a work permit.

Business legitimacy

All Canadian employers who apply to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) must include documents with their Labour Market Impact Assessment application that prove both the business and job offer are legitimate.

Union consultation

Although it is not necessary, if the job being filled by a foreign worker is organized, employers are advised to:

  • attempt to recruit unemployed Canadians and permanent residents, by working closely with union representatives
  • the employer should discuss with the union whether or not they are okay with hiring a foreigner for the open position.
  • verify that the conditions of the collective agreement (for example, wages, working conditions) will apply to the foreign worker.

Employment agreement

A complete and signed employment agreement does not need to be submitted during the LMIA process, but you must agree to give one to each foreign worker before their first day of work.

An employment agreement must:

  • The employment information provided must be for the same occupation, with equivalent wages and working conditions as those specified in the offer of employment;
  • The foreign worker's preferred language, whether it is English or French and
  • Both the employer and the foreign employee must sign the contract.

You may use this sample employment agreement, or, if you prefer to use your own version of an employment agreement, please verify that it satisfies all listed requirements.

Employers must keep thorough employment records to show that they complied with the employment agreement for the entire time of the employee’s work.

Please visit the website of the MIFI (Ministry of Immigration, Francization and Integration) for additional details about employment contracts for positions in Quebec.

Paid third-party representatives

Individuals who represent or assist employers for compensation must be authorized under section 91 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which implies they must be a member in good standing with one of the following:

Employers should verify that a specific representative is certified to represent them or give immigration advice at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

You can find information about Unpaid third-party representatives.

Recruiters

Depending on the location, there may be different rules that regulate recruiters and recruitment It is your responsibility to ensure you comply with those requirements. You are also responsible for the activities of anyone who works on your behalf as an employer.

New employers

Employers who have not employed a temporary foreign worker in the past 6 years will be subject to a review when submitting a LMIA application. The employer must show that they made a genuine effort to provide a workplace free of abuse and that they weren’t associated with another employer who is ineligible for the TFW Program or in debt of any amount due for an administrative monetary penalty.

Learn what is meant by a workplace that is free of abuse.

Wages, working conditions and occupations

A temporary foreign worker (TFW) must be paid:

  • the foreign worker must be paid the prevailing wage for their occupation and work location, or higher, or
  • a wage that is comparable to what they are paying other employees in the same job and work location, if this rate is higher than the prevailing wage

Refer to the median hourly wages published on Job Bank to determine the prevailing wage.

Learn more about the Step-by-step process to determine the prevailing wage of the position.

Unionized positions

Employers who are hiring foreign workers for positions that are part of a union must offer the same advertisement and wage rates as those established under the collective agreement. The collective bargaining agreement will establish the rules of the workplace, including:

  • wages
  • benefits, and
  • hours of work

Employers must provide similar terms and conditions to these non-Canadians as they do to Canadians, and they must also submit a copy of the collective bargaining agreement with their LMIA application to ESDC/Service Canada.

Working conditions

A foreign worker’s exploitation is considered a violation of Canadian law and human rights. Employers must:

  • workers must be compensated for all work, including overtime if it is legally required.
  • provide safety insurance at your place of business
  • offer the same benefits to TFWs as other workers
  • not take the TFWs’ identification

The majority of occupations are governed by provincial and territorial legislation that covers labor and employment standards such as: hours worked, working conditions, and termination of employment. Every province and territory has a Ministry of Labour that can provide information to assist employers.

Occupations

Employers can’t force temporary foreign workers to do work for which they were not hired or trained. For example, an employer who wants to hire a foreign worker as a carpenter cannot instead give them the duties of a janitor.

Recruitment and advertisement

Employers must engage in recruiting efforts to find Canadians and permanent residents before employing foreign workers.

Employers who pay a temporary foreign worker (TFW) a wage that is:

Apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment

Employers who wish to hire foreign workers must submit an LMIA application and all necessary supporting documents to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada.

In short, by hiring a foreign worker, Canadian employers are asking for an opinion on how it would affect Canada’s job market. Therefore, is it critical that businesses follow every step and submit all needed documents.

Apply via LMIA Online portal

You need a Job Bank user account to log in and access LMIA Online. If you’re an employer, you may also need a third-party account for authentication purposes.

Complete your one-time registration in Job Bank for Employers by clicking on the link below and following the instructions.“Don’t have an account? Sign up now.” button.

It will take around 10 minutes to complete the registration procedure.

After you create your Job Bank account(s), you can complete an LMIA application on the LMIA Online Portal.

Steps after receiving a Positive LMIA

After the LMIA application is approved, the employer will receive an approval letter. This positive LMIA will be valid for 18 months from the date of issue.

The letter will not include the names of the temporary foreign workers for privacy reasons. The names of the workers will appear in Annex B, which is only for employer records and not required to be shared with potential employees when applying for a work permit.

The positive LMIA letter supports both the skilled worker’s application to IRCC for a:

  • permanent resident visa under the FSWP, FSTP and CEC
  • work permit, if the Canadian employers wishes the foreign worker to start working while waiting for the outcome of the application for the permanent resident visa.

The employer’s responsibilities after they’ve received a positive LMIA include:

  • sending a copy of this letter and Annex A to the foreign worker
  • ask the foreign national to apply for a permanent residency visa to immigrate to Canada, or/and for a work permit. The foreign worker must attach the following documents to the application: a signed job
  • offer from both the employer and employee, as well as an LMIA letter and Annex A.

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LMIA Agricultural Stream

Before you hire foreign workers, an employer in Canada may need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

A positive LMIA shows that a foreign worker is required to fill the position. This will show that no citizens or permanent residents in Canada can fill the vacancy.

If an employer required a LMIA, they must submit an application for one.

After the employer obtains an LMIA, the employee can apply for a work permit.

Table of contents

Agricultural Stream overview

Employers may hire Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) in the Agricultural Stream if Canadian and permanent residents are not available.

To be eligible for this stream, employers must meet these two criteria:

National commodity sectors

  • Apiary products
  • Fruits, vegetables (including canning/processing of these products if grown on the farm)
  • Mushrooms
  • Flowers
  • Nursery-grown trees including Christmas trees, greenhouses/nurseries
  • Pedigreed canola seed
  • Seed corn
  • Grains
  • Oil seeds
  • Maple syrup
  • Sod
  • Tobacco
  • Bovine
  • Dairy
  • Duck
  • Horse
  • Mink
  • Poultry
  • Sheep
  • Swine

On-farm primary agriculture

Primary agriculture is any work that involves:

  • performed within a farm, nursery or greenhouse
  • be consistent with one of these National Occupational Classification codes: 0821, 0822, 8252, 8255, 8431, 8432, and 8611
  • involve at least one activity, such as:
    • operation of agricultural machinery
    • boarding, care, breeding, sanitation or other handling of animals, other than fish, for the purpose of obtaining raw animal products for market
    • collection, handling and assessment of those raw products, or the planting, care, harvesting or preparation of crops, trees, sod or other plants for market

Employers who apply for an Agricultural Stream LMIA can request an employment duration of 2 years.

An employment period of up to 2 years applies to low-wage jobs, with the employer’s reasonable job requirements determining the length.

Employers applying for an Agricultural Stream LMIA for a high-wage job may request an employment duration of up to 3 years. The employer’s reasonable employment demands must be satisfied by the employee’s employment duration.

Program requirements

Processing fee

The LMIA processing fee does not apply to occupations related to primary agriculture and positions under the National Occupational Classification codes: 0821, 0822, 8252, 8255, 8431, 8432, and 8611

Transportation

Employers are responsible for paying for the round-trip transportation costs (for example, plane, train, boat, car, bus). These fees must be paid up-front by the employer to avoid being included in any discussions about the employment contract. This procedure helps safeguard TFWs who may be offered alternative travel arrangements in exchange for a job offer.

Employers must maintain records (such as invoices, receipts, flight itineraries, tickets, boarding passes) for a minimum of 6 years documenting all travel expenses paid. Employers may need this information as supporting documentation when applying for a subsequent LMIA or if they are randomly selected for an inspection.

Note: An employer cannot recover the transportation costs from a TFW under any circumstances.

Day-to-day transportation

Employers must provide free transportation to and from the on-site/offsite housing location to the work site for TFWs, as required.

Housing

Employers must offer TFWs with decent, appropriate, and low-cost housing as defined by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The housing can be either on-farm, like a bunkhouse, or off-site in a commercial establishment. Employers must not allow more people to occupy an accommodation than the maximum occupancy permitted.

They must also ensure that sufficient housing will be made available for all TFWs per approved accommodations, from the date of arrival to departure.

Employers supplying:

On-farm housing

  • The TFW's employer can deduct no more than $30 per week (pro-rated for partial weeks) from the employee's wages unless Provincial/Territorial Labour Standards limit this deduction to a lower amount.

Off-site housing - lower-skilled workers

  • The TFW's employer can deduct no more than $30 per week (pro-rated for partial weeks) from the employee's wages unless Provincial/Territorial Labour Standards limit this deduction to a lower amount.

Off-site housing - higher-skilled workers

  • The TFW's rent should not exceed 30% of their gross monthly earnings.

If there are multiple TFWs living in a home that is leased or owned by the employer, the employer must calculate the rent at market rate. The rent should be shared equally among all TFWs.

Note: The TFW is not required to stay in the workplace’s housing and may elect to depart for private accommodation if desired. The departure date, on the other hand, may need to be notified to the employer or business institution in advance by the TFW.

Housing inspection

Employers that wish to house workers on farms or at remote locations must produce evidence of inspection by the appropriate provincial, territorial, or municipal government agency, or a valid private inspector with appropriate certification. If the official housing inspection report does not have a standard form, employers must make sure that Schedule F – Housing inspection report seasonal agricultural worker program and agricultural stream is used to report the results of the inspection.

If you cannot meet the requirements for the housing inspection report, your LMIA application will be considered incomplete.

While a housing inspection report marked “pass with conditions” can still be used to processing an LMIA application, no decision will be made until the employer provides proof that all issues on the report have been resolved.

Employers are responsible for any labor or inspection fees that may be incurred as a result of the housing being examined. Employers are not allowed to recover these costs from the TFW under any circumstances.

If you need more information about the housing inspection. You can find it here.

Health insurance

Employers must cover the costs of health insurance for their employees. The TFW’s health insurance coverage must start from the moment they arrive in Canada until they are enrolled in a provincial or territorial health care plan. The waiting period for each province or territory’s health insurance is available on the Ministry of Health’s websites. The TFW’s private insurance must be comparable to the territorial/provincial health coverage plan.

Note: The TFW is prohibited from reimbursing the employer for health insurance premiums under any circumstances.

Workplace safety

Employers must always verify that the TFWs they seek to hire under the TFW Program are covered by their province’s or territory’s workplace safety insurance provider, as required by law. Employers who operate in provinces/territories where the provincial/territorial legislation allows them to select a private insurance plan must comply with the following conditions:

  • that the private health insurance plan you choose gives the same coverage as what is offered by your province or territory
  • that all employees on the worksite have the same health insurance provider

Employers looking for a private insurance plan equivalency should contact the provincial or territorial workplace safety authority.

The employer’s insurance coverage must match the TFWs’ first day of work in Canada, and the costs associated with this insurance cannot be charged to the employees.

Pesticides and chemical use

Employers who use pesticides or other hazardous chemicals must follow provincial/territorial regulations. Workers must be informed of pesticide and chemical applications, as well as given the following:

  • free protective equipment
  • appropriate formal and informal training
  • supervision where required by law

Employment contract

An employment contract must be prepared and signed by the employer. If any disagreements or problems should come up between the employer and the temporary foreign worker, this contract will serve as a resolution guide. If the employer and employee cannot resolve the conflict, they may contact their provincial or territorial Ministry of Labour.

Business legitimacy

As part of the application for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, all employers seeking to hire through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program must provide documentation demonstrating that their business and job offer are legitimate.

Paid representatives

In order to represent or assist employers in exchange for compensation, individuals must be authorized under section 91 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). This means they have to be a member who is currently in good standing with one of the following:

To confirm that a specific individual is able to represent you or provide immigration advice, employers should visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Wages, working conditions and occupations

You must offer temporary foreign workers the same compensation and benefits as Canadian and permanent resident employees working in the same occupation. Furthermore, any temporary foreign worker in a union must receive the wage set under the bargain agreement.

If you want to bring in foreign non-livestock high-skilled workers, you must check the Streams for High-wage or Low-wage positions to determine the wage.

You must agree to review and adjust the wage of the temporary foreign worker to ensure it meets or exceeds, at all times, the wage rates outlined in the wage tables, or applicable federal/provincial/territorial minimum wage rates, whichever is higher.

Recruitment and advertisement

Starting January 12, 2022 and continuing until June 30, 2023, Employment and Social Development Canada will not impose minimum advertising requirements on employers applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to employ foreign temporary workers in primary agriculture.

Employers do not need to follow the Temporary Foreign Worker Program’s minimum advertising requirements or submit documentation supporting their application when applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

Apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment

Employers who want to hire a temporary foreign worker under the Agricultural Stream must submit an application for a Labour Market Impact Assessment along with all required supporting documentation to Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada.

Employers submit evidence of how a TFW would impact the Canadian job market in order to receive an assessment. You need to apply with all of the applicable submitting documentation. It is critical that employers take all the required steps and submit any needed documentation, and that all supporting documents submitted are filled out correctly.

Apply via LMIA Online portal

You need a Job Bank user account to log in and access LMIA Online. If you’re an employer, you may also need a third-party account for authentication purposes.

Complete your one-time registration in Job Bank for Employers by clicking on the link below and following the instructions.“Don’t have an account? Sign up now.” button.

It will take around 10 minutes to complete the registration procedure.

After you create your Job Bank account(s), you can complete an LMIA application on the LMIA Online Portal.

Steps after receiving a Positive LMIA

The employer will be notified of the LMIA application’s approval in a letter. This positive LMIA will be valid for 18 months from the date of issue.

The letter will not include the names of the TFWs for privacy reasons.It includes information on the job offer, such as pay, working conditions, and employment categories.The names of the workers will appear in Annex B, which is only for employer records and not to be shared with potential employees as it not required when applying for a work permit.

After the employer obtains a positive LMIA letter, they are responsible for:

  • sending a copy of this letter, as well as the employment agreement, signed by the employer, to the TFW.
  • ask the TFW to apply to IRCC for a work permit. With the work permit application, the TFW must include a copy of both the positive LMIA letter and employment contract that has been signed by both employer and employee.

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High wage LMIA

Before employing a foreign worker in Canada, an employer may be required to submit a labour market impact assessment (LMIA),

An LMIA is a confirmation that a foreign worker is needed to fill the position. This will show that there are no workers or permanent residents in Canada who are capable of doing the task.

The employer must submit an application for a LMIA if one is required.

After the employer applies and is approved for an LMIA, the worker can then apply for a work permit.

The wage offered for the position will determine which stream to apply for, either the high-wage stream or the low-wage stream. Each stream has different requirements that must be met.

If you are offering a wage to a temporary foreign worker that is:

Province/TerritoryMedian hourly wages prior to April 30, 2022Median hourly wages as of April 30, 2022
Alberta$27.28$28.85
British Columbia$25.00$26.44
Manitoba$21.60$23.00
New Brunswick$20.12$21.79
Newfoundland and Labrador$23.00$24.29
Northwest Territories$34.36$37.30
Nova Scotia$20.00$22.00
Nunavut$32.00$36.00
Ontario$24.04$26.06
Prince Edward Island$20.00$21.63
Quebec$23.08$25.00
Saskatchewan$24.55$25.96
Yukon$30.00$32.00

High wage LMIA requirements

Below are the requirements when applying for the high wage temporary foreign workers stream:

Business legitimacy

To apply for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), employers need to include proof with their Labour Market Impact Assessment application that both their business and job offer are legitimate.

Transition plan

A Transition Plan is necessary to hire temporary foreign workers in high-wage positions, and it must be valid for the entirety of their employment. This plan outlines the actions you’ll take to recruit, retain, and train Canadians and permanent residents, as well as reduce your reliance on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

If you’ve never created a Transition Plan before, you must do so as directed in the relevant part of the Labour Market Impact Assessment form for high-wage jobs.

If you are reapplying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment and have already fulfilled similar commitments in an earlier Transition plan, you must update the results of your previous Transition plan.

There are some Transition plan exemptions.

Wages

Temporary foreign workers under the hig wage stream should be paid the same wage as Canadian and permanent resident employees employed for the same position, working in the same place, with similar abilities and experience.

For the purposes of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, you must pay a wage that is equivalent to the highest of either:

  • the median wage on Job Bank
  • the wage that is within the wage range that you are paying your current citizen or permanent resident employees hired for the same job and work location, and with the same skills and years of experience

The wage rate being offered only considers guaranteed wages, which does not include:

  • overtime hours
  • tips
  • benefits
  • profit sharing
  • bonuses
  • commissions
  • other forms of compensation

Job duties

Employers seeking foreign workers, with a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, can only do jobs that relate to the occupation they were originally hired for.

Recruitment

To recruit from the Canadian labour market, you must first try to hire Canadians and permanent residents and prove your recruitment efforts to ESDC.

Minimum recruitment requirements

Before applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, you must complete at least three different recruitment activities:

  • You're required to post your ads on the Government of Canada's Job Bank. If you opt for another method, you must submit a written explanation for your decision
  • You should also conduct at least two additional methods of recruitment that are consistent with the profession and skills. Residents of any province or territory should be able to access one of the methods, which must be national in scope and readily available to people in high-wage jobs.

Job advertisement duration

You must ensure that the job advertisement:

  • occurred within the 3 months before submitting the Labour Market Impact Assessment application
  • minimum of 4 consecutive weeks within the 3 months prior to submitting a Labour Market Impact Assessment application

At least 1 of the 3 recruitment activities must be ongoing until a positive or negative Labour Market Impacts Assessment has been made.

Workplace safety

The temporary foreign workers you want to hire for your business must be covered by a provincial or territorial workplace safety insurance provider, where required by law.

If employers are allowed to choose a private health insurance plan under provincial or territorial law, you must make sure that:

  • a private plan provides the same or better level of compensation as that offered by a province or territory
  • all employees on the worksite have access to the same health care provider

The insurance you purchased must cover the first day of work for temporary foreign workers in Canada and must not be paid for by them.

Language of work

The only languages you can identify as a job requirement in your Labour Market Impact Assessment application and job advertisement are English or French. If you cannot perform the job without speaking another language, you must explain why on the application.

There are some exemptions that have no language requirement.

Processing fee

It costs $1,000 to process each Labour Market Impact Assessment application.

Individuals or families who wish to employ a foreign caregiver to do home care for individuals requiring medical assistance are exempt from having to pay the Labour Market Impact Assessment application processing fee.

Families or individuals with a gross annual income of $150,000 or less who want to employ a foreign caregiver to provide child care in their home to a kid under the age of 13 qualify for the processing fee exemption.

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Low wage LMIA

An employer in Canada may need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before hiring a foreign worker.

A positive LMIA will demonstrate that a foreign worker is necessary to fill the job opening. This will also demonstrate that there are no workers or permanent residents in Canada who can do the job.

The employer must submit an application for a LMIA if one is required.

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

The wage offered for the position will determine which stream to apply for, either the high-wage stream or the low-wage stream. Each stream has different requirements that must be met.

If you are offering a wage to a temporary foreign worker that is:

Province/TerritoryMedian hourly wages prior to April 30, 2022Median hourly wages as of April 30, 2022
Alberta$27.28$28.85
British Columbia$25.00$26.44
Manitoba$21.60$23.00
New Brunswick$20.12$21.79
Newfoundland and Labrador$23.00$24.29
Northwest Territories$34.36$37.30
Nova Scotia$20.00$22.00
Nunavut$32.00$36.00
Ontario$24.04$26.06
Prince Edward Island$20.00$21.63
Quebec$23.08$25.00
Saskatchewan$24.55$25.96
Yukon$30.00$32.00

Low wage LMIA requirements

Below are the requirements when applying for the low wage temporary foreign workers stream:

Business legitimacy

Employers applying to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) must submit proof of their legitimacy by providing documentation with their Labour Market Impact Assessment application.

Cap

As of April 30, 2022, you are limited to employing only 20% of your workforce for low-wage positions at a specific location. This cap is in place to ensure that Canadian or permanent residents take precedence for available employment.

There are some industries that are eligible for a cap limit of 30%.

You must complete the Cap for a low-wage position section of the Labour Market Impact Assessment application to determine if you are within the proportion of temporary foreign workers that you can hire in in low-wage positions at a specific work location.

There are some exemptions to the cap.

Wages

Wages offered to low wage foreign workers on a temporary basis should be similar to those paid to Canadian and permanent employees who are hired for the same job, work in the same location, and have comparable skillsets and experience.

You must pay the prevailing wage which is defined as the highest of either:

  • the median wage on Job Bank
  • The rate that is within the wage range you are paying your existing employees performing the same task and working in the same location, with comparable skills and years of expertise

Job duties

Employers seeking foreign workers, with a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, can only do jobs that relate to the occupation they were originally hired for.

Recruitment

Before hiring a temporary foreign worker, you must make efforts to recruit from the Canadian labour market which includes Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Minimum recruitment requirements

You must perform at least three distinct recruitment activities before applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment:

  • You're required to post your ads on the Government of Canada's Job Bank. If you opt for another method, you must submit a written explanation for your decision
  • You should also conduct at least two additional methods of recruitment that are consistent with the profession and skills. The methods used must also target a different, underrepresented group: Indigenous persons, vulnerable youth, newcomers, and persons with disabilities.

Job advertisement duration

You must ensure that the job advertisement:

  • occurred within the 3 months before submitting the Labour Market Impact Assessment application
  • minimum of 4 consecutive weeks within the 3 months prior to submitting a Labour Market Impact Assessment application

At least 1 of the 3 recruitment activities must be ongoing until a positive or negative Labour Market Impacts Assessment has been made.

Housing

If you plan to employ a temporary foreign worker, you must first ensure that housing accommodations are suitable and affordable.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation definitions are used to determine the suitability and affordability of housing:

  • suitable housing: "does not require any major repairs, according to residents. Major repairs include those to defective plumbing or electrical wiring, or structural repairs to walls, floors or ceilings"
  • affordable housing: "costs less than 30% of the temporary foreign worker’s before-tax income. Shelter costs include, rent (or mortgage payment) and any payments for electricity, fuel, water and other municipal services"

Transportation

The employer is responsible for the expenses related to temporary foreign workers travel, both coming to and leaving Canada.

The temporary foreign workers must not be charged for the travel expenses.

Healthcare

You need to make sure that the foreign workers you want to hire for low-wage positions have private, provincial or territorial health insurance coverage from their first day in Canada.

If provincial or territorial health care is not an option, you must purchase equivalent private health insurance for foreign workers until they are eligible for the provincial/territorial plan.

Workplace safety

You must make certain that the temporary foreign workers you want to employ through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are covered by their province or territory’s workplace safety insurance provider, where required by law.

If employers are allowed to choose a private insurance plan under provincial or territorial law, you must make sure that:

  • a private plan provides the same or better level of compensation as that offered by a province or territory
  • all employees on the worksite have access to the same health care provider

The insurance you purchased must cover the first day of work for temporary foreign workers in Canada and must not be paid for by them.

Language of work

The only languages you can identify as a job requirement in your Labour Market Impact Assessment application and job advertisement are English or French. If you cannot perform the job without speaking another language, you must explain why on the application.

There are some exemptions that have no language requirement.

Employment contract

To ensure that all parties are aware of their rights and obligations, an employment contract must be prepared and signed by you and the temporary foreign worker. Prior to arriving in Canada, the foreign national must sign the document.

This is an example of an employment contract.

Processing fee

It costs $1,000 to process each Labour Market Impact Assessment application.

Individuals or families who wish to employ a foreign caregiver to do home care for individuals requiring medical assistance are exempt from having to pay the Labour Market Impact Assessment application processing fee.

Families or individuals with a gross annual income of $150,000 or less who want to employ a foreign caregiver to provide child care in their home to a kid under the age of 13 qualify for the processing fee exemption.

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Bridging Open Work Permit

How does the Bridging Open Work Permit work?

A Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) is a visa which allows a temporary resident whose current work permit is expiring and who has previously applied for permanent residency, to continue working in Canada while awaiting the decision of their permanent residence application.

Who is eligible?

Not every permanent residence program qualifies for a BOWP, the permanent residence programs which are eligible for a BOWP are as follows:

How does maintained status work?

In the occurrence of a temporary resident who has applied for an extension of their Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) but has not yet received a decision from IRCC prior to the end date shown on their current TRV, the period of their stay is extended by law until a decision is made.

Whilst a temporary resident is on implied status (waiting for a decision after their TRV has expired) they still have the right to remain in Canada and continue to work. This only applies to a temporary resident who remains inside Canada, therefore, as soon as they leave Canada during this period, their implied status is no longer in effect upon their return, and consequently, they will lose their privileges.

Express Entry requirements

Provincial Nominee requirements

Home Child-Care requirements

Home Support Worker requirements

Agri-Food Pilot requirements

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Post Graduation Work Permit

How does a Post Graduation Work Permit work?

Who is eligible?

Graduates applying for a PGWP before the expiry date of their study permit, can work full-time while waiting for a decision on their application. For a student to benefit from this, they must meet the entirety of the following criteria:

What can I do with this visa?

A PGWP is an Open work permit (not job-specific) which allows graduates to:

How long is the Work Permit valid for?

A PGWP is generally issued for the same length of the study program for people who studied in programs of more than 8 months (the minimum), but under 2 years in length. For programs of 2 years or longer, the PGWP may be issued for 3 years (the maximum).

When should I apply?

Students must apply within 180 days after either their final marks are issued to them or written confirmation of their completed studies, they must also have or have had a valid study permit at some point during these 180 days.

Whether a student has to apply for their PGWP from inside or outside Canada will depend on their current status.

Students must be aware that they are only eligible for one PGWP in their lifetime.

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Labour Market Impact Assessment

How does an LMIA work?

Generally, a foreign national wishing to work in Canada in an occupation that requires a work permit should apply for a LMIA from ESDC if the occupation demands one. A foreign worker does not need a LMIA if they are the holder of a valid Open Work Permit or are LMIA exempt, otherwise a positive LMIA will be required.

Who can apply?

Only a Canadian employer may make an application for an LMIA to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). ESDC will issue a LMIA to an employer if it is confirmed that there is a need for a temporary foreign worker to fill labour and skill shortages and there are no Canadians or permanent residents available to do the job. The LMIA application process depends on the type of program you are applying for, these include:

Employer proof

The employer must receive the approval from ESDC by way of a positive LMIA before an offer of employment can be extended to the foreign worker. The employer must demonstrate to ESDC that:

  • The job offer is genuine
  • The job will have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian Labour Market
  • The minimum job advertisement duration has been met
  • The minimum recruitment requirements have been met
  • No Canadian citizens or permanent residents are available to fill the position

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International Experience Class

How to work in Canada?

The main objective of launching the IEC is to provide foreign nationals from participating countries who are between the ages of 18-35 (30 in some countries) with the opportunity to travel and work in Canada. There are 3 categories under the IEC program, these are:

Working Holiday

This option is appealing for candidates who want to both travel around Canada and find temporary work to fund their vacation.

The type of work permit granted is an Open Work Permit which allows you to:

  • Work without the need for a job offer
  • Work for more than one employer in Canada
  • Work in more than one location
  • Work most jobs available in Canada

Young Professionals

This category focuses on people who wish to gain Canadian professional work experience to better compete in a global economy.

The type of work permit granted is an Employer-Specific Work Permit, this means you have to:

  • Have a job offer in Canada that contributes towards your professional development
  • Work for the same employer in the same specified location throughout your stay in Canada

International Co-op (Internship)

This stream offers aspiring candidates to gain valuable work experience related to their field of study.

The eligibility requirements include:

  • You are a student registered at a post-secondary institution
  • You have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada
  • It is necessary that you need to complete this work placement or internship to complete your studies
  • The internship you are offered in Canada must be directly linked to your field of studies
  • Work for the same employer in the same specified location throughout your stay in Canada

Eligibility requirements

IEC requirements vary from country to country. Depending on your country of citizenship, you may be able to participate twice in the IEC program, however, you can only participate once under each category (that your country allows), therefore, you can be found eligible under a different pool.

Candidates are not eligible to include their dependents on their IEC application.

  • You must be a citizen from one of the countries that has an agreement with Canada in which allows you to apply for an IEC work permit
  • You must meet the eligibility requirements for both your country of citizenship and the IEC pool in which you are applying for

What is the process?

To apply under any of the IEC streams you must follow these steps:

Step 1

Answer questions related to the 3 IEC streams to determine if they meet the criteria for one or more pools

Step 2

Meet the eligibility requirements and become a candidate in one or more of the IEC pools

Step 3

Proceed to create a (free) online IEC profile

Step 4

Once their profile is complete, they can submit their profile to any of the indicated pools that are available to them

Step 5

Wait for an invitation to apply (ITA)

Step 6

Once an ITA has been received, they can then start and submit a work permit application through their online account within a set number of days

Step 7

Pay the required program fees

Step 8

Continue to check the status of their application for updates and confirmation of approved application

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