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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