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Canadian Employers! How to Apply for LMIA in 2021-2022

Updated: Apr 19, 2022

The changes to the international labor market due to the COVID19 pandemic have also had an impact on Canadian jobs. In 2021, things have greatly changed and the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) saw several changes too. Formally known as Labor Market Opinion (LMO), LMIA is when a Canadian employer tries to hire a local Canadian for a job and is unable to find the right candidate.

The employer will issue an LMIA after advertising for the job role within Canada but without any luck. However, an LMIA can only be issued after making all possible efforts and proving that none of the local applicants were qualified enough. Receiving a positive LMIA letter from Social Development Canada is a confirmation that the employer can hire an international candidate.


The process is simple; the employer applies for the LMIA and waits for approval. Once the employer gets the approval, he or she can send a job offer letter for the right candidate. The candidate can then apply for a work permit. A work permit application must include the job offer letter, a copy of the LMIA, and the LMIA number.


LMIA Canada New Rules 2021 2022

As mentioned before, there have been a handful of changes across all labor markets in the world, as well as in Canada. As for the LMIA process, all jobs are now divided into two categories:


1. A high-wage category: where the salary exceeds the median wage in the province.

2. A low-wage category: where the salary is below the median wage in the province.

LMIA request application fees have also been increased from $275 to $1000 per worker.


LMIA Requirements

Hiring Workers on a High-Wage

All employers must meet the requirements of the Transition Plan, which is part of the Schedule C form of the LMIA application. This is compulsory when the employer decides to hire a foreign candidate at a high wage. The transition plan typically represents a commitment from the employer indicating that he or she has agreed upon a certain occupation within the province of work.


Hiring Workers on a Low-Wage

Unlike the employment of high-wage workers, hiring low-wage workers does not require a transition plan. However, when applying for LMIA, there is a limit to the number of workers an employer can hire at the low-wage rates.


Hiring with an LMIA

To meet the shortfall of workers and laborers in Canada, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) allows all employers to hire temporary foreign employees. Once the employer has been issued an LMIA, the duty to direct each worker towards obtaining a work permit falls on the employer alone.

Giving simple instructions for applying for a work permit for Canada is a good idea. Every worker must include a job offer letter, a copy of the LMIA, and the LMIA issue number.


Hiring without an LMIA

There is a way of hiring foreign workers without applying for LMIA. The International Mobility Program (IMP) allows employers to hire foreign workers easily. In case the employer wishes to hire without an LMIA, he or she will need:


· To bear the cost of employer compliance fee,

· And to submit the offer letter through Employer Portal.


Processing Times for LMIA

Due to the impact of COVID19 and global lockdowns, Canada is experiencing a higher number of LMIA applications in 2021. This can result in longer processing times and possible delays but the applications are being processed.


The list below displays recent processing times per LMIA stream. This is to provide an overview of the estimated timeline of each application:


What are the Next Steps?

When an employer gets LMIA approval, a copy of the letter along with Annex A is sent to the foreign worker.


The foreign worker will then apply for a work permit under the aforementioned application types. The processing time starts on the day an application has been submitted.



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