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What is an LMIA?

If you are a business owner in Canada, you are sure to have heard the term “LMIA”; but what is an LMIA, who needs it and why?

LMIA stands for Labour Market Impact Assessment. It is a document issued by the Ministry of Economic Development and Services Canada (also known as Service Canada) to businesses that apply, claiming they cannot find local workers to fill their vacancy and must resort to hiring a foreign national. When an LMIA is issued to the applying business, Service Canada has officially granted that business permission to hire a Foreign Worker.

Through the LMIA application processes, businesses must prove to Service Canada that they tried to hire a local worker (a Canadian citizen and/or permanent resident), but were unable to. In the application process, the business must show Service Canada that they posted job ads on a number of websites, for a required time period, received responses, but none of the responses matched their hiring criteria.

Businesses can apply for LMIAs with that name of a certain foreign national they have in mind to hire, or without a specific name of a Foreign National, with the intention of widening their net of possible hires.

Once a business receives a positive LMIA and finds the foreign national they want to hire, the foreign national must apply for a work permit specific to the business and job they were hired for. foreign nationals generally must apply for their LMIA specific work permit outside of Canada.

However, Canada is currently facing a labour shortage. We need workers! As a result, Immigration Canada has allowed Foreign Nationals who are visiting Canada the opportunity to apply for work permits while residing in Canada! This temporary allowance is valid until February 28th, 2025.

Businesses can help their foreign national workers attain permanent residency in Canada through the LMIA process. This helps businesses find and keep qualified, loyal workers.

If you are a business owner who is having a rough time finding workers, give us a call to discuss possibilities for applying for an LMIA and hiring a qualified Foreign National to work for you.


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