A Labour Market Impact Assessment ("LMIA") is a document that an employer in Canada may need before hiring a foreign worker. To apply for an LMIA, an employer must first try and hire a Canadian or Permanent Resident. If after thirty (30) days of recruitment efforts, the employer was not able to find a Canadian or Permanent Resident, they can apply for an LMIA.
There are different LMIA streams, depending on the wage being offered to the Temporary Foreign Worker. If the wage is above the provincial median it would be considered a High-Wage LMIA stream. If the wage is below the provincial median wage, then it would be considered a Low-Wage application. While both streams require the thirty (30) day advertisement period, a Low-Wage LMIA requires the employer to pay for the round-trip transportation costs for the Temporary Foreign Worker ("TFW"). Additionally, the employer must provide or ensure that affordable housing is available and provide the TFW with benefits from the first day of arrival.
A LMIA application is assessed by Employment Services and Development Canada ("ESDC"). An ESDC officer will review the application based on the following factors:
- Will the Employment of the temporary foreign worker result in direct job creation or job retention for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- Will the employment of the temporary foreign worker result in the development ortransfer of skills and knowledge for the benefit of Canadian citizens or permanentresidents.
- Will the temporary foreign worker help fill a labour shortage.
- Are the wages offered to the temporary foreign worker consistent with the prevailing wage rate for the occupation in the city they are applying.
- Has the employer made a reasonable effort to hire or train Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- Will the employment of a temporary foreign worker adversely affect the settlement of any labour dispute in progress.
If the ESDC officer provides a positive LMIA then the employer may hire a temporary foreign worker.