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Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah discusses as a Canadian employer or a business owner how to determine when is a good time to hire a foreign worker and how to apply for an LMIA.
Canada's LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) is a process used by the Canadian government to assess the potential impact of hiring a foreign worker on the Canadian labour market. The LMIA is required for employers who want to hire foreign workers through certain work permit programs. The LMIA process aims to ensure that the hiring of foreign workers does not negatively impact Canadian workers and the domestic labour market. It helps address labour shortages in specific industries or occupations where there is a genuine need for foreign talent.
In this podcast, Evelyn discusses the following LMIA considerations for employers applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
- the importance of prioritizing Canadian and permanent resident hires but the need for foreign workers in certain situations
- the requirements for an LMIA application including extensive advertising and proper documentation
- the processing timeline and options for work permit issuance
- how employers can evaluate their recruitment efforts before pursuing an LMIA
- how Ackah Business Immigration Law can assist Canadian employers in the LMIA process
About Evelyn Ackah
Evelyn Ackah is the Founder and Managing Lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. We work with individuals and business owners from all over the world who want to cross borders seamlessly. For more information on immigration to Canada or the United States, Ask Evelyn Ackah at Ackah Business Immigration Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email Evelyn directly at email@example.com.
The Ask Canada Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah podcast by Calgary Immigration Lawyer Evelyn Ackah was named #1 Best Canada Immigration Podcast in 2022 by Feedspot.
Good day everyone. It's Evelyn Ackah for another LinkedIn Live for Ackah Business Immigration Law. I hope you're well. Today I want to talk about whether it's a good time for you to apply for an LMIA, a Labor Market Impact Assessment. I'm really targeting, obviously, employers and business owners because the application for an LMIA is actually made by the employer. The question is, is it a good time for you to apply for an LMIA? The reason I ask this is because, generally, we want to hire Canadians. Obviously Canadians first, permanent residents first. But, for you as an employer or a business owner, you know when it's time to hire a foreign worker, when the issue of you're struggling to find good people, you're struggling to find employees to fill all the positions that are still outstanding.
When you have been advertising and advertising, advertising and you're not getting applications at all, or you're not getting any qualified applications or applicants, that might be the time for you to consider if the Temporary Foreign Worker program is going to be something you want to access. As I said, we don't start with the LMIA program, we start with advertising. Most of the clients we work with, they've already been advertising for four to eight months. They know the market. They've tried to hire Canadians and permanent residents here in Canada, and either they don't last very long or they're jumping jobs or they're not a good fit or they actually don't even apply for the job. A lot of times people apply, and when the clients contact them for an interview, they don't even call them back because they're already onto other things.
If you have a unique position that is specialized or managerial or senior that requires specific skills and you're struggling to find that expertise, then possibly the LMIA program maybe for you. This used to be called the Labour Market Opinion program back in the day, and in the last few years it's been converted to calling itself the Labour Market Impact Assessment process. This is how you can get a confirmation approval. I'm going to review the requirements so that you can consider if you are ready to do all of this, to find the ideal person for you that may be not in Canada, maybe in the US, UK, or other countries. Okay?
The first requirement is you must advertise in a minimum of three places. That would be the Canada Job Bank, which is mandatory, or/and your website, and then maybe two or three others that target specific groups of communities. The higher skilled it is, the more extensive I would say the advertising should be. If it's a low skilled or low wage position, you have to make sure you're targeting people that are here already, First Nations people, people with disabilities, young people, so that you can show that you have tried all of the resources available to find your employees that you need for your business.
Once you've done that one month of advertising, and the ads have to be perfect. When we help our clients, that first analysis stage, we spend a lot of time because we don't want to lose time because the ads are somehow incorrect or you've missed something that must be there, because we know then that Service Canada's going to come back and say, "You didn't do the ads properly, so we're not going to count this month. You have to do them again." Our goal is to make sure the first month of ads is the only time that you need to advertise. You must keep the Canada Job Bank up the entire process until you finish and get your confirmation approval.
Once you finish the LMIA advertising, then you are able to submit your application and all the documents that go with it to Service Canada for their review. They're currently taking anywhere from one month to two months, depends on the role and their volume of work. But, right now there's been a bit of a mandate from the federal government to move these LMIAs faster because there is clearly a need for foreign workers to help fill the gaps that we're not able to find Canadians to fill at this moment.
When the application is approved for the LMIA confirmation, depending on where your foreign worker is coming from, they may be able to come straight to Canada with their work permit package and the LMIA approval, and get their work permit at the port of entry. For instance, American citizens, US citizens, Mexican citizens, oh sorry, I mean UK citizens as well. Anybody from a Western European country, Australia, New Zealand, that does not require a visa to enter Canada, is able to enter and get their work permit right at the port of entry.
I would say this process means it could be three months from beginning to end before you can get your foreign worker here. For employers to even want to wait that long, it tells you that they really need that person. They're not going to do this casually and relocate somebody at the extra cost and legal fees, et cetera. If your person is coming from a country where they need a temporary resident visa, they will be processed at the consulate that's responsible for their home country. That could add another two to four to five months in the process before they actually can get on the plane and come to Canada.
For people to really think about, is it a good time to apply for an LMIA, only you could be the judge of that because you know your business. If you have done all the extensive advertising to recruit, and even using executive search firms or recruiting firms to find the ideal people, and you still are not being successful, you may want to consider the LMIA program. We're seeing more and more employers using it because they're struggling to find Canadians and permanent residents to fill the gaps. Since covid, there seem be a lot of gaps in the employment world where people either have gone on their own and started their own businesses, or they're no longer looking to do work in that field anymore, and employers are struggling to find good workers and good people to fill those gaps.
If you'd like to talk at all about the LMIA process, the timing, the pricing, the requirements, you can feel free to contact us at Ackah Business Immigration Law. The number is above, by email at contact@ackahlaw, or phone us, and we can go through this process with you. As I said, we don't take an LMIA if we're not satisfied the employer has also done their due diligence and advertised extensively for Canadians first. I hope that this LinkedIn Live has been useful and informative. If you have any questions at all, give us a call at Ackah Law. We look forward to helping you in the future. Take care, bye-bye.