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Temporary Foreign Worker - LMIA

Work Permits are required for foreign nationals who want to work during their time in Canada. These are issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and give authorization for someone to work legally in Canada. The work permit is going to explain the type of work the individual named can perform, the employer(s) they can provide labour, where they are going to work and how long they are given permission to work. In addition to a Work Permit, Temporary Foreign Workers may require an LMIA to demonstrate that there is a need for the foreign worker to fill the job and that there is no Canadian worker available to do the job. Contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

To be eligible for a Work Permit you must:

  • Demonstrate that you will leave Canada when the permit ends
  • Demonstrate that you have adequate financial means to care for yourself and dependents during the stay and upon returning home
  • Have no criminal history
  • Be no threat to Canada's security
  • Be in good health
  • Have no intention of working for ineligible employers
  • Have no intention of working for an employer who "on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages"
  • Supply any further documentation required

To apply before coming to Canada you will need to do so at the visa office in your country. You can apply from within the country but only if you meet the specific requirements. You can also apply as you enter Canada, but only as a holder of an eTA (electronic travel authorization), hold a valid medical certificate, have the ID number your intended employer has received, and that your employer has submitted a positive or valid LMIA.

The LMIA

A Work Permit alone may not be enough for someone to work legally in Canada. There is also the issue of the LMIA or Labour Market Impact Assessment. This is a document that indicates that there is a demonstrated need for a foreign worker to fill the job, and also that no Canadian worker is available to do it. The LMIA must be "positive" and can be used as a job confirmation letter.

Do You Need an LMIA to Obtain a Work Permit?

The list of those exempt from the need for an LMIA seems far longer than the list of those who do need it in addition to obtaining a Work Permit. Though the IRCC says that in "most cases, an employer must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire a temporary foreign worker", there are many exceptions.

Generally speaking, it is those who are hired within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program who need the LMIA. These workers are able to be hired to provide short-term labour and to help fill "skill shortages" (where no Canadians are available to do the work).

The employer, prior to employing you, will have to work directly with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to arrange to apply for the LMIA.

Those Exempt from the LMIA Requirements

The LMIA exemptions apply to three different "codes" defined by the Canadian government as:

  • International Agreements R204 - When hiring foreign workers through specific international trade agreements (NAFTA as an example), the LMIA is not required
  • Canadian interests R205 - A long list of groups that include charitable work, reciprocal employment, specially designated programs, and more
  • "Other" R206-R208

Additionally, employers are able to hire temporary workers through the International Mobility Program without the use of an LMIA.

To work in Canada temporarily, you must first find out if you are eligible to obtain a Work Permit and then find an appropriate employer who can legally extend an offer of employment. This may mean they have applied for the LMIA and can prove that you are essential and that no Canadian is available for the work.

To learn more, visit the Government of Canada's Temporary Workers Website to determine if you are eligible and if the LMIA applies to your intended field or job.

Global Talent Stream

On June 12, 2017, IRCC launched The Global Talent Stream, which promises a 2-week fast-track for qualified applicants to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Contact us today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email us directly.

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