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Understanding the Labour Market Impact Assessment Process

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A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process is employer-driven which means that this application is submitted by the prospective employer, and it is quite technical and somewhat divorced from business reality.

Unless an LMIA requirement exemption applies, domestic recruitment is key to the LMIA process as employers must show that they have conducted recruitment efforts and were unable to hire a domestic candidate.

What Guidelines Should Employers Follow When Applying For an LMIA?

ESDC publishes Temporary Foreign Worker Program guidelines which amongst other things set out the recruitment requirements. While these requirements are not overly onerous, they are quite specific and we have yet to work with a corporate client whose independent and good-faith recruitment efforts complied with ESDC’s recruitment requirements. 

In other words, even if your company is certain that you cannot find a domestic candidate for the position, you will still likely have to go through LMIA specific recruitment efforts. If you are thinking of hiring or transferring a foreign worker, it is therefore very important to obtain a consultation with respect to your Canadian immigration options from an immigration lawyer at the very outset.

What Other Factors Are Considered During a LMIA

It is important to note that in addition to considering the impact on the labour market, ESDC officers assess the genuineness of the job offer by examining the following:

  1. Whether the employer is actively engaged in the business – is the company providing a good or service?
  2. Whether there is a reasonable employment need – is there a rational link between the business and the job offer?
  3. Whether the employer can fulfil the contract – the company’s financial situation?
  4. Past compliance with Federal, Provincial and Territorial laws that regulate employment and recruitment?

If the decision is positive or neutral, then an LMIA will be issued, allowing the prospective employee to apply for a Canadian work permit.

Ksenia Tchern

A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.