At Russ Weninger Immigration Law, we can help manage your Canadian Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), formerly called a Labour Market Opinion (LMO), application.

Foreign nationals who seek temporary work in Canada are in most cases required to go through an application process that consists of two steps. This process involves an employer applying first for a Labour Market Impact Assessment through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), through the Canadian government agency known as Service Canada, and the second step involves the employee applying for a work permit through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada).


Step 1: Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Application

The Canadian employer is usually required to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, or LMIA. After Service Canada has considered several factors in the labour market which include the availability of qualified Canadian citizens and permanent residents, as well as the employment terms of the proposed position, Service Canada may issue an LMIA which authorizes the employer to employ a qualified foreign worker.

How Service Canada Considers LMIA Qualification

Service Canada only approves an LMIA application after assessing the current labour market and the impact of employing a foreign worker. For the approval of an LMIA application, Service Canada considers the following factors:

  1. Whether the employment of the foreign worker in Canada will likely result in direct creation of jobs or retention of jobs for citizens of Canada or permanent residents.
  2. Whether the potential foreign worker possesses unique skills and knowledge that are transferable to Canadians during the period of employment.
  3. Whether there is a labour shortage or shortage of workers in the occupation or field at present.
  4. The working conditions and wages that the foreign worker will be paid by the Canadian employer. Service Canada only approves applications if the employer will pay the prevailing salary rate for the position.
  5. Whether reasonable recruitment and advertising efforts to train or hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents have been made.
  6. Whether hiring the foreign worker will cause any adverse effect on the settlement of any labour dispute in progress, or the employment of any person who is involved in the dispute.

Duration of LMIA Application Process

The first step of the work permit process, which is the application for the LMIA, may vary from a few weeks to several months depending on the number of applications being processed and the location where the potential foreign worker will be employed in Canada. However, in some extremely limited cases LMIA applications can be processed on an expedited basis.

Step 2: Work Permit Application

Once Service Canada approves the application for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, the potential foreign worker can apply for a temporary work permit at the visa post of his or her country of residency or nationality or from within Canada, as the case may be.

It should be noted that the application for a Labour Market Impact Assessment and the application for a work permit is rather complicated due to many factors that Service Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada) need to consider.

Russ Weninger Immigration Law can guide you throughout the whole process of applying for Labour Market Impact Opinions and work permits. Call (403) 265-4496 today, or email, for an assessment.