Labour Market Impact Assessment Based Work Permits

What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)? A LMIA is a petition from the Canadian employer (or prepared on their behalf by a legal representative) to Service Canada to bring a foreign worker into Canada to fill a labour shortage. Ultimately, it is up to Service Canada to determine if bringing in a foreign worker would have a positive or negative impact on the Canadian Labour Market.

Service Canada evaluates a number of factors but the main factor they consider is whether there is a suitable Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident to fill the position.

The vast majority of Canadian work permits fall under this category. All require a job offer from a Canadian employer and almost all require a positive LMIA.

These represent the greatest percentage of Canadian Work Permits for residents outside NAFTA member countries. How it works is you receive a Canadian job offer and then file for the LMIA. If the LMIA is approved then you are clear to proceed with the work permit application.

It is important to note that the LMIA process is unique for each position and working with the right legal representative, that has the experience and expertise needed, will increase the likelihood of you being granted a positive LMIA.

Labour Market Impact Assessment Exempt Work Permits

The major category of LMIA Exempt work permits is intra‐company transfers. If your company has a Canadian branch and you are transferred there, most likely you will not require an LMIA. You will have to demonstrate that you are in managerial/executive role and/or possess specialized industry knowledge.

Other types of LMIA exempt permits are open work permits for the accompanying spouse. Your spouse’s eligibility for an open work permit will depend on the nature of your work permit. Other types of LMIA exempt permits include open work permits for students, working holiday visas and various international agreement programs that allow an applicant to apply directly for the work permit, skipping the LMIA stage.