Wed | Oct 17, 2018

Money spent and still no job

Published:Tuesday | August 12, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell, Canada

Dear Miss Powell,

I travelled to Canada via a recruiter who promised to provide employment. I was charged CAD$3,000 prior to departing Jamaica for his efforts. To date, he has not provided any employment. He says I need an LMO. What is that? How can I acquire an LMO if I am offered employment? In addition, my visa will expire in July 2016. Can I file for an extension?

- WP

Dear WP,

I'm very concerned about your letter as I'm unclear about your status in Canada. I have many questions. Are you in Canada on a temporary resident visa? Study permit? Work permit? How long have you been in Canada? The answers to these questions can affect the approach that you should take at this time.

I trust that you have not exceeded the time that you were granted to stay in Canada under a temporary resident visa/visitor's visa. Usually, the maximum amount of time that individuals are granted is six months at a time. In order to stay longer than the six months granted, you will need to apply for an extension of time and must provide a valid reason for your request. The application should only be made approximately 30 days before the time that you were told that you should leave Canada. Such an application can be done online via Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website :


I will not elaborate on the issue that you have paid CAD$3,000 to someone and have yet to receive a job offer. I have written too many articles advising how to spot scammers and have warned readers not to give away your money to people who are not able to follow through on their promises. You may visit my blog, website, or The Gleaner's website to view past articles on how to spot scammers and what to do if you are scammed. That's all I will say on that issue.

You should note that in June 2014, the Canadian government revamped the temporary foreign worker programme, and so employers in Canada who wish to hire a temporary foreign worker, for most job categories, must now apply to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is a change of name from the old Labour Market Opinion (LMO), but the requirements are essentially the same. The fee is now CAD $1,000 and is payable by the employer.

ESDC will evaluate the impact that hiring you, a foreign worker, will have on the current Canadian job market and whether there is a genuine shortage of persons in Canada who can fill the particular position. They will examine the prospective employer's application to see if there is a genuine need to hire you and to see if you are qualified and able to do the job that no other person in Canada can do. Once they make an assessment that there is a genuine need for your services, then they will issue a positive LMIA or a confirmation letter to the employer so that your prospective employer may hire you. You will then be able to apply for a valid work permit.

documents to submit

Your prospective employer will need to submit documents and proof of the following:

1. A genuine need to fill the position.

2. Means to hire someone at the standard rate for that particular job.

3. Demonstrate the efforts made to find someone within Canada to fill the position and failure to find a suitable person.

4. Suitability as an employer to ensure that the correct salary and work conditions are met. Also verification that they have not breached labour laws, rules, or regulations.

This type of investigation does take time, especially if your prospective employer is applying for the first time. If the employer has previously been approved, then the application may be processed in approximately two weeks. Once a confirmation letter has been granted, then you can use that letter to apply for a valid work permit. You should note that once you have been in Canada under a valid work permit for a number of years, this could also provide you with opportunities to become a permanent resident, and later, a citizen of Canada.

If you and your prospective employer need assistance with the application, I recommend that you contact an immigration lawyer to guide you with the process.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada, bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, personal injury, family, commercial, and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to Email: Subject line: Immigration or Tel: 613.695.8777 Follow her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer.