Immigration Corner | What is the purpose of the LMIA report
Dear Miss Powell,
I was born in Jamaica, and I am now a citizen of Canada. I have a small business in Canada and I’m trying to hire someone from overseas, as I haven’t been able to find suitable workers in Canada. When I gave her the job offer, she asked me if I’m LMIA-exempt, or if I have an LMIA. What is the purpose of an LMIA? I can’t find workers in Canada, and everyone knows there is a labour shortage. Why is such a report necessary? Please tell me how to get that report so that I can forward it so she can apply to come to Canada and help me in my business. I look forward to your response in The Gleaner. Thank you.
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) report is an opinion prepared by an officer of the federal government who has evaluated several factors to determine if the employer is indeed experiencing a labour shortage, and access the genuineness of the job offer. It is a report which signals to the department of Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada that adequate research was conducted to verify that there is a genuine need for a temporary foreign worker to fill the gap in the Canadian labour market.
Express Entry and LMIA
A permanent resident applicant under the Express Entry System will need to provide proof that the job being offered fall under the National Occupation Classification skill level of O, A, or B. In very few cases, there are exceptions. That means that the job you are offering must be one that is managerial, a professional or technical job that falls within these skill levels.
Before you issue a job offer, you will need to ascertain if you need an LMIA or if the job is exempt. A list of exempted jobs is found on the government’s website. Since most jobs require a positive LMIA report, I will outline below a few factors you should consider. This is only a summary to help you to prepare for your meeting with an immigration lawyer, as I strongly recommend that you get the assistance of a lawyer, as an immigration lawyer can help you with the process and the drafting of the required documents to improve the chances of your application being successful.
HOW ARE APPLICATIONS ASSESSED?
The overall purpose of an LMIA is to “Facilitate the entry of foreign labour that is genuinely need to address shortages and other economic opportunities present in the Canadian labour market and economy” ( Government Gazette).
Your application will be assessed based of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the supporting regulations. Section 203(3) specifically states that an assessment provided by the Department of Employment and Social Development shall consider several key factors before your application will be approved. Therefore, you should be prepared to answer the following questions:
1. Are you actively engaged in business? Do you have a business number and a Canada Revenue agency payroll account number?
2. Is the offer consistent with the reasonable employment needs of the business?
3. Are the terms of the offer consistent with what your business can fulfil?
4. Will the employment of a foreign national result in direct job creation or job retention for Canadian citizens and permanent residents?
5. Will the employment result in, or is likely to result in, the development of transfer of skills and knowledge?
6. Will the job fill a labour shortage?
7. Is the wage and working conditions consistent with that occupation in Canada?
8. Will the foreign national hire or train other Canadians?
9. Is there currently a labour dispute that affects your company, and will hiring the foreign national adversely affect the settlement of the dispute?
10. Have you previously applied for an LMIA or LMO? Are there outstanding commitments? Have you hired a foreign national before?
11. Did you lay off anyone within the last 12 months?
12. Have you advertised locally and via the JobBank Portal to fill this position locally?
13. Have you interviewed local persons? If so, did you make an offer? If offer was refused, why was it?
14. Do you have documents to prove that the person you are planning to hire has the knowledge, skill and work experience?
15. Have you reviewed the perspective employee’s language and educational certificates?
The above list is just an example of the factors that you will need to consider. You will need to be able to answer these questions and provide documents to show that your business is legitimate and that the offer is genuine.
HOW TO APPLY
As an employer, you will need to apply to the department of Employment and Social Development Canada and provide all the necessary information and supporting documents. The application can now be made via the Employer Portal on the government’s website. Every application is assessed on a case-by-case basis, and so the processing time varies from a few weeks to many months. I strongly recommend that you contact an authorised immigration lawyer to prepare the application on your behalf.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public with offices in Ottawa, Ontario. Submit your questions and comments via www.deidrepowell.com. Call 613.695.8777 to book your Zoom/telephone consultation.