In our previous blog post, we discussed how employers can leverage the International Experience Canada (IEC) program to meet their global HR needs. If the options we listed don’t work for you and your foreign candidate (maybe because the candidate has already used them in the past, or the country they’re from doesn’t have a partnership with Canada), you can take the alternative route of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) / Étude d’impact sur le marché du travail (EIMT) - Work Permit

The LMIA process sets out to demonstrate that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill a role at your company, and that there are no Canadian workers available to do the job. Be warned that this is a lengthy process that requires many forms, lots of information and time from both you and the candidate. Of all the processes we’ve explored, this one has proven the most difficult. It’s expensive and time consuming, but worth it for outstanding candidates.

If you’re located in Quebec like we are, the process is even lengthier. The federal process is simplified, but a similar process via the provincial government is used in its place.

How to apply

Step 1

Complete the LMIA Application Form for the federal government. The form is relatively self-explanatory, but it takes quite some time to complete. If you’re an employer based in Quebec, don’t forget to indicate “Quebec simplified process” on the first page.

Some tips based on our experience: Question 23 - If you’re based in Quebec, the simplified federal process means that you don’t need to provide the justification documents that are stated as requirements in this question. On page 12 - pay careful attention to the documents required. More documents are required if this is your first request. You’ll need to complete Schedule C – Employer Transition Plan to detail a transition plan for the employee into Canada that best suits your situation.

Step 2

Have the employee complete the Application for Certificate of acceptance for temporary work (CAQ), and provide all supporting documents. The form should be straightforward for the employee. Remind them to provide copy of their passport, all relevant diplomas and their résumé.

Step 3

Complete the Self-Declaration by the Employer Form (in french only). Don’t worry, this one is short!

Step 4

Mail both applications simultaneously. For the federal government, mail your LMIA application, all supporting information, schedule C and the payment information. For the provincial government, mail a copy of your LMIA application, CAQ form completed by the employee, all supporting documents, self-declaration by the employer and payment form.

Step 5

Once this process is approved and the worker has a CAQ and a positive LMIA, the candidate must apply for a work permit and complete Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada. Make sure the candidate reviews the manual in detail before submitting. Be aware that even if the LMIA is positive, Immigration Canada may refuse to grant the employee a work permit.

Step 6

Issue an employment offer through the Employer Portal, similar to what you would have done for IEC. You’ll be required to pay the fee of $230.

Tips for payment:

The federal government fee is $1000. The applicable payment form can be found at the end of LMIA application form.

The provincial government fee is $193 for the employer and $193 for the employee. As the employer, you may cover the employee fee or request that they pay it. This form (in french only) can be used to enter your payment details.

The LMIA process may require additional steps. If this is the case, Immigration will reach out to you for follow-up questions and additional documents. Be warned that this can delay the process. Based on our experience, we always plan for the process to take at least two months.

Some important notes:

If any item is missing from your application, everything will be returned to you and you will need to send it again. Your application will not be opened until everything is complete. Make sure you include all required documents: candidate’s passport copy, diplomas, qualifications, résumé and your job requirements. If your application is incomplete, you’ll need to complete and re-print the forms for payment once again, as they will destroy them when they resend you the package. Make sure you always use the latest version of the forms, and find them on the government website. Just googling it might take you to an older version. If you don’t have the correct version, your application will be returned.

Good luck with your hiring!

*Please note that this blog post is based on our experience and does not represent official government opinions. Be advised that the forms, procedures and policies are subject to change at any time.