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LMIA Processing in Under 10 Days—What Employers Need to Know

Employers who need to bring foreign workers into Canada on a temporary basis have a few options available. Generally, we advise applying under one of the International Mobility Program options, which encompass a wide range of work permits including Intra-Company transfers, NAFTA Professionals and International Experience Canada work permits.

Occasionally, however, the Temporary Foreign Worker program may be either the only, or simply the best, option. Under the Temporary Foreign Worker program, the first step is to complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment application, showing that the employer has adequately tested the Canadian labour market, and no qualified Canadian could be found to fill the position. Generally, this process takes three months. This includes one month of upfront advertising, before the application can be filed, and a further two months of government processing time, after filing. Only once the LMIA application is approved, can a work permit application be filed.

As a result of this extended timeline, as well as the time and resources involved in completing two applications, the LMIA application is often an application of last resort. However, under certain conditions, it is possible to have an LMIA approved in under ten days, making it a much more useful option for business. There are a number of situations where this may occur.

First, LMIA approval in under 10 days is possible where an employer qualifies under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program’s Global Talent Stream. Employers may qualify for this pilot project in one of two ways. Under the first set of eligibility criteria, the requested position must fall into a select group of highly skilled occupations with a domestic labour shortage. Generally, these are IT-based positions. Under the second set of criteria, employers must be pre-screened by designated referral partners and require highly unique and specialized talent to grow their business.

Where the Global Talent Stream is not an option, it may still be possible to obtain an LMIA approval in under ten days by drawing on exemptions to the advertising requirements and making use of expedited government processing options. Specifically, exemptions to the 30-day advertising requirement are available where the position is limited to 30-days, for certain owners/operators, entertainment sector workers, in the case of some specialized service technicians or foreign workers conducting work under warranty, and in limited other circumstances. In addition, expedited processing is available where the position pays within the top 10% of the wages for the province, or if the position falls under a designated list of skilled trades.

By making use of the Global Talent Stream and the above-listed exemptions, it is therefore possible to obtain LMIA approval in under 10 days. This makes the LMIA process a much more attractive option for employers seeking to bring in foreign workers.

Firm News

  • BartLAW received Lawyer International Legal 100 2018 Award  “Law Firm of the Year – Immigration Law – Canada
  • Jacqueline Bart received the “Award of Recognition forCorporate Immigration, Canada 2018” from Lawyer Monthly Magazine