Jan 27, 2023

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

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Labour Market Impact Assessment is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker. A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job.

In short, the purpose of an LMIA is to protect Citizens and residents ng Canada from unemployment. Para sila muna lagi ung priority nai-hire.

Why do you need to understand this? This is the main reason why you need to filter out your search when looking for job in Job Bank, which we talked about on one of our previous guides. So you can avoid wasting time applying to employers who are not willing to hire foreign workers in the first place.

How to apply for a Job in Job Bank Canada

In a nut shell, hindi lang "basta" job offer ung kailangan mo to apply for a Work Permit. Kailangan, ung Job Offer na un ay supported with an LMIA. And part of the requirements ng LMIA is to advertise the job opening and show proof na wala talaga silang makitang applicants from inland.

If you ask me, personally I think it is still worth applying kahit wala pang LMIA ung employer. If you're confident about your credentials and qualifications, and you have what it takes to bring value to the company, and if you can convince an employer with that, then they will be more than willing to apply for you. Even if they haven’t considered it before.

It may end up to be just a waste of time so I'm not actually encouarging you to do so. BUT can be your advantage if you have what it takes!

Employer doesn't have an LMIA yet

There's actually some jobs that do need need an LMIA to hire foreign workers. Here's the list of those that are exempted from applying for an LMIA.

List of LMIA exemption codes

If your field or job title is not in the list, then your employer needs to apply for an LMIA before you can submit your work permit application.

To apply for an LMIA, Employers must pay $1,000 for each position requested to cover the cost of processing a Labour Market Impact Assessment application. The processing fee cannot be paid by nor be recovered from the temporary foreign workers

And before applying for an LMIA, an employer must also be responsible for verifying that the foreign worker has all the necessary training, qualifications, and experience to perform the work in Canada. Hence, it's exactly the reason why I guided you through getting the Employment requirements. If you don't have the qualifications and all other requirements in the first place, then it's just a waste of time and money for the employer to apply for an LMIA.

An employer must also confirm and ensure that anybody recruiting on his behalf does not charge or recover any recruitment fees, directly or indirectly, from the temporary foreign workers. Failure to do so will result in a negative LMIA decision.

Processing time

Here's a sample table for the average processing times.

Take note that this table is not up to date since I can't update it every single time. In general, an LMIA application may take at least 2weeks to process, 2months in average, but could take up to one year, depending on the type of application and the status of the employer.

If you want to know the update average processing time, please check it in their website.

See updated average processing time

Application through a Consultant

So, after giving you the job offer, the employer may brief you with the whole process of applying for a work permit. Everything from applying and getting a positive LMIA to submitting your work permit application, except maybe the part where LMIA application fee is their responsibility.

After giving you the familiarization of the process, they might introduce you to the consultant that they prefer. Take note that you have the choice to work with the consultant you prefer. Even if it is not the preferred one by your employer. But of course, there will be the risk of losing that job offer, if you and your employer can’t agree.

Anyway, once you get in touch with the consultant, there will be a retainer agreement. Do NOT pay anything prior to getting a retainer agreement. It should be clear with you where your money is going before paying anything. The retainer agreement should include the breakdown of the fees and how much their service will be.

Compare the application fees and/or government fees with the IRCC fee list.

IRCC Fee List

If it doesn’t match, please be cautious. Doesn’t automatically make it a scam, but please do ask questions. Clarify everything and don't pay anything blindly. If it gets more suspicious, please read our guide on how to identify a scam.

How to indetify a scam

On the other hand, the consultant’s service fee may vary. Some charge more and some charge less. But here’s a rough estimate of how much they’ll charge. Currency in Canadian Dollar.

  • Service fee for Work Permit Application: $1,000 - $2,000
  • Service fee for LMIA Application: $2,000 - $4,000

You're reading that right. It's not always the case, but some consultant may charge you with the service fee and application fee for LMIA. And that shouldn't be! We discussed about it, and I don't agree as well.

In this case, you can contact the employer to clarify this, and request them to pay for the LMIA related fees since it is their responsibility. Your employer may respond to your queries, or unfortunately, totally ignore you after that and NOT reply at all. So do it only if you can afford to lose that job offer.

If you do get a response from the employer, I hope you’re lucky enough that they agree to cover the LMIA related fees. But if not, I’m not in any way encouraging you to pay for any LMIA related fees, BUT I also kind of understand why they don’t want to be the one to pay for it and I’ll discuss it later in this guide. I will also discuss later in this guide what you can do about it so please continue reading.

After the LMIA Application

Once the employer receives a positive LMIA, there are people who ask, “I found another employer whose offer is better. Am I allowed to abandon my present employer, and accept the better offer?”

Well, if you’re the one who paid for the LMIA related fees, then it’s your loss. You’re the one wasting your own money anyway. So I guess I'm sorry and just go ahead accept that new offer.

But if your employer paid for the LMIA, then talk to them first. If they are still just processing the LMIA, then it may be okay since adjustments can be done.

BUT if the LMIA is close to expiring and you decided not to proceed, then you are wasting someone else’s resources! Time and money!

And why should you care?

First of all, I can’t think of any reason how you can even say that. Except you’re just immoral!

Anyway, you should care because you also had a hard time looking for an employer. And the main reason why some employers are already NOT considering hiring foreign workers anymore is that people do not care about their time and money. It is also the reason why there are employers who do not want to pay for the LMIA related fees. It’s because they have experienced their money going to waste.

In short, when you waste an LMIA, you are causing less opportunities to other people. And napaka hayup mo if you are okay with that!

If you went through the process using this guide, I've already mentioned that you'll get multiple job offers once you've manage to complete the employment requirements. With that being said, do NOT immidiately accept the first offer you receive. I know you want a better offer, so just wait for that better offer.

Once you've signed a contract with an employer, the choosing period ends there. Stop looking for and applying for a job. You already made a choice and you should stick with that choice.

If you're being asked to pay for the LMIA related fees

I hope you clearly read the topic before this, so you can also understand why some employers do not want to pay for the LMIA related fees. Again, I am in no way in favor of this and in no way tolerating this scenarios, but here's what you can do and what I personally did.

Negotiate in increasing your salary, so you can recover those fees during your contract. If you are working 40hrs per week, then you can earn an additional $2,080 per year for a dollar increase. If you have a 2 year-contract, then you’ll earn additional $4,160 at the end of your contract. Hence, if you paid for $4,000 for all LMIA related fees, then you can revover that amount by the end of your contract. With $160 net profit actually.

Anyway, do the math for your situation.

You are getting closer and closer to your goal, and I am so excited for you!

Once you have the positive LMIA result to support your application, then you can submit your work permit application, which we will discuss on the next guide. In fact, you should read about it while waiting for the LMIA and before you receive the result.

I hope you find this guide useful and hope it works well for you.

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