LMIA Based Work Permit
A work permit allows you to work in Canada which is received through an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment Process). An employer specific work permit means:
- You can only work for the employer listed on the work permit and in the location
- You can only work for that job/occupation and for the time issued on the permit
Coming to Canada as a worker under the TFWP (Temporary Foreign Worker Program) is a two-step process. To acquire this work permit, you will need to receive a job offer from a Canadian employer and LMIA. An LMIA is a document from ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada aka Service Canada) that shows there is a need in the labor market for this position and screens the employer to make sure that they can support this job offer and meet the requirements under the program. Once a positive assessment is received it gives the employer permission to hire a temporary worker.
There are different streams under the TFWP program with some of the more popular streams being:
- High/Low Wage Stream
- Global Talent Stream
- Skilled LMIA to Support Permanent Residency
These work permit programs are popular for those who have a genuine job offer and are looking to gain work experience in Canada, while being one of the main routes for skilled workers to immigrate to Canada.
It is important to satisfy all the requirements under the program and noteworthy that they can be changed/updated somewhat frequently with new streams being introduced or old streams being taken away. While each pathway is different, there are common eligibility requirements across all categories.
To apply you must:
- Plan to live outside the province of Quebec (if you plan to be in Quebec, then there will be an additional provincial portion to the LMIA process)
- Have a genuine, valid offer of employment from a Canadian employer
- Meet any language proficiency requirements in English or French
- Meet all job requirements as set out in the job offer and/or National Occupational Classification
Programs for employer specific work permits are a fantastic pathway for those who want to immigrate to Canada and leverage their time as a temporary resident. Working in Canada allows you to gain relevant career experience that can be used for your future settlement in Canada or transition to another country, as Canadian experience is respected worldwide. Furthermore, you can gain skilled work experience which can be used to qualify for permanent residence, such as CEC. Additionally, you can also use this time to your advantage by cutting down the time that it would take to qualify for Canadian citizenship.
COMMON TRAPS, PITFALLS AND MISCONCEPTIONS
While everyone’s case and circumstances are different, there are some common traps, pitfalls, and misconceptions when it comes to applying under this program. Here are some general and common ones we have experienced and encountered throughout the years:
Any worker should ideally have some relevant experience, training, or qualifications for the position as when it comes to the work permit stage, the worker will need to show that he/she will be able to do the job. When the employer applies for an LMIA, they will need to justify the job offer and that there are no Canadians/PRs that are fit for the job, which is why they are hiring a foreign worker. As part of the process, you will need to show why the foreign worker should be hired over the Canadians/PRs. Choosing the best candidate is an integral part of the application, before you even go through the rest of the process, you might fail at the work permit stage. It is highly recommended that you plan this in advance and make sure that a plan and all questions are answered before starting any applications. Should there be any questions, we suggest booking a consultation and plan your best options in advance.
Depending on the stream, such as high wage or low wage, you will need to have the correct job offer details. This can be tricky as there are specific requirements, such as the wage, job duties and the correct NOC Code for the position. Not having the correct job offer information may cause issues with your file and may lead to a refusal. It is VERY important to ensure that you have the correct NOC selected and the proper wage as per the requirements of the program based on your geographic region.
As this is an employer specific work permit, you can only work for that particular company/ employer/business. Depending on the job offer, the worker is also tied to a specific location, such as a certain city. As some companies have different locations and business structures which would require the worker to travel, you should make sure that this is accounted for in advance. You will need to be careful with the job requirements if location and different businesses are involved with the job. As opposed to an open work permit, the worker can’t just work for anyone. If the worker needs to work for another employer, then you would need to apply for a work permit change of conditions, which would be a separate application after the work permit is issued.
This can be especially tricky when doing applications as employers must pay the appropriate wages, which should at least meet the prevailing wage for that particular NOC. Having a wage that is too low or not accurate can result in a refusal. This is especially common when employers want to pay the lowest wage possible to a foreign worker or do not check the current prevailing wage, as wages are constantly increasing or fluctuating. Wages will need to be updated to stay current and relevant.
Family members may be able to accompany you, and this depends on the skill level of the work permit that you are under while at the same time, the process will depend on the nationality of the principal applicant and family member. Any family members who want to go to Canada, will need to apply for their own separate application based on the principal applicant’s work permit.
OUR VALUE – HOW WE MAKE THIS EASY FOR YOU
We understand that information can be found on the Internet and there are lots of other consultants or lawyers out there, so things can certainly get confusing very quickly for you. However, our value is in our services and how can simplify a sometimes-complicated process while anticipating and proactively making this whole process easy for you, from the start to the end of your immigration journey. We will guide you and provide:
- An affordable service with an individualized payment schedule to suit any budget
- Comprehensive documents required for the process, including information and tips that can’t be found on the IRCC website
- Personalized immigration advice and solutions that are tailored to your case
- Collaboration with a licensed immigration consultant who will communicate and represent your case on your behalf
- Support and Assistance through every stage of the process, from the application to the arrival in Canada.
A: We do not provide jobs and can’t provide employers with job offers in Canada. We help provide immigration guidance and consultations for those who want to immigrate to Canada.
A: We are not a staffing agency, so we can’t offer resumes/candidates either. However, with that said we can surely give you advice on best practices of what we have seen over the years and possibly even illuminate the international hiring do’s and don’ts or even make an introduction to help you out. Either way, we always work to support out clients and allow them the ability to tap into our experience.
A: You will need to provide any documents as proof of relevant work experience, such as employment letters, pay stubs/slips, contracts, educational credentials, licenses, or diploma/degrees.
A: The costs for the process will vary for each situation but generally, the employers will need to be responsible for any government fees, such as for the LMIA to hire the foreign workers. The employer must also be responsible for any accommodations/flights/travel fares if the worker is overseas and in a low skilled job. If you are bringing in someone for a skilled position, then your obligations with respect to job offerings (such as accommodation and flights) are optional.
A: We offer full services for both applications and can assist with you both processes. Alternatively, we do have some creative ways to be able to work collaboratively with some clients and larger organizations. Let us know what you are thinking as we are always open to work in a manner that meets your situation and makes sense.