LABOUR MARKET IMPACT
A positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document issued by the Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) which verifies that the job offered to a foreign national could not be filled by a Canadian worker. So, in most cases, if a Canadian employer wants to hire a temporary foreign worker, they have to apply for an LMIA to the Canadian government.
The average processing time for a standard LMIA approval is three to four months. Upon approval, a positive LMIA allows the foreign worker to apply for a work permit, which is a legal document allowing them to work legally in the country.
There are two ways through which an employer can hire a foreign worker; Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP).
TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKER PROGRAM (TFWP)
Canadian employers who want to hire foreign workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages can hire through the TFWP. As an employer you will need a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social development Canada (ESDC) before you can hire the foreign worker. An LMIA verifies that the job offered to a foreign national could not be filled by a Canadian worker and the foreign worker is needed to do the job.
The employer, if applying to hire a foreign worker through the TFWP program, needs to pay a fee and it is subject to approval. After a positive LMIA is granted, the employer has to submit the document to the foreign worker, who can apply for a work permit to IRCC on the basis of that LMIA.
THE INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY PROGRAM (IMP)
Not all employers are required to get a positive LMIA from ESDC in order to hire a foreign worker. The International Mobility Program allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers without an LMIA. Under the IMP some categories of foreign workers are exempted from getting an approved LMIA before being hired by a Canadian Employer. These exemptions are based on broader economic, cultural or competitive advantages for Canada; and reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The International Mobility Worker Unit (IMWU) has the authority to decide if the foreign worker falls under any of the exempted category.