Facilitating the legal admission of professionals, business persons, and skilled workers

ESDC Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

Service Canada (service delivery arm of Employment and Social Development Canada) is a government organization which, among other tasks, works in conjunction with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to evaluate the admissibility of the majority of foreign workers. Evaluations of foreign worker applications are based on a process of rendering an opinion on the potential impact of the employment of a foreign worker in the Canadian labour market. In cases in which a negative labour market impact is expected, Service Canada would typically render a negative opinion. If a potentially neutral or positive labour market impact can be demonstrated, then they may issue a favourable assessment, or "Confirmation", which would typically allow for the issuance of a Canadian work permit as long as the candidate possesses the qualifications to perform the work and is otherwise considered eligible to enter Canada as a termpoary resident.

The Confirmation application process is conducted between the employer and a local Service Canada office responsible for the jurisdiction of the work in Canada. Local labour market conditions are considered, such that an application which may be evaluated favourably in one location in Canada could potentially be considered ineligible in another location. The qualifications of the candidate are an important consideration in the process in general, are described in the LMIA process, and are assessed during the subsequent work permit application process.

Employers may be required to demonstrate that a satisfactory effort had been made to hire a Canadian for the position being applied for, but there are alternative means of meeting eligibility requirements. Depending on the nature of the position, other support for the case may include evidence of local labour union support for the hiring of a foreign worker, existing shortages of available Canadian workers, potential retention or creation of employment as a result of approval of a foreign worker, or transfer of skills and knowledge to Canadians. In all cases, Service Canada will assess the consistency of the conditions of the proposed position and comparable positions in the Canadian labour market, including an assessment of the prevailing wage.

Beyond the typical program for higher skill foreign workers, there are presently additional programs in place, which include:

Following approval, employers are required to be able to demonstrate compliance with the terms and conditions of Labour Market Opinion Confirmations. This means that they should be capable of demonstrating that foreign workers admitted to Canada with a work permit pursuant to their LMO approval were employed in the same position and at the wage as offered, as well as with any other conditions of that approval.

Exemptions exist by which confirmation may not be required for applicants in certain conditions. This may include exemptions due to international labour mobility programs such as GATS, NAFTA or the CCFTA; business visitors to Canada; or other exemptions based on Canadian interests or Significant Benefit to Canada.

To determine requirement and eligibility to engage in work in Canada, you may complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment Eligibility Assessment.

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