LMIA or Labour Market Impact Assessment is a verification required from the labour market which an employer needs to acquire before hiring a temporary foreign worker. This Project was first known as the Labour Market Opinion and was started to speed up the process of hiring temporary foreign workers for certain jobs in British Columbia and Alberta.
The positive LMIA document is like a confirmation letter because it validates the necessity to hire a worker from outside Canada. It indicates that there is no Canadian worker available to fill the position. This assessment document is provided by Service Canada which is a part of the HRSDC.
What is the purpose of LMIA?
If an employer wants to hire a temporary foreign worker, he needs to apply for the LMIA to find out the current status of the labour market. It is important to do so in order to check whether the addition of an extra worker from outside will have a negative impact on the labour market and the economy or not.
The fast pace of growth of the Canadian economy has opened up plenty of job opportunities for the workers. It has compelled employers to look for potential employees outside Canada for hiring on a temporary basis. The employers generally prefer Filipino and Asian employees because they work hard and add value to the business. However, hiring employees from outside can result in a reduction in job opportunities for the native Canadians. This is the reason LMIA is necessary to prove that a foreign worker needs to be hired because a job requirement cannot be fulfilled by a Canadian.
Process of application
Before applying for LMIA, an employer needs to check whether the country from which he is planning to hire a temporary worker is exempt from any work permit or visa for working in Canada or not. The employer can contact the International Mobility Worker Units (IMWU) for this purpose 30 days prior to the arrival of the worker.
If the worker requires a job permit, the employer has to provide all the details in the application form for LMIA provided by Service Canada. The foreign workers who qualify in the LMIA receive positive responses within five days from Service Canada. The employer can then provide the LMIA number and a copy of the document to the worker so that he can apply for a work permit.
Things that an employer needs to keep in mind
Before recruiting a foreign worker, the employer needs to think about the requirements of the employee and the social benefits that have to be provided to ensure a good standard of living for the worker. He also needs to think about his own profit and the value addition that the new employee is going to make to the business. If he thinks that it is beneficial to hire a foreign employee to fill a position or to provide certain skilled services, he should hire the worker from the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program (IMP).