Service Canada Applications

Foreign Worker Program - Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

Labour Market Impact Assessments

Individuals seeking to work in Canada must have their employment offers confirmed by ESDC before applying for a work permit at a Canadian consulate or port of entry. Before confirming a job offer by a Canadian company to a foreign individual, ESDC considers a list of factors that together form a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The factors include whether:

  1. the job offer is genuine;
  2. the wages and working conditions are comparable to those offered to Canadians working in the occupation;
  3. employers conducted reasonable efforts to hire or train Canadians for the job (including minimum advertising requirements);
  4. the foreign worker is filling a labour shortage;
  5. the employment of the foreign worker will directly create new job opportunities or help retain jobs for Canadians;
  6. the foreign worker will transfer new skills and knowledge to Canadians; and
  7. the hiring of the foreign worker will not affect a labour dispute or the employment of any Canadian worker involved in such a dispute.

If the above analysis results in a positive LMIA, ESDC will approve the employment offer. In addition to an LMIA, certain regulated occupations (such as doctors, engineers and trade persons) require additional licensing and certification requirements before ESDC will grant an employment authorization.

Once a positive LMIA is issued, the second step is to apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for the actual work permit.

Labour Market Impact Assessment – Employer Compliance

If the worker has received and is employed on a positive LMIA, ESDC has the ability to confirm that the conditions of the application are being followed. This done through an Employer Compliance Review. ESDC will verify that the employer is continually fulfilling their obligations under the LMIA, which include:

  1. Providing accurate information in the context of an LMIA application;
  2. Being actively engaged in the business for which the offer of employment was made, unless the offer was made for employment as a live-in caregiver;
  3. Being in compliance with federal and provincial/territorial laws that regulate employment and recruitment in the province/territory for which the foreign worker is employed;
  4. Providing each foreign worker with employment in the same occupation as stated in the offer of employment and with wages and working conditions that are substantially the same as –but not less favourable than – those in the offer of employment;
  5. Meeting any specific agreed-to commitments made at the time the LMIA was issued in relation to job creation, job retention, hiring, training or transfer of skills and knowledge for the benefit of Canadians or permanent residents;
  6. Making reasonable efforts to provide a workplace that is free of abuse, which includes physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse.

If ESDC finds that the employer has not complied with their conditions, ESDC may issue punishments including suspensions or revocations of the previously issued LMIAs or pending LMIAs and fines up to $100 000. Employers can also be added to a blacklist, banning them from using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

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