Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is closely connected with Temporary Work Permits. It concerns to the Canadian employers, which wish to hire the foreign workers. In other words it is the approval of the government of Canada, which is given to the employers before the process of hiring. Formerly it is known as Labour Market Opinion (LMO). If the employer wants to get the positive LMIA, the positive or neutral effect from the hiring of the foreigners must be determined. By the way, they sometimes call the positive LMIA a confirmation letter.
The Canadian employers may be classified as “high-wage” or “low-wage”. Depending on such kind of status of the employers, the foreign workers are also divided into two groups: low-wage (being paid under median wage) and high-wage (being paid at or above) accordingly. Also, there is one more demand for the employers – they must prove, that they have made the attempts to find the Canadians or permanent residents for a job before hiring the foreign workers. After the employer has got the positive LMIA, the worker can apply for work permit.
There are jobs, which do not require LMIA and they are called LMIA-exempt jobs. Such case is explained by the interest of Canada in these occupations or these kinds of jobs meet the international trade agreement – NAFTA – North American Free Trade Agreement. There are also cases, when they may fall under the agreement between the federal government and the provincial or territorial government. The foreign workers of these employers do not need LMIA. Such workers get their work permits in accordance with the regulatory authorities of the sections R204 - R208. You can get acquainted with the list of the LMIA exemption codes going to: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/tools/temp/work/opinion/codes.asp. Since February, 2015, there occurred some changes. The new regulations require employers of LMIA-exempt foreign workers, which must provide their offer directly to IRCC - Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. They must also pay an employer compliance fee before their application of work permit is submitted.
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