In the face of major changes to the Temporary Foreign
Worker Program, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and
Employment and Social Development Canada (EDSC) are retiring the
old Labour Market Opinion (LMO) process in favour of a new, more
At a press conference on June 20, CIC Minister Chris
Alexander and ESDC Minister Jason Kenney introduced the new Labour
Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to replace the LMO effective
While few details are available about the new LMIA
process as of yet, Kenney and Alexander made it clear that the LMIA
would be much austere than its predecessor, as Kenney described the
new LMIA as "more comprehensive and rigorous."
Instead of using the National Occupation
Classification to distinguish jobs as the LMO process did, the LMIA
process will be based on wages. Under the LMIA, occupations will be
categorized as either high wage or low wage based on if the wage
falls above or below the median hourly wage in that province or
territory. As a result, whether a job is considered high or low
wage could vary between provinces, as median hourly wage ranges
from a low $17.26 in Prince Edward Island to a high $32.53 in
Employers will be subject to different regulations and
application processes based upon the employees' categorization
as high wage or low wage. Low wage employers will be subject to a
cap on the number of foreign workers they can employ, as companies
with 10 or more employees are prohibited from hiring temporary
foreign workers as more than 10% of their workforce. While high
wage employers are not subject to caps on the number of foreign
workers they can employe, they will be required to submit a
detailed transition plan as part of their LMIA application,
detailing their efforts to transition over time to Canadian
employees. The transition plans can take a variety of forms,
including explaining how the employer is investing in training,
taking on apprentices, or helping their temporary foreign worker to
become a Canadian permanent resident.
The new LMIA application also requires far more detail
than was required for the old LMO process. Employers will be
required to go into detail about their recruiting efforts to
confirm that no Canadian is available to perform the job functions,
including listing on the LMIA application the number of Canadians
who applied for the job, the number of Canadians who were
interviewed, and including detailed descriptions of why each
interviewed Canadian was not qualified for the position.
Additionally, employers will be required to attest to their
knowledge of a number of rules and regulations, including attesting
their awareness of the fact that they are prohibited from laying
off or reducing the hours of Canadian workers in favour of foreign
Employers looking to bring temporary foreign workers
to work in Canada using the LMIA process will also see their costs
increase significantly, with the per-worker fee rising from $275 to
$1,000 as of June 2014. There is also a possibility that employers
could have to pay an additional $100 privilege fee for using the
Certain employers will be restricted from obtaining an
LMIA to ensure the integrity of the program and to prevent
Canadians losing job opportunities to foreign workers. Employers
hoping to recruit for low skilled (NOC skill level D) occupations
in Accommodations, Food Services and Retail in economic areas with
unemployment higher than 6% will not be permitted to obtain an LMIA
under any circumstances.
While the new LMIA process will be more onerous than
the LMO was, there is the added benefit of increased processing
times for some applications. LMIA applications for individuals in
high skilled occupations (such as a skilled trade), highly paid
individuals (who are earning a salary in the top 10% of salaries in
that province), and for short term applications of less than 120
days, LMIAs will be processed in 10 business days or less.
Currently no information on the expected processing times for LMIAs
that fall outside of these categories is available.
For more information on the new LMIA applications and
to determine whether or not you may need one, click
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September 21st, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 20th round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 43rd overall, inviting 1288 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 483.
Canada received more than 320,000 immigrants in the last 12 months, approaching levels not seen since the early 20th century. The per capital immigration rate at .88%, is consistent with previous Liberal government policies.
October 12th, 2016 - Immigration authorities conducted the 21st round of invitations under Express Entry in 2016 and 44th overall, inviting 1518 applicants for permanent residence with a lowest CRS score of 484.
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