LMIA can be processed in 10 days for some foreign workers in Canada as per new regulations by IRCC.
When there are no qualified and available Canadians or permanent residents (PR), Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) operates the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to help Canadian employers fill skills and labour gaps in their organizations.
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) must be completed by employers hiring foreign nationals to demonstrate that the hire will either have a neutral or positive effect on the Canadian labour market as a condition of the work permits provided to foreign workers through this program.
In December 2022, It took over 21 business days for LMIAs to be processed across the seven streams accounted for by IRCC on average. These streams include the High-wage stream, Low-wage stream, Agricultural stream, Global Talent stream, Permanent Residence stream, Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, and In-home Caregivers stream.
In the following 3 streams, the processing time of an LMIA can be expedited to 10 business days.
LMIAs for Workers Being Paid at or Above the Level of the Top 10%
The expedited 10-business-day service standard is available for employers who provide foreign workers a wage that meets or exceeds the top 10% of wages earned by permanent residents or Canadian citizens in the specific territory or province of work. In this category, temporary workers have been deemed highly skilled in their roles with skills that are difficult to find in the labour force in Canada.
In each Canadian territory and province, the median hourly wages effective April 30, 2022 (2019 wages) are as follows:
Alberta (AB): $28.85
British Columbia (BC): $26.44
Manitoba (MB): $23.00
Ontario (ON): $26.06
Quebec (QC): $25.00
Saskatchewan (SK): $25.96
Prince Edward Island (PEI): $21.63
New Brunswick (NB): $21.79
Newfoundland and Labrador (NL): $24.29
Nova Scotia (NS): $22.00
Northwest Territories (NT): $37.30
Nunavut (NU): $36.00
Yukon (YT): $32.00
LMIA for Workers in Occupations with a Short Duration
Some employers request to hire a foreign worker for no greater than 120 calendar days, the service standard for expedited 10-business-day is available. In this instance, the wage offered to the foreign worker must be at or above the territorial or provincial median in the region where the job is located similar to the first category identified above.
Roles related to utilizing manufacturing equipment, warranties, or handling repairs are included under this category in applicable occupations.
LMIAs for Workers in High-Wage Skilled Trade Occupations
The service standard for the expedited 10-business-day is available for employers hiring foreign workers in the following skilled trades – deemed essential for natural resource extraction and infrastructural development, thereby qualifying as vital to the economic growth of Canada – and providing a wage either at or above the average wage in the territory or province where the job is situated.
Under this category, there are many skilled trade occupations alongside the occupation’s National Occupation Classification 2021 (NOC 2021) code like carpenters, contractors, supervisors, sheet metal workers, ironworkers, machinery operators, etc.