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When is LMIA not necessary?

There are a few instances where foreign workers can get a work permit without an LMIA. 

These work permits, which are often known as LMIA Exempt Work Permits, comprise the following: such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement, or the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership;

  • Having a considerable positive impact on Canadians' economies, societies, or cultures;
  • Due to reciprocal agreements Canada, its provinces/territories, and other nations have made, such as youth and teacher exchange programmes;
  • enabling foreign students enrolled in Canadian universities to complete the co-op assignments required for their academic requirements;
  • To permit certain work permit and study permit holders who are resident in Canada to employ their accompanying spouses or common-law partners;
  • to permit performing religious or philanthropic work;
  • Recognizing that some people in Canada must provide for themselves for reasons other than those mentioned above, such as filing a refugee claim; some people applying for permanent residence in Canada; and some migrant workers and their dependents who are either experiencing abuse or are at risk of abuse while on employer-specific work permits.

Depending upon which the wage category of the potential employee the requirement and process differ

High wage worker

In order to demonstrate that they are taking steps to gradually lessen their dependency on temporary foreign workers, employers looking to hire high-wage workers must submit transition plans with their LMIA applications. Employers can demonstrate this by hiring Canadian apprentices or providing evidence of investment in skill training. As an alternative, firms can show how they are helping their highly skilled temporary foreign workers immigrate permanently to Canada. The employer will have to provide an update on the status of the transition plan they submitted if they are selected for an inspection or if they request to renew their LMIA.

The transition plans are created to make sure that firms who are looking for foreign labour are accomplishing the goals of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). This means that companies are only employing the TFWP as a very last resort to fill temporary labour shortages when there are no qualified Canadians available, guaranteeing that Canadians get first crack at open positions.

Low wage worker

Transition plans are not required to be submitted with a  LMIA application from employers looking to hire low-wage workers. But they have to adhere to a distinct set of rules.

The Canadian government has instituted a limitation to restrict the number of low-wage temporary foreign employees that a company can hire in order to guarantee that Canadians are always given preference for open positions under the  TFWP. Additionally, processing of the LMIA may be denied for some low-wage jobs. The percentage of low-wage temporary foreign workers who may work for an employer who has 10 or more employees may not exceed 20% of their total workforce.

Employers who pay less than the provincial/territorial median hourly wage are required to:

  • pay for the temporary foreign worker's round-trip transportation; guarantee that there is access to inexpensive housing;
  • pay for private health insurance until workers are eligible for provincial health
  • coverage; register the temporary foreign worker with the provincial/territorial workplace safety board; and provide an employer-employee contract.

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