LMIA-Based permits

LMIA-BASED WORK PERMIT

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program is intended to be used when you are facing short-term skills and labour shortages, and only when no Canadians and permanent residents are available.
To hire a temporary foreign worker, you may require a Labour Market Impact Assessment to determine if the hiring of a temporary foreign worker will have a positive or negative impact on the Canadian labour market.

What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment?
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker.
A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker is available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.
The LMIA application process depends on the type of program you’re hiring through.

Program requirements for high-wage positions
Business legitimacy
All employers applying to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) must supply documents along with their Labour Market Impact Assessment application to demonstrate that their business and job offer are legitimate.
 

 Transition plan
A Transition Plan, valid for the duration of the employment of the temporary foreign worker, is a mandatory requirement to hire temporary foreign workers in high-wage positions. It describes the activities you are agreeing to undertake to recruit, retain and train Canadians and permanent residents and to reduce your reliance on the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. If you have never completed a Transition Plan before, you must submit one as indicated in the appropriate section of the Labour Market Impact Assessment application form for high-wage positions.
If you are applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment and have previously submitted a Transition plan for the same position and work location, you must report on the results of the commitments you have made in your previous Transition plan (will be used to determine if the described activities had been undertaken).

 

Recruitment
Recruitment is the process of finding and selecting qualified employees. As part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program requirements, you must conduct recruitment efforts to hire Canadians and permanent residents before offering a job to a temporary foreign worker.
 

Wages
Wages offered to temporary foreign workers should be similar to wages paid to Canadian and permanent resident employees hired for the same job and work location, and with similar skills and years of experience.
For the purpose of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, you must pay the prevailing wage which is defined as the highest of either:

  • The median wage on Job Bank
  • The wage that is within the wage range that you are paying your current employees hired for the same job.

If the position requires additional skills and years of experience over the applicable NOC description, the wages offered should reflect these additional requirements.
For the purpose of determining the wage rate being offered, we will only consider guaranteed wages, which exclude:

  • Overtime hours
  • Tips
  • Benefits
  • Profit sharing
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Other forms of compensation

 

Job duties and       working conditions

The temporary foreign workers you hired, as a result of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, must only perform duties that correspond to the occupation they were hired for.
Canadian law protects all workers in Canada, including temporary foreign workers. The exploitation of temporary foreign workers is considered a violation of Canadian laws and human rights.
Employment in most occupations is covered under provincial or territorial legislation that deals with labour and employment standards such as:

  • Hours of work (including overtime)
  • Compensation
  • Working conditions
  • Termination of employment

Every province or territory has a Ministry of Labour that can provide information to assist employers and temporary foreign workers with questions or issues related to work. Some employers are federally regulated and, therefore, are covered by the employment standards under the Canada Labour Code.
 

Workplace s   afety
You must always ensure that the temporary foreign workers you want to hire under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are covered from the provincial or territorial workplace safety insurance provider, where required by law. Where the provincial or territorial legislation allows employers the flexibility to opt for a private insurance plan, you must ensure that:

  • Any private plan chosen provides better or the same level of compensation to that offered by a province or territory
  • All employees on the worksite are covered by the same provider

If you are enquiring about private insurance plan equivalency, contact the appropriate provincial or territorial workplace safety authority.
The coverage you purchased must correspond with the temporary foreign workers’ first day of work in Canada and the costs must not be recovered from the temporary foreign workers.

 

Language restriction
English or French are the only languages you can identify as a job requirement in your Labour Market Impact Assessment application and job advertisement. However, if another language is essential for the job, you must provide a justification on the application.
 

Unionized posi   tions
If you are applying to hire temporary foreign workers for positions covered under a collective agreement, you must:

  • Advertise and offer the same wage rates as those established under the collective agreement
  • Offer the temporary foreign workers the same terms and conditions as Canadian and permanent resident workers
  • Submit a copy of the section of the collective bargaining agreement on the wage structure

The hiring of temporary foreign workers must not affect current nor foreseeable labour disputes at the workplace.
We recommend that you work actively with union representatives to recruit Canadians and permanent residents.

Program requirements for low-wage positions
Business legitimacy
All employers applying to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) must supply documents along with their Labour Market Impact Assessment application to demonstrate that their business and job offer are legitimate.
 

 Cap on proportion of low-wage positions
If you are hiring temporary foreign workers and offering them a wage that is below the provincial or territorial median hourly wage, you are subject to a cap on the proportion of temporary foreign workers that you, as an employer, can hire in low-wage positions at a specific work location.
The cap, implemented on June 20, 2014, was phased in to provide employers time to transition to a Canadian workforce which means that they are limited to a:

  • 20% cap on the number of temporary foreign workers in low-wage positions, or the employers’ established estimated cap (whichever is lower), if they hired a temporary foreign worker in a low-wage position prior to June 20, 2014
  • 10% cap on the number of temporary foreign workers in low-wage positions if the employers did not employ a temporary foreign worker in a low-wage position prior to June 20, 2014
     

Calculating the cap
To calculate the cap, you must complete the Cap for Low-wage Positions section of the Labour Market Impact Assessment application form. You may be asked to provide documentation, such as payroll records, to support the information provided.
 

Recruitment
Recruitment is the process of finding and selecting qualified employees. As part of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program requirements, you must conduct recruitment efforts to hire Canadians and permanent residents before offering a job to a temporary foreign worker.
 

    Wa         ges
Wages offered to temporary foreign workers should be similar to wages paid to Canadian and permanent resident employees hired for the same job and work location, and with similar skills and years of experience.
For the purpose of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, you must pay the prevailing wage which is defined as the highest of either:

  • The median wage on Job Bank
  • The wage that is within the wage range that you are paying your current employees hired for the same job and work location, and with the same skills and years of experience

If the position requires additional skills and years of experience over the applicable NOC description, the wages offered should reflect these additional requirements.
For the purpose of determining the wage rate being offered, we will only consider guaranteed wages, which exclude:

  • Overtime hours
  • Tips
  • Benefits
  • Profit sharing
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Other forms of compensation

 

Job duties and working conditions

The temporary foreign workers you hired, as a result of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, must only perform duties that correspond to the occupation they were hired for.
Canadian law protects all workers in Canada, including temporary foreign workers. The exploitation of temporary foreign workers is considered a violation of Canadian laws and human rights.
Employment in most occupations is covered under provincial/territorial legislation that deals with labour and employment standards such as:

  • Hours of work (including overtime)
  • Compensation
  • Working conditions
  • Transportation costs (where applicable)
  • Housing costs (where applicable)
  • Termination of employment

Every province or territory has a Ministry of Labour that can provide information to assist employers and temporary foreign workers with questions or issues related to work. Some employers are federally regulated and, therefore, are covered by the employment standards under the Canada Labour Code.
 

    Transportation
You must pay for the round trip transportation costs for temporary foreign workers to arrive at their work location in Canada at the beginning of their work period, and to return to their country of residence at the end of their work period.
If the temporary foreign worker finds a new employer, who was issued a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment, the new employer is responsible for the transportation costs.
The transportation costs must not be recovered from the temporary foreign workers.

 

      Housing
You must provide or ensure that suitable and affordable housing is available for the temporary foreign worker you will employ.
For the purpose of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation definitions are used to determine the suitability and affordability of housing:

  • Suitable housing: does not require any major repairs, according to residents. Major repairs include those to defective plumbing or electrical wiring, or structural repairs to walls, floors or ceilings.

Affordable housing: costs less than 30% of the temporary foreign worker’s before-tax income. Shelter costs include, rent (or mortgage payment) and any payments for electricity, fuel, water and other municipal services.

We may ask for proof (for example newspaper ads) that affordable housing is available.
 

Health care
You must ensure that the temporary foreign workers you want to hire in low-wage positions are covered by private, provincial or territorial health insurance from the first day they arrive in Canada. If provincial or territorial health care cannot be provided, you must pay for the equivalent private health insurance until the temporary foreign workers become eligible for the provincial/territorial plan.
 

Workplace saf  ety
You must always ensure that the temporary foreign workers you want to hire under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are covered from the provincial or territorial workplace safety insurance provider, where required by law. Where the provincial or territorial legislation allows employers the flexibility to opt for a private insurance plan, you must ensure that:

  • any private plan chosen provides better or the same level of compensation to that offered by a province or territory
  • all employees on the worksite are covered by the same provider

If you are enquiring about private insurance plan equivalency, contact the appropriate provincial or territorial workplace safety authority.
The coverage you purchased must correspond with the temporary foreign workers’ first day of work in Canada and the costs must not be recovered from the temporary foreign workers.

 

 Pesticides and chemical use
You must notify temporary foreign workers of pesticides or chemical use in your workplace, and provide them with:

  • Protective equipment (at no cost to the temporary foreign worker)
  • Appropriate formal and informal training
  • Supervision where required by law

 

Employment contract

An employment contract must be prepared and signed by you and the temporary foreign worker to ensure that all parties involved are aware of their rights and obligations. The temporary foreign worker must sign it before arriving in Canada.
 

Employers must maintain comprehensive employment records that fully document adherence to the employment contract throughout the duration of the project.

Employment contract - Maritime Transport sector

In addition, the employment contract for positions onboard a foreign vessel undertaking coasting trade in Canadian waters must also include:
 

  • Dates Canadian employment laws and regulations apply.
  • Details of wages (monetary and non-monetary compensation) including if applicable, the wage “uplift”, how and when wages will be paid.

Language restriction

English or French are the only languages you can identify as a job requirement in your Labour Market Impact Assessment application and job advertisement. However, if another language is essential for the job, you must provide a justification on the application.
 

Unionized positions

If you are applying to hire temporary foreign workers for positions covered under a collective agreement, you must:

  • Advertise and offer the same wage rates as those established under the collective agreement
  • Offer the temporary foreign workers the same terms and conditions as Canadian and permanent resident workers
  • Submit a copy of the section of the collective bargaining agreement on the wage structure

The hiring of temporary foreign workers must not affect current nor foreseeable labour disputes at the workplace.

We recommend that you work actively with union representatives to recruit Canadians and permanent residents.

IRCC may ask for proof (for example newspaper ads) that affordable housing is available.