How to get a successful LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) in 2020
Today, you will uncover everything you need to know about getting your Canadian Job Offer supported by LMIA.
We will explain in plain English what is an LMIA, why do you need one and how to get it. And what is most important how to leverage to get a massive lead for your immigration process.
- Jennifer’s story
- So what is an LMIA?
- Here comes the NOC
- LMIA supported Job Offers
- Employer’s legitimacy
- LMIA Exempt Job Offers
So, let’s start with a real story which has happened to our recent client.
It just makes perfect sense that one person could become a permanent resident in Canada if they have a job offer from a Canadian employer who wishes to hire this individual.
Jennifer, a Croatian citizen, experienced marketing specialist, wishes to move permanently to Canada. Jennifer is an educated applicant. She had researched the official website of the Canadian immigration department, and she knows that under the Federal Skilled Worker program via Express Entry, she doesn’t score enough points to be invited to apply for advanced processing.
Jennifer was contacted by Harpreet, an HR manager of a Toronto-based marketing firm. She underwent a Skype interview with the Marketing manager of this Canadian firm, and the company issued her a job offer. Jennifer was very excited; Harpreet was happy, and the firm was excited to hire Jennifer. Harpreet asked Jennifer when she could start.
And then, all parties encountered a problem. Jennifer said that she did not have a work permit and asked Harpreet whether the company could request LMIA for her to get a work permit. Harpreet did not know how to do it and whether the company was able to obtain such a document.
Harpreet started looking for an immigration consulting company and scheduled a consultation with one of the immigration consultants at Green Light Canada.
So what is an LMIA?
When we met Harpreet, he was shocked that a Canadian company was unable to hire Jennifer right away. He said that the company was satisfied with her credentials, background, skills and knowledge and was ready to hire her immediately.
We explained the process of Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to Harpreet and that he would need to obtain LMIA for Jennifer to even be able to request the permit to work in Canada.
We also told Harpreet that obtaining a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) would make the company’s job offer to Jennifer a Qualified Offer of Employment. Such an offer would add 50 additional points to Jennifer’s CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) under the Express Entry points grid.
Since Jennifer had registered her profile with the Express Entry, she scored 451 points. The threshold at the time was 471. As such, Jennifer was missing 20 points to receive an Invitation to Apply for Permanent Residency under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) via the Express Entry system.
A lot of Express Entry candidates encounter the same problem. They are relatively young, educated, possess high English/French abilities and have a few years of skilled work experience, but they still don’t score enough points to move forward with the process.
Often, candidates think that when they asked whether they have a job offer from a Canadian employer, they can say yes, because someone had been told that they would be hired by them when they move to Canada. Then, candidates are disappointed with the fact that their applications are being rejected since their job offers were not supported by an LMIA or were not legitimately exempt from one.
Let’s dig a bit deeper into what is a qualifying job offer for your Express Entry profile.
It is essential to point out the fact that such qualifying job offers can give you – a candidate 50 or even 200 additional points for your express entry profile.
Here comes the NOC
When a Canadian employer offers you a job, you are offered to work in a particular occupation. The majority of existing occupations are categorized by a National Occupational Classification – NOC. NOC is a four-tiered hierarchical structure. The first level contains ten broad occupational categories, the second level is made of 40 major groups; the third level consists of 140 minor groups, and the last level comprises 500-unit groups.
For immigration purposes, the main job groups are:
- Skill Type 0 (zero) – management jobs, such as:
- restaurant managers
- mine managers
- shore captains (fishing)
- Skill Level A – professional jobs that usually call for a degree from a university, such as:
- Skill Level B – technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college diploma or training as an apprentice, such as:
- Skill Level C – intermediate jobs that usually call for high school and/or job-specific training, such as:
- industrial butchers
- long-haul truck drivers
- food and beverage servers
- Skill Level D – labour jobs that usually give on-the-job training, such as:
- fruit pickers
- cleaning staff
- oil field workers
- A Occupations usually require a university education
- B Occupations usually require a college education, specialized training or apprenticeship training
- C Occupations usually require secondary school and/or occupation-specific training
- D On-the-job training is usually provided for occupations
Canadian immigration programs use the NOC to decide if a job or type of work experience meets their eligibility. Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada considers “skilled” jobs those with NOC Skill Type 0, A or B.
Skill Type 0 (zero) consists of jobs that are classified as 0*** and 00**
For example – a restaurant manager is NOC 0631 – 0***. So if you have a job offer from a Canadian restaurant and they wish to hire you as a Restaurant Manager, you get 50 additional CRS points.
Top management and executive positions are classified as 00**. For example, CEO, Vice President, Director and more. If you have a job offer for one of these positions, you could get 200 additional CRS points.
Now, not any written job offer can qualify to be considered a job offer for your immigration process under the Express Entry system. Below we will discuss each option in more detail.
It is essential to point out that other, non-Express Entry and/or not Federal immigration programs, may have a different set of requirements to grant you with additional points or make you qualify to apply for permanent residence under certain provincial programs. The requirements for such offers are different and are discussed in other articles on our website.
So, how you get 50 or 200 additional CRS points for your Express Entry profile if you found a Canadian employer that is willing to hire you?
LMIA supported Job Offers
Usually, an employer needs to apply for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA, formerly known as LMO – Labour Market Opinion) under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) managed by Employment Services Development Canada (Service Canada).
Employment Services Development Canada has a set of important requirements for every LMIA request. Your application would have to satisfy every single one of them in order to be approved.
According to Canada’s employment policy, Canadian employers need to prioritize Canadian applicants for their opening. It means that once they apply for an LMIA, they need to prove that they were trying to recruit a Canadian for this opening for at least one month.
It means that employers need to advertise these positions on a few national-scope websites. The resources where they advertise need to meet the strict requirements of the TFWP.
The way these advertisements are written and presented to the Canadian public need to meet rigorous requirements as well.
The main reason for the rejection of such LMIA applications is the advertisement which was not done according to TFWP requirements and rules.
Another important factor the Service Canada assesses when an LMIA application is being reviewed is business legitimacy.
An employer that applies for an LMIA must show and confirm to the TFWP officer, that their businesses are engaged in a legitimate business in Canada and are in good standing in terms of compliance with about laws, regulations, payroll remittance and more.
Legitimacy is usually proven by a letter from a lawyer or a chartered accountant describing the business activities and its financial abilities.
Another critical factor is the financial ability of a business that wants to hire you to be able to fulfil its contractual obligations to you.
As you probably know, the offer of employment needs to say that your job will be full-time, that you will work for not less than one year and the salary offered to you needs to be commensurate with the local median wage for the same position.
Meaning, you cannot be offered a wage less than is paid to Canadians in the same region and same occupation. For example, Jennifer was offered a salary of 55,000 per year. In this case, the Canadian employer’s application for an LMIA would have been rejected as the median wage of a marketing specialist in Toronto is $35.90/hr. (as of April 2020).
Now, if you multiply $35.90 by 1560 hours per year (considering that Jennifer would be working 30 hours per week – considered full-time in Canada) her annual salary would have been – $56,004.
These factors are critical, and each case needs to be researched and discussed individually. The position needs to be located using the NOC, and the median wage needs to be checked accordingly. Overtime rate, vacation days, benefits and other job terms are significant and need to meet the labour regulations and rules.
Once all the above factors are confirmed the employer needs to collect all the documents, fill out the application forms and explain the benefits to the Canadian labour market which will result from your (or another foreign worker) employment with this Canadian company. Which skills will be transferred to Canadian, what knowledge and what are the general benefits of employing a foreign worker like you are expected for Canadians?
Please note that in this article, we are discussing qualifying job offers for your permanent residence applications only. They differ from those where a Canadian company wants to hire a foreign worker on a work permit only. LMIAs we have discussed can be of a dual intent – meaning that once such an LMIA is approved, you can get your 50 or 200 points for your Express Entry Profile and apply for a work permit to be able to start working for your Canadian employer even before you finish your immigration process.
LMIA Exempt Job Offers
As previously stated, not all Qualifying Job Offers for Express Entry’s immigration programs require a positive LMIA.
The absolute majority of qualifying job offers require an LMIA; however, there are some exemptions if you are already in Canada on a valid work permit issued based on one of the following:
- an international agreement (e.g. NAFTA; CETA, CPTPP, etc.)
- a federal-provincial agreement (Provincial nominees, etc.)
- the “Canadian interests” category (Intra-company transferees, entrepreneurs, etc.)
Your job offer still needs to meet all applicable conditions discussed above and a crucial factor is that you have to be working for this employer based on your valid permit issues as described above for not less than one year.
Such job offers will also grant you with additional 50 or 200 points.
For example, we had a client, named Kenneth, who had been working in Canada as a work permit holder which he received based on an International Experience Canada program. This program allows citizens from certain countries, that meet certain conditions, to obtain a one-year open work permit to work in Canada.
Kenneth was from Australia. Kenneth was working for a certain warehouse in Toronto. He was so excited about the opportunities he could develop for the logistics industry in Canada by using his computer software which he had been working on in his spare time back then. Near the end of his work permit validity, Kenneth came in for a consultation with one of Green Light’s immigration consultant to see what his options in terms of Canadian permanent residence were.
During the initial assessment, he advised us of his idea of finalizing the development of his software, and we encouraged him to make it an official Canadian Start-Up. We assisted Kenneth with registering a company in Canada, initial setup and some business advice and business plan. Once all was finalized, we filed Kenneth’s application for a work permit under the Entrepreneur category.
The application was approved. Kenneth obtained his two-years work permit in the capacity of a CEO and started managing the business.
After one year, Kenneth came back to us to explore his option for permanent residency. We created Kenneth’s Express Entry profile. He scored 378 points. The threshold of Express Entry for an ITA was 466 at the time.
We advised Kenneth that since he was working for his Canadian company for one year on a work permit issued under the Entrepreneur category and this company still required his management for at least one year after he would become a permanent resident.
The company had the financial ability to pay his wages, was engages in a legitimate business and was compliant with all applicable labour regulations, we decided to claim the additional 200 points which allowed him to receive his permanent residence in 4 months after that.
It is important to realize the difference between LMIA required and LMIA exempt qualifying job offers, dual intent LMIA’s, LMIA’s that allow you to claim additional points and apply for PR and those that allow you to apply first for a work permit and only later to claim additional points for PR process.
LMIAs that are high or low-wage, the caps, the advertisement, salary and duration requirements for each, the owner-Operator category LMIA, job offers that require different types of approvals and are not or are suitable for Express Entry categories (e.g. Saskatchewan job approval letter for Saskatchewan Immigration Nominee Program, Nova Scotia Nominee program and other.
Canadian immigration is a complex system which requires experience in its navigating. With the help of qualified and experienced professionals, your journey will be way smoother, and you will avoid a lot of mistakes and disappointments.
Of course, choosing an immigration consultant is not mandatory and is a matter of preference, recommendations, reputation and more. Should you wish to be represented by an immigration consultant, make sure they are licensed and are in good standing. You may verify it here at the ICCRC and IRCC websites.
Be advised that we have processed thousands of successful LMIAs for Canadian employers and employers contact as a lot looking for potential foreign workers who have contacted us.
For this purpose, we created a bank of candidates where you may register, and our employers will review your resumes. This job match service is entirely free of charge for you. You will pay only for a work permit/permanent residence application should you chose us to represent you before the immigration authorities.
We encourage you to reach out to us to assess your immigration options and to discuss your case with one of our licensed consultants. We will be more than happy to help you make your immigration journey fast, smooth and successful.
Find out your eligibility for immigration to Canada!