Starting from April 4, Canada has extended the validity of a Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) for temporary work permits to a maximum of 18 months. This move is being introduced as part of Canada’s efforts to reduce the severe labour market shortage in the country. Earlier, the validity of LMIA was six or nine months.
Validity of LMIA
An LMIA is a document that demonstrates to the government of Canada that a foreign worker employed in the country will not have a negative impact on the labour market. During the validity period of the LMIA, the employer must notify the temporary foreign worker that LMIA has been approved. Next, the employer must send the positive LMIA letter to the Temporary Foreign Worker. Using this letter, the worker can apply for a Temporary Work Permit from the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). All these have to be done within a period of 18 months. But once the LMIA expires, the employer will have to submit a new LMIA application to hire that foreign worker. For the previously issued positive LMIAs which have a validity of six or nine months, the employers can now apply for an extension of up to 18 months. However, the LMIA should be valid on the date when the Service Canada receives the extension request.
Relaxing rules to address labour shortage crisis
As the labour shortage is severe, Canada has relaxed rules for hiring foreign workers. Now, a Canadian employer can hire up to 30% of their workforce through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This is a great opportunity for international graduates in Canada and those workers who wish to obtain permanent residence in the country. Once they obtain work experience in Canada, they may apply for permanent residence in the country in the future.
Labour shortage in Canada
Canada is facing severe labour shortage during the post pandemic period. The job vacancy rate in the country reached a record high during the third quarter of 2021. The highest number of job vacancies was reported in sectors such as accommodation and food services, healthcare and social assistance, retail trade and manufacturing. In 2021, around 5000 positions were approved under the Global Talent Stream by the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. 23000 positions were approved in the High Wage Stream.