In the LMIA process, the employer must prove that no Canadian citizen or PR holder is ready, willing, and able to fill a position in Canada so the employer can hire a foreign worker. To obtain an LMIA, employers must advertise the position for at least four weeks.  

A positive LMIA indicates that an employer needs to hire a foreign national outside or inside Canada because there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill a position. In Addition, it is likely to have a positive or neutral impact the Canadian labour market. 

Those potential candidates who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents must be interviewed. After these processes, the employer can prove those candidates did not fulfill the job description and must obtain a written description of why each candidate was not hired. Then, the worker must apply for a Canadian work permit, supported by the LMIA, before beginning work in Canada.  

LMIA-based work permits have two steps in the application process. First, the applicant must apply for an LMIA to Service Canada. The purpose of the LMIA is to ensure that foreign workers qualified for the job are not being chosen over Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents.  

Secondly, once an employer has obtained a positive LMIA from Service Canada, the applicant should apply for a work permit by applying to IRCC. 

Employers who want to follow the LMIA route to employ high-wage workers need to submit their transition plans along with their LMIA applications to ensure that they are taking steps to reduce their dependence on foreign workers over time. 

Another alternative would be to show how employers are helping their high-skilled temporary foreign worker(s) become permanent residents in Canada. If the employer is subject to a review or is in the process of losing the LMIA, they need to provide a report on the progress of the transition plan they have submitted. 

Transition plans are designed to ensure that employers seeking foreign workers fulfill the purpose of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Employers use the TFWP as a last and limited resort to meet urgent workforce needs. 

Employers who seek low-wage workers must follow a different set of guidelines; they must not submit transition plans with their Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application. 

To prioritize job opportunities for Canadians and manage access to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the Canadian government has imposed a cap on the number of low-wage temporary foreign workers businesses can employ. 

Some students may need to renew or change their study permit during their studies in Canada.  If a student at a post-secondary institution wishes to change institutions, study programs, or level of study, they do not need to apply for a new study permit. However, it is required to update IRCC upon changing institutions. 


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