2020-02-26 – Canada has launched a new pilot project to allow Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) to be applied for online.
Employment and Social Development Canada, which processes LMIA applications, says the move is designed to “provide Temporary Foreign Worker Program employers and clients with integrated online access to the program”.
An LMIA is the process by which Canadian employers can prove they have tried and failed to fill a vacancy with a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
The document is required for all positions that are not considered exempt.
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The pilot project will be seen as an attempt by ESDC to reduce LMIA processing times.
ESDC processing times released in January 2020 showed three out of seven Temporary Foreign Worker Program categories had reduced average waiting periods when compared to June 2019.
Processing times were down for the Agricultural Stream, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the High-wage Stream.
Meanwhile, the four categories to show increased processing times were the Global Talent Stream, the Permanent Residence Stream, In-home Caregivers and the Low-wage Stream.
Labour Market Impact Assessment Average Processing Times
|Application type||Processing Time June 2019 (business days)||Processing Time January 2020 (business days)|
|Global Talent Stream||10||12|
|Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program||20||10|
|Permanent Residence Stream||39||49|
Source: Employment and Social Development Canada
Of particular concern for Ottawa will be the increased Global Talent Stream processing time, from 10 to 12 business days.
The GTS is the federal government’s flagship work permit program, providing employers with the benefit of bringing in the best foreign workers in the highest demand occupations with 10 business day processing.
ESDC blames the increased processing times on the high number of applications being submitted, due to the increased demand for Canada work permits through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Work permit holders continue to be a healthy source of new permanent residents in Canada.
In 2019, a total of 63,620 new permanent residents were admitted who previously held work permits through the International Mobility Program or the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The same figure for the whole of 2018 was 56,365.