Stream for Lower-skilled Occupations

(Formerly known as the Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training (NOC C and D))


Description

You (the employer) may be allowed to hire temporary foreign workers for a maximum of 24 months through the Stream for Lower-skilled Occupations when there is a demonstrable shortage of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

In Canada, lower levels of formal training are defined as occupations that usually require at most a high school diploma or a maximum of 2 years of job-specific training according to the NOC Classification system. These occupations are coded at the NOC C or D skill level. See NOC job descriptions.


Requirements

Processing Fee

Employers must pay $1,000 for each position requested (e.g. $1,000 x number of positions=total payment) to cover the cost of processing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application.

  • The processing fee payment (in Canadian dollars) can be made by:
    • certified cheque (payable to the Receiver General for Canada)
    • money order (postal or bank)
    • Visa
    • MasterCard
    • American Express
  • There will be no refund in the event of a negative LMIA, or if the application is withdrawn or cancelled by the employer since the fee covers the assessment process and not the outcome.
  • Employers requesting to have their LMIA application reconsidered, as a result of a negative LMIA, must submit a new application and processing fee for each position.
  • Refunds will only be available if a fee was collected in error (e.g. an incorrect fee amount was processed).

Note:

  • The LMIA processing fee does not apply to lower-skilled positions related to on-farm primary agriculture such as general farm workers, nursery and greenhouse workers and harvesting labourers (specifically NOC codes 8431,8432 and 8611).
  • It is the policy of the Government of Canada, that under no circumstances, can employers and third-party representatives recover the LMIA processing fees from temporary foreign workers.

Transition to a Canadian Workforce

Employers must engage in activities to transition to a Canadian workforce and reduce their reliance on TFWs. The specific requirements an employer must follow are determined by the wage being offered for the position, in relation to the provincial/territorial median hourly wage, based on Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey ( ).

Employers offering a wage to a TFW that is:

Note:
The cap on low-wage positions and the Transition Plan for high-wage positions are not applicable to employers who are hiring TFWs for positions related to on-farm primary agriculture such as: farm managers/supervisors and specialized livestock workers, general farm workers, nursery and greenhouse workers and harvesting labourers.

Cap on Low-wage category Positions

Employers offering a wage to a TFW that is below the provincial/territorial median hourly wage will be subject to a maximum 10% cap on the proportion of low-wage TFWs. The cap will be phased in over the next 2 years to provide employers who use the Program with time to transition to a Canadian workforce.

Employers that have a low-wage TFW workforce will be:

  • limited to 30% or frozen at their current level, whichever is lower;
  • reduced to 20% beginning ; and
  • further reduced to 10% on .

The 10% cap is the maximum percentage of low-wage TFWs that an employer will be allowed to have at a work site, as of .

Note:
There are a few exemptions to the low-wage cap requirement and these include employers that:

  • have fewer than 10 employees nationally, including the vacant positions they are applying to staff with TFWs.
  • are hiring TFWs for jobs that are truly temporary (e.g. emergency or warranty work positions).
  • are hiring TFWs for low-wage positions located in Quebec.

Calculating the Cap

To calculate the cap, employers will need to follow a 2-step process that includes:

  1. Establishing the cap for the specified work location; and
  2. Determining the effect of hiring TFWs on the cap.
A. Establishing the cap for a Specified Work Location

To begin, employers must determine the percentage of TFWs in low-wage positions, at the work location where the TFW will be employed. This calculation will only need to be done once for each work location. The calculation includes:

  1. Selecting 4 consecutive weeks between and . This time period will be used to calculate the number of workers at the specified work location. The 4 week period used is: _______________ to _______________.

    Note:
    If the company was shut down during this time period, employers must use the 4 weeks prior to the shutdown.

  2. [A] – Providing the total number of all the hours of work for all employees at the specified work location, (including overtime, and the hours worked for all positions occupied by Canadians, permanent residents, current TFWs and all other workers on open work permits, student visas, etc.) for the selected 4 week period: __________.
  3. [B] – Calculating the average weekly hours of work for all workers at the specified work location:
    A ÷ 4 = __________.
  4. [C] – Providing the total number of all the hours of work (including overtime) for all TFWs (who required a labour market impact assessment, previously known as a labour market opinion or LMO) at the specified work location for the selected 4 week period: __________.
  5. [D] – Calculating the average weekly hours of work for all TFWs at the specified work location:
    C ÷ 4 = __________.
  6. [E] – Calculating the overall percentage of all staff that are TFWs currently employed in low-wage positions: (D ÷ B) x 100 = __________.

This final calculation will give employers the percentage of TFWs currently employed in low-wage positions. Employers who are above the cap for the year should be aware that under established Ministerial Instructions, their labour market impact assessment (LMIA) applications will not be processed.

As a result, there are only 3 acceptable reasons for employers to apply for an LMIA. These reasons include – employers are:

  • looking to replace current TFWs, who are leaving or whose work permits are expiring; or
  • expanding and have hired additional Canadian/permanent resident workers, which means they are eligible to apply for additional TFWs (providing they stay within their established cap); or
  • applying to use the Program for the first time and therefore are automatically subject to the 10% cap, for new users of the TFWP.
B. Determining the effect of hiring TFWs on the cap

The second step that employers must follow is to determine the effect that hiring TFWs will have on the established cap at the specified work location. Employers must ensure that the number of low-wage TFWs that they are requesting on the LMIA application does not exceed the identified cap for the year. The cap for the next 2 years has been identified as:

  • 30% or the employers’ current level, whichever is lower;
  • 20% beginning ; and
  • 10% on .

The calculation to determine the effect of hiring a TFW on the cap includes:

  1. [A] – Total number of all the hours of work for all employees at the work location (including overtime and all positions staffed by Canadians, permanent residents, current TFWs and all other workers on open work permits, student visas, etc.) for the previous 4 consecutive weeks prior to the application being submitted. Do not include any current low-wage TFWs, whose work permits are expiring within the next 90 days and will not be renewed: __________.
  2. [B] – Calculate the average weekly hours worked, at the specified location: A ÷ 4 = __________.
  3. [C] – Total number of all the hours of work (including overtime) for all TFWs, who are currently employed in low-wage positions, at the specified work location, for the previous 4 consecutive weeks, prior to the application being submitted. Do not include any current low-wage TFWs, whose work permits are expiring within the next 90 days and will not be renewed: __________.
  4. [D] – Calculate the average weekly hours of work for the TFWs, who are currently employed in low-wage positions at the specified work location: C ÷ 4 = __________.
  5. [E] – Provide the total weekly hours of the low-wage TFWs applied for on this application:

    Note:
    If the TFW(s) currently works in another low-wage position at this location their weekly hours should not be counted here as they would be counted in question 3 above.

  6. [F] – Provide the total weekly hours of all low-wage TFWs you have applied to hire at this location that have not started work (include pending LMIA applications and previously confirmed LMIAs)
  7. [G] – Calculate the percentage of low-wage TFWs: ((D + E + F) ÷ (B + E + F)) x 100 = __________.
  8. Enter the cap that has been established for the specified work location (Refer to Schedule E, Box 7 under the Establishing the Cap section): __________.

Transition Plans for High–wage Positions

Employers offering a wage to a TFW that is at, or above the provincial/territorial median hourly wage will be required to submit a Transition Plan. The purpose of Transition Plan is to identify the activities an employer is agreeing to undertake to recruit, retain and train Canadians/permanent residents and to assist TFWs to become permanent residents, if a positive opinion is issued. The Transition Plan activities begin, once the positive opinion has been issued, and must occur throughout the duration of the employment period.

Employers will be required to report on the results of the commitments they have made in their Transition Plan, if they:

  • are selected for an inspection, or
  • choose to re-apply for a new LMIA for the same occupation and work location.

The report on the Transition Plan will be used to determine whether the employer has met the conditions of their previous applications.

Employers MAY be exempt from the Transition Plan requirement if they are hiring TFWs for positions which have a limited duration of between:

  • 1 and 120 days (e.g. emergency or warranty work positions); and
  • more than 120 days to a maximum of 2 year (e.g. non-recurring project-based positions)

Note:
These positions are

  • time-limited;
  • not going to exist after the TFW leaves; and
  • not jobs where employers could be expected to transition the position to a Canadian/permanent resident worker.

Employers can apply for an exemption from the Transition Plan requirement by completing the new “Rationale for Possible Exemption” section on the paper application. Employers must outline how their position meets 1 of these criteria. Exemptions will be considered on a case by case basis.

Note:
The Transition Plan requirement does not apply to employers applying for positions under Quebec’s facilitated process.

Transition Plans

Employers must conduct the required number of activities for each of the categories, as part of their Transition Plan. These activities include:

  1. at least three distinct activities to recruit, retain and/or train Canadians/permanent residents in the occupation specified on the application; AND
  2. one additional distinct activity to engage an organization serving underrepresented groups to identify potential candidates for recruitment or training (e.g. immigrant settlement offices, Aboriginal, youth, or provincial/territorial unemployment centres);

OR

Employers could choose to do only:

one activity which facilitates the permanent residency of a TFW (e.g. making a permanent job offer or offering language training to the foreign worker to support the individual’s permanent resident visa application).

However, if they choose ONLY to support the permanent residency of a TFW, and do not proceed with it, they will be considered not to have met the requirements of their Transition Plan and as a result may be found non-compliant if they are later inspected. In addition, if an employer is applying for multiple positions for the same job at the same work location but not all of the TFWs are interested in pursuing permanent residency, the employer MUST conduct other training and/or recruitment activities that would reduce the business’s reliance on foreign workers. Employers are encouraged at all times to submit Transition Plans that include a variety of activities.

Recruitment, Retention and Training Activities

Employers are encouraged to use innovative strategies and activities in addition to activities such as:

  • Increase wages offered
  • Employee referral incentive program
  • Offer part-time or flexible hours as an option
  • Offer health insurance or other benefits
  • Job fairs
  • Financial support for relocations of Canadians or permanent residents
  • Hire headhunting firm to identify prospective candidates
  • Partner with unions / industry associations to identify potential candidates
  • Ongoing advertisement / modified advertising (e.g. different sources, target different audiences)
  • Apprenticeship / internship / Co-op
  • Government programs
  • Paid-leave for education
  • On-the-job training

Report on Results of Activities

Employers will be required to report on the results of the commitments they have made in their Transition Plan if they are selected for an inspection, or choose to re-apply for a subsequent LMIA for the same occupation and work location. The report on the Transition Plan will be used to determine the labour market impact based on whether the employer has met the conditions set out in the previous opinion.

The Transition Plan is a requirement of applying for an LMIA and is agreed upon between the employer and Service Canada. As a result, if employers wish to make any changes to the plan after the opinion is issued, they must contact Service Canada to request such a change. If Service Canada accepts the employers’ request, they will be required to submit a revised Transition Plan that incorporates the agreed-upon changes.

The submission of a revised Transition Plan will be critical particularly if the employer is selected for an inspection at some point in the future. In accordance with the provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) may conduct an inspection to verify an employer’s compliance with the conditions set out in the opinion letter and annexes (which includes the Transition Plan). As a result, the inspection could include a review of the Transition Plan and if Service Canada does not have a copy of the revised plan, the employer will be held accountable for the Transition Plan that is on file.

As part of the inspection, or if the employer is applying for a subsequent LMIA for the same occupation at the same work location, the employer could be asked to provide proof that the activities identified in the plan were undertaken. Acceptable documentation could include:

  • Proof of advertising (e.g. Job Bank records, newspaper ads)
  • Support letters from partnering organizations
  • Invoices (e.g. for job fair booths, financial supports provided to TFWs)
  • Job advertisements demonstrating an increase in the wages offered
  • Documentation of participation in government-sponsored employment projects
  • Documentation demonstrating new hires, including Bridge-to-work positions such as apprenticeships/internships (e.g. letters of offer, payroll information)
  • Documentation to prove the employers’ effort to support the foreign worker’s application for permanent residency (CIC or relevant immigration program)

Language Restriction

A distinct language assessment factor has been introduced as subsection 203 (1.01) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). As a result, English and French are the only languages that can be identified as a job requirement both in LMIA applications and in job advertisements by employers, unless they can demonstrate that another language is essential for the job.

Note:
The language restriction does not apply to lower-skilled positions related to on-farm primary agriculture such as general farm workers, nursery and greenhouse workers and harvesting labourers (specifically NOC codes 8431, 8432 and 8611).


Transportation Costs

When hiring a foreign worker under the Stream for Lower-skilled Occupations, you must always pay the round trip transportation costs for the foreign worker to travel to the location of work in Canada and return to his/her country of permanent residence. These costs cannot be passed on to the foreign worker (i.e., the worker pays for transportation costs and is reimbursed at a later date). Under no circumstances are transportation costs recoverable from the foreign worker.


Housing

When applying to hire a foreign worker in NOC C and D occupations, you will be expected to show that you are providing affordable housing or show (e.g. through newspaper clippings) that affordable housing is available where the foreign worker is expected to work.


Health and Workplace Safety

As outlined in the employment contract, you must ensure that the foreign worker is covered by private or provincial health insurance at all times. If private health insurance must be provided, you must pay for the insurance and these costs cannot be recovered from the worker. Under the employment contract, you must also register the foreign worker under the appropriate provincial Workers' Safety and Compensation Board.


Employment Contract

You must prepare and sign an employment contract. A signed copy must be attached to your Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application. Upon receipt of a letter of confirmation from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada, you must send a copy of the signed contract and the ESDC/Service Canada confirmation letter to the foreign worker. The worker will need to submit these documents to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)when applying for a work permit.

In the event differences arise between yourself and the foreign worker, the contract will guide the resolution of disputes. In cases of demonstrable breaches of the employment contract, where no reparations have been made, ESDC/Service Canada reserves the right to discontinue service for the hiring of foreign workers.

In addition to the employment contract, foreign workers, like Canadians, are covered by provincial labour and workplace safety legislation.


Business Licence or Documentation

All employers applying under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program must show they are actively engaged in the business where the TFW will be employed by providing a copy of the required documents:

  • Business registration or legal incorporation documents (if first LMIA application);
  • Provincial/territorial/municipal business licence (where applicable and if first LMIA application);
  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) documents (where applicable and if first LMIA application), including:
    • T2 Schedule 100 Balance Sheet Information (for corporations only – 2 most recent returns filed)
    • T2 Schedule 125 Income Statement Information (for corporations only – 2 most recent returns filed)
  • Provincial/territorial documents, such as: workplace safety and insurance (e.g. workers compensation board) clearance letter, or other appropriate documentation;
  • Provincial documentation requirements:
    • Alberta – Employment Agency Business Licence (Alberta's Fair Trading Act), if applicable
    • British Columbia - Employment Agency Licence (British Columbia's Employment Standards Act), if applicable,
    • Manitoba – Certificate of Registration (Manitoba's Worker Recruitment and Protection Act)
    • Nova Scotia – Employer Registration Certificate (Labour Standards Code)
    • Saskatchewan – Employer Registration Certificate (The Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act)

Union Consultation

If the position being filled by the foreign worker is part of a bargaining unit, the following factors, although not determinative, will support a positive ESDC/Service Canada decision and will reduce delays in the recruitment of the foreign worker especially in NOC C and D occupations:

  • Conduct union consultations before applying to hire the foreign worker(s).
  • Actively work with union officials to recruit unemployed Canadians.
  • Confirm that the conditions of the collective agreement (e.g. wages, working conditions) will apply to the foreign worker.

ESDC/Service Canada reserves the right to contact union representatives when reviewing your application.


Labour Disputes

If you are making an offer to a foreign worker for a position that affects current or foreseeable labour disputes at your workplace, or affects the employment of any Canadian worker involved in such disputes, ESDC/Service CIC will not confirm the hiring, or issue a work permit to the foreign worker.


Third-party Representatives and Recruiters

Employers do not need to use the services of a third-party representative or recruiter to apply for a TFW. However, employers who choose to use the services of one of these individuals or organizations must pay for all of the fees associated with the service and meet all of the applicable requirements.

Representatives assist employers by providing services, such as:

  • explaining and providing advice on the TFWP;
  • completing and submitting the application form and all required documents;
  • communicating with ESDC/Service Canada on the employer’s behalf; and
  • representing the employer during the application process.

Employers who wish to use the services of a representative, paid or unpaid, must complete and submit Schedule A - Appointment of a Third-party Representative. Employers must identify their representative and not simply the firm/organization employing this person.

Paid Representatives

Individuals representing or assisting employers in exchange for compensation (e.g. money, goods or services) must be authorized under section 91 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which means they have to be a member in good standing with:

  • a Canadian provincial/territorial law society, or a student-at-law under its supervision;
  • the Chambre des notaires du Québec;
  • the Province of Ontario’s law society as a paralegal; or
  • the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).

Employers should visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to verify that a specific representative is authorized to represent them or provide immigration advice.

Unpaid Representatives

Individuals representing employers for free (e.g. do not collect fees or other forms of compensation) are not subject to any restrictions under the IRPA. These individuals are usually family members, non-for-profit or religious organizations that assist employers who may not be able to complete the application process on their own.

Recruiters

Recruiters can assist employers by providing services such as:

  • placing job advertisements for the recruitment of TFWs;
  • screening potential employees;
  • making travel arrangements; and
  • negotiating wages/salaries on behalf of the employer.

Employers, using the services of a paid recruiter to represent them during the LMIA application process, must complete the Third-party, Recruiter or Employer Agency Information section of the application form as well as the separate Schedule A - Appointment of a Third-party Representative. The paid recruiter representing the employer must be a member of one of the groups authorized under section 91 of the IRPA.

If a paid representative is not authorized under the IRPA, ESDC/Service Canada will continue to process the application, but will communicate with the employer directly. However, a copy of a signed letter stating that the employer is no longer using the services of the original representative will be required before the employer can:

  • hire another paid authorized representative; or
  • work with an unpaid representative.

Employers who wish to appoint another representative must also submit a new Schedule A - Appointment of a Third-party Representative.

Note:
ESDC/Service Canada:

  • reserves the right to contact employers directly when further information or documentation is required.
  • will not mediate a dispute between an employer and a third-party representative nor communicate complaints to a regulatory body on an employer’s behalf. Employers who wish to file a formal complaint against their representative should contact the appropriate regulatory body (e.g. the provincial law society, the Chambre des notaires du Québec or the ICCR). For additional information on how to file a complaint, visit CIC.

Wages, Working Conditions and Occupations

Employers applying for a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) must pay the TFW:

  • at a minimum, the posted prevailing wage for the occupation and work location where the TFW will be employed; OR
  • a wage that is within the same wage range that they are paying their current employees working in the same occupation and same work location, if this range is higher than the prevailing wage.

Employers must refer to the median wage published on Job Bank to determine the prevailing wage.


Step-by-step process to determine the prevailing wage of the position:

Step 1:

Determine if the available position is unionized or non-unionized,

  • If the position is unionized, proceed to the Unionized Positions section.
  • If the position is non-unionized, proceed to step 2.

Step 2:

Use the job title of the available position to conduct a search on Job Bank to determine the median wage for the occupation and work location where the TFW will be employed.

  • If the median wage is available on Job Bank, proceed to step 3.
  • If the median wage is listed as “N/A” for the local area (economic region) where the work is located, employers should consult the provincial/territorial level wage. If this wage is not available, employers should consult the national wage.

Step 3:

Determine if there are any workers currently employed in the same occupation and work location where the TFW will be employed.

  • If yes, proceed to step 4.
  • If no, proceed to the Prevailing Wage section.

Step 4:

Determine the wage range paid to the current employees working in the same occupation and work location where the TFW will be employed.

  • If the wage range paid to these current workers is higher than the prevailing wage on Job Bank, employers must pay the TFW a wage that is above the prevailing wage and within the wage range.
  • If the wage paid to these workers is lower than the prevailing wage on Job Bank, proceed to the Prevailing Wage section.

Unionized Positions:

Employers hiring TFWs for available positions which are part of a union must advertise and offer the same wage rates as those established under the collective agreement. The collective bargaining agreement will outline the terms and conditions of employment such as:

  • wages
  • benefits and
  • hours of work

Employers must offer the TFWs these same terms and conditions and also submit a copy of the collective bargaining agreement, along with the LMIA application to ESDC/Service Canada.


Prevailing Wage:

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the prevailing wage rate is identified as the median hourly wage (or annual salary as published on Job Bank) or higher for the particular occupation and work location. Employers must also ensure that they include the wage being paid for the position, as part of their advertisement of the available position.

Employers must review and adjust (if necessary) the TFW’s wage after 12 months of employment to ensure the worker continues to receive the prevailing wage rate of the occupation and work location where the TFW is employed.

In addition, employers must ensure the wage offered to the TFW is not below any:

  • Applicable federal or provincial/territorial minimum wage rates; or
  • Wage schedules set by provincial/territorial legislation (e.g. Manitoba Construction Industry Wages Act).

Employers offering a wage that is below the prevailing wage rate will be considered as not meeting the labour market factor for the assessment of wages and therefore, will be issued a negative LMIA.


Working Conditions

Canadian law protects all workers in Canada, including TFWs. The exploitation of a TFW is considered a violation of Canadian laws and human rights.

Employers must:

  • pay workers for all work (including overtime, where required by law);
  • make sure that the workplace is safe; and
  • allow for proper break time and days off.

Employment in most occupations is covered under provincial/territorial legislation that deals with labour and employment standards such as: hours of work, working conditions and termination of employment. In fact, every province/territory has a Ministry of Labour that can provide information to assist employers and TFWs with questions or issues related to work.

Note:

Some employers are federally regulated and therefore are covered by the employment standards under the Canada Labour Code.


Occupations

Employers cannot force any TFWs to perform duties for which they were not hired or trained (e.g. if an employer submits an application to hire a TFW as a welder, the duties given to the worker must correspond to that occupation and not those associated with a janitor).


Recruitment

Recruitment is the process of finding and selecting qualified employees. All employers are encouraged to conduct ongoing recruitment efforts, including advertising the job or contacting the underrepresented groups that face barriers to employment.

Employers do not need a third-party representative or recruiter to conduct recruitment on their behalf in order to hire a TFW. However, if employers choose to use the services of a third-party representative or a recruiter, they must pay for all the fees associated with this service.

Note:
Under no circumstances, can the employer recover the advertising or recruitment costs from the TFW.


Variations to the advertisement requirements

There are variations to the requirements for advertising for specific occupations and in particular provinces, including:


Advertisement

A job posting is an announcement of an employment opportunity in a public medium such as newspapers, job posting Internet site, bulletin boards, etc. It provides a broad exposure of the vacancy to Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Canada who would be potential candidates for the position.

To meet the minimum advertising requirements set by the Program, employers must advertise:

  1. On the national Job Bank or its provincial/territorial counterpart in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, Quebec or Newfoundland and Labrador
    • The advertisement must be posted for a minimum of 4 weeks starting from the first day the ad appears and is accessible to the general public.
    • The advertisement must remain posted to actively seek qualified Canadians and permanent residents until the date a labour market impact assessment is issued.
  2. Using 2 or more additional methods of recruitment consistent with the normal practice for the occupation.
    • employers can choose 1 or more recruitment methods among these:
      • print media (local newspapers, job boards, youth magazines etc.); and
      • general employment websites (jobboom.com, workopolis.com, monster.ca, etc.).
    • The advertisement must be posted for a minimum of 4 weeks starting from the first day the ad appears and is accessible to the general public.
  3. Targeting underrepresented groups
    • Employer can:
      • try to recruit workers from local or provincial/territorial employment centres, service centres for Aboriginal youth, new immigrants and people with disabilities;
      • offer bursaries to attract students or youth, pursue online recruitment strategies, or undertake ongoing advertising and interviews in order to maintain a pre-screened applicant pool.

The advertisement must include the:

  • Company operating name
  • Business address
  • Title of position
  • Job duties (for each position, if advertising more than one vacancy)
  • Terms of employment (e.g. project based, permanent position)
  • Wage
  • Benefits package being offered (if applicable)
  • Location of work (local area, city or town)
  • Contact information: telephone number, cell phone number, email address, fax number, or mailing address;
  • Skills requirements:
    • Education
    • Work experience

Note:
Third-party representatives or recruiters can be the main contact for any job advertisements posted on behalf of the employer. However, the ad must be listed under the employer's Canada Revenue Agency Business Number.

Additional Advertisement Requirements

Employers may be required to conduct alternative or additional advertisement efforts such as, increased duration (length of time) or broader advertisement (whether local, regional or national). These additional efforts would be required if Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada determines that it would likely yield qualified Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are available to work in the occupation and region.

Proof of Advertisement

Employers must demonstrate that they meet the advertising requirements by providing proof of advertisement and the results of their efforts to recruit Canadian citizens and permanent residents (e.g. copy of advertisement and information to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised). Records of the employers' efforts should be kept for a minimum of 6 years, as stipulated in provincial/territorial and federal legislation, such as the Income Tax Act. ESDC/Service Canada may request these documents for future assessments.


How to Apply

Before you apply for an LMIA to hire a foreign worker under Stream for Lower-skilled Occupations, ESDC/Service Canada and CIC will expect you to:

  • Meet at least the minimum recruitment efforts required for NOC C and D occupations.
  • Consult with the local union to determine if the position is covered under a collective agreement.
  • Cover all recruitment costs related to the hiring of the foreign worker.
  • Sign an employment contract outlining wages, duties, and conditions related to the transportation, accommodation, and health and occupational safety of the foreign worker.
  • Pay the transportation costs for the worker to travel from his/her country of permanent residence to the location of work in Canada and for the return to the country of permanent residence.
  • Offer wages that are equal or higher than the prevailing wage rate paid to Canadians in the same occupation and region. In an unionized environment, offer the same wage rate as established under the collective bargaining agreement. In cases where benefits are offered to Canadians, extend those same benefits to the temporary foreign worker. In order to address unique circumstances, ESDC/Service Canada maintains the right to set the prevailing wage rate.
  • Agree to review and adjust (if necessary) the worker's wages after 12 months of employment to ensure the worker continues to receive the prevailing wage rate of the occupation and region where he/she is employed.
  • Help the worker find suitable, affordable accommodation.
  • Provide medical coverage until the worker is eligible for provincial health insurance coverage.
  • Register your worker under the appropriate provincial workers compensation/workplace safety insurance plans.

Provincial/territorial variations to the application process

If the job is located in the province of:

  • Alberta – Employers must provide the Employment Agency Business Licence (if applicable).
  • British Columbia – Employers must provide the Employment Agency Licence (if applicable).
  • Manitoba – Employers must apply for a Certificate of Registration at Manitoba's Employment Standards Branch, Business Registration Unit, before sending the LMIA application to ESDC/Service Canada.
  • Nova Scotia – Employers must:
    • use the services of licensed recruiters (if using a recruiter);
    • obtain an Employer Registration Certificate from the province's Labour Standards
  • Quebec - Employers must review the process for Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers for this province.
  • Saskatchewan – Employers must:
    • use the services of a licensed recruiter (if using a recruiter);
    • register with the Ministry of the Economy – Immigration Services

Step-by-step checklist

If you want to hire a temporary foreign worker for C and D occupations, you must:

  1. Complete and submit the LMIA application Form (EMP5512) to the Service Canada Centre nearest to where the foreign worker will be employed.
  2. Schedule A - Appointment of a Third Party Representative (EMP5575) (if applicable).
  3. Schedule B - Impact on the Canadian Labour Market (EMP5578) (if applicable).
  4. Schedule C – Employer Transition Plan (EMP5594) (if applicable)
  5. Schedule E – Establishing the Cap for low-wage positions for a work location (EMP5597) (if applicable)
  6. Proof of recruitment (e.g. copy of advertisement and information to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised).
  7. Business registration or legal incorporation documents (if first LMIA application).
  8. Provincial/territorial/municipal business licence (where applicable and if first LMIA application).
  9. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) documents (where applicable and if first LMIA application), including:
    • T2 Schedule 100 Balance Sheet Information(for corporations only – 2 most recent returns filed)
    • T2 Schedule 125 Income Statement Information (for corporations only – 2 most recent returns filed)
  10. Provincial documentation:
    • Alberta – Employment Agency Business Licence (Alberta's Fair Trading Act) if applicable.
    • British Columbia – Employment Agency Licence (British Columbia's Employment Standards Act) if applicable.
    • Manitoba – Certificate of Registration (Manitoba's Worker Recruitment and Protection Act).
    • Nova Scotia – Employer Registration Certificate (Labour Standards Code)
    • Saskatchewan - Employer Registration Certificate (The Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act)
  11. Complete and sign an employment contract (PDF version 25 KB) lower-skilled employment contract)

If you receive a positive LMIA, you must:

  1. Forward a copy of the ESDC/Service Canada confirmation letter and signed employment contract to the foreign worker.
  2. Ask the worker to sign the employment contract and apply to CIC for a work permit. The worker must include the confirmation letter and employment contract when he/she applies. CIC decides whether the foreign worker will receive a work permit according to the criteria to work and reside temporarily in Canada.

Some countries may require that their citizens meet certain conditions if they want to work in Canada (e.g. approval to leave the country, employer to pay transportation costs and/or medical coverage). Ask the foreign worker to verify if additional conditions apply in his/her country, contact the country's consulate in Canada or check its website to find out if you must meet additional requirements.

You must apply for a new LMIA if you anticipate that your human resource needs will continue beyond the period covered by a work permit. Your application should be sent at least four months prior to the expiry of the work permit to ensure ESDC/Service Canada has sufficient time to process your application and CIC to process the work permit extension.

Employers must sign, and send the completed application and all required documentation to the Service Canada Centre responsible for processing applications in their area

Send all documentation:

By Mail or Fax:
To the Service Canada Centre responsible for processing the LMIA applications in the region where the TFW will be employed.

For assistance – Phone:
The Service Canada Centre responsible for processing the LMIA applications in the region where the TFW will be employed.

Note:
A complete application means that employers have:

  • filled out all of the fields in all of the necessary forms;
  • included all of the required documentation;
  • signed the forms where required; and
  • submitted the fee payment with the application.

If an application is submitted and it is not complete, Service Canada staff will inform the employer that the application will not be processed. Incomplete applications and supporting documents submitted with the application will not be retained or returned to the employer. As a result, employers are advised to submit copies, not original documents.