What is an LMIA?!

Written by Diamond Personnel on . Posted in Uncategorized

If you are looking to employ a foreign caregiver, you have a lengthy and frustrating process ahead of you. The key to ensuring success is to understand the process, and to have the right information and support.

So first, we need to tackle what does LMIA stand for.

An LMIA is a Labour Market Impact Assessment application, a process that the Canadian government requires in order to hire a foreign caregiver. The LMIA replaced the previous application known as the Labour Market Opinion or LMO in 2014. This application is an extremely challenging process for families.  The LMIA was created to prove that employers are unable to find a qualified Canadian or permanent resident to fill the job opening. Remember: the government must protect the jobs of Canadians, and they want Canadians to have the first chance at these opportunities.  As the employer, how do you prove that you have been unable to find a qualified Canadian or permanent resident to fill your job vacancy? Answer: Follow the steps outlined in the LMIA process.

There are various stages, all of which require knowledge of the LMIA process, attention to detail, patience, time and experience. You must prove who you are, where you live, that you can afford to hire a caregiver, and that you have children or an individual who requires care. Most importantly, you need to prove that you have completed an extensive search to find a Canadian or permanent resident by meeting very specific search criteria,.

These are the key components to the LMIA process:

  •  Create a payroll account through the Canadian Revenue Agency that is not tied to a business. This is to demonstrate that you plan to employ someone in your home.
  • Three advertisements run nationally.  The ads must have exposure to visible minorities such as Aboriginals persons, those with disabilities and more. The ads must meet exact government requirements or else your application will be denied.
  • Must be complete and 100% accurate. Any missing or incorrect information will result in a denial.
  • Supporting documents must accompany the LMIA application including birth certificates, a doctor’s note confirming pregnancy or special needs, and official notice of assessment (NOA). NOAs are crucial to show that you can financially support a caregiver in your household.
  • Must meet government income level to support a caregiver’s salary
  • Answering the questions about the accommodations of a caregiver is very tricky and must be completed correctly and to exacting standards. Rules have recently changed that no longer allow employers to require foreign caregivers to live in.
  •  LMIA application is approximately 50 pages and the process can take about 4-5 months, from creation of the payroll account to Service Canada approval.
  • Your application fee is $1000.00 and is non-refundable. Not only will a mistake in your application result in wasted time and effort, but it will also be costly.
  • You will have an interview by a Service Canada agent to verify the information in your application
  • A decision will be mailed to you following your interview (some have referred to it as an interrogation, so be prepared!)

That means that when you do this application, you want it done right — the first time. There are many steps in place that can trip up an inexperienced employer. Don’t take any chances with this crucial application.

Immigration Canada regulates who is able to give advice on LMIA applications.  Only ICCRC registered Immigration Consultants are permitted to assist you with this process and to act on your behalf with Service Canada. Use an experienced, professional agency with a qualified immigration team who has success with the new LMIA process.  Ask for references.  Fees vary according to experience of the agency, but as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for!”

Diamond Personnel is proud of our ICCRC-certified immigration department, with hundreds of approvals of LMIA’s for caregivers and other temporary foreign workers.