New LMIA rules affect timing of work permit application

28 Aug 14

CANADA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Under new rules for positions requiring a labor market impact assessment (LMIA), work permit applications cannot be lodged until the LMIA has been approved.

What does the change mean? Companies sponsoring foreign workers in LMIA-subject jobs must complete the LMIA process and receive approval before submitting their work permit application.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits – particularly permit extensions – for positions subject to LMIA.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign assignees applying in the above categories.
  • Impact on processing times: No direct impact, but it impacts overall time frames and timing of work permit submissions.
  • Business impact: Companies will have to begin the LMIA process sooner than before.
  • Next steps: Employers should calendar work permit expiration dates and plan to start LMIAs well in advance.

Background: Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced the change in procedures in light of a recent overhaul of its work permit regime that replaced the former labor market opinion category with the new labor market impact assessment (LMIA) category.

In the past, an employer could file a work permit application or extension while a labor market opinion was pending.

BAL Analysis: The new rules require employers to pay closer attention to the timing of their LMIA process. Employers are encouraged to start the LMIA process earlier to minimize delays for new work permit applications and to ensure that extensions of existing work permits may be filed before they expire.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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