On November 7, 2023, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has revised the processing times for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) submissions across different categories. The latest data from all processing offices indicates that the average time to process LMIAs has gone up solely for the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, as well as for the High-wage and Low-wage streams.Listen to this article.
The following information outlines the standard processing durations at all Canadian processing centers, indicating the typical timeframe from the receipt of a complete application by Service Canada to the issuance of a decision letter to the applicant.
- Global Talent Stream – 9 business days
- Agricultural stream – 11 business days
- Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program – 8 business days (+2 days)
- Permanent residence Stream – 57 business days (-1 day)
- In-home caregivers – 20 business days (-5 days)
- High-wage Stream – 44 business days (+4 days)
- Low-wage Stream – 49 business days (+4 days)
What is LMIA?
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a necessary document for Canadian employers looking to hire an international worker, confirming the requirement for a foreign employee and the absence of available Canadian citizens or permanent residents for the job, often referred to as a confirmation letter. Employers must apply for an LMIA, and upon receiving it, the foreign worker is then eligible to apply for a work permit.
LMIA Online Portal
The LMIA Online Portal is an efficient, secure system that enables Canadian employers and their third-party agents to submit LMIA applications to Service Canada. With a Job Bank account, users can apply any time, edit applications, upload documents, pay fees, and track their application status. The portal also allows viewing of correspondence from Service Canada and a review of past submissions. Both employers and agents must have a Job Bank account for access. The portal provides real-time application status updates, and the provided table outlines average processing times to aid in employment planning.
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