Canada issued 63918 LMIA in the first half of 2019

Canada continues to attract foreign workers to fill the labour shortage. More and more employers are applying to the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

LMIA in the first half of 2019

In the first quarter of 2019, the ESDC issued 38,348 positive LMIAs. Most of them were received by employers in Quebec – 12,612 (33%) and Ontario – 9,621 (26%), the country’s two most populated provinces.

In the second quarter of the year, the number of issued LMIAs was 25,570. In the second quarter, the Ministry of Labor issued 33% less LMIA compared to a period from January to March. The majority of LMIAs in the second quarter were released in Ontario – 7,109 (28.9% of the total), British Columbia – 6,562 (26.7%), Quebec – 6,137 (25%) and Alberta – 2,949 (12%). The other provinces received only 7.4% of LMIAs. Canada released 63,835 positive LMIAs for the first half of 2019.


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In 2018, the ESDC issued 108,139 LMIAs. 40,448 (37%) were issued in Ontario, 28,553 (26%) in British Columbia, 21,254 (20%) in Quebec, and 8,831 (8%) in Alberta. If you project the data of the first half of the year on the data of 2018, it is very likely that Canada will exceed the amount of 2018.

Why is the LMIA required?

The Labour Market Impact Assessment is needed by employers to prove that they need to hire foreign workers and that they did not manage to find the right candidate in Canada.

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How long does it take to process applications for LMIA?

Demand for foreign workers continues to grow and this causes delays in the processing time of applications. Previously, employers could obtain the necessary permission in less than two months, but now, employers who want to hire foreign workers must wait 3-4 months until the application is considered, and in some cases even longer.

See details in the table
StreamCurrent application processing time
Global Talent Stream10 business days
Agricultural stream30 business days
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program15 business days
Permanent residence stream40 business days
In-home caregivers25 business days
High-wage stream85 business days
Low-wage stream120 business days

In addition, the government continues to monitor employers who violate workers’ rights. Thus, the government publishes the names of companies-violators and forbids them to hire foreigners. In total, 168 companies have already received fines and bans on participating in the program for a specified period of time.

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