A foreign national generally needs a positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) from ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada)/ Service Canada in order to apply for a work permit unless they are work permit exempted or are eligible for an open work permit.
ESDC/ Service Canada ensures that job and career opportunities are protected for Canadian citizens/permanent residents. In general, Canadian employers can hire foreign workers when it will not adversely affect employment and career opportunities of Canadians/permanent residents, or when there are significant benefits attached to the recruitment of a foreign worker.
ESDC/ Service Canada assesses a request from an employer seeking to obtain a work permit for a foreign worker. ESDC/ Service Canada checks the following:
- Whether a job offer itself is bonafide and not designed to be inaccessible to Canadians/permanent residents
- Whether a wage and a working condition offered is sufficient to attract and retain Canadians/permanent residents in employment
- Whether an employer has made responsible efforts to hire or train Canadians/permanent residents for an employment in request.
LMIA applicaitons approximately take 10 to 12 weeks.