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Work Permit Applications Now Require an Approved LMIA at the Time of Filing

Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office

August 28, 2014

Previously published on August 26, 2014

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced that it will no longer accept and receipt work permit applications for positions requiring Labor Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) without a valid, approved LMIA.

In the past, CIC would accept and receipt work permit applications while the LMIA (previously known as the Labor Market Opinion or LMO) was still pending. This was a common practice for work permit extension applications. Where an individual’s work permit was to expire within two weeks, CIC would accept the extension application and hold open the file for two months to await the LMIA approval. If the LMIA was not approved within the two months, the application would be refused.

CIC’s announcement only affects employers recruiting foreign nationals for positions that require an LMIA. Work permit applications for positions that are LMIA-exempt are unaffected.

What This Means for Employers

The new policy provides less flexibility to employers with regard to the timing of extension applications. Employers are advised to initiate the LMIA process as soon as practicable and ideally several months before the expiration of an employee's work permit to ensure that an approved LMIA is in place when a work permit extension application is filed.


The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

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