|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.