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Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Permits

  • Context (IE): Following the imposition of intake caps on international student admissions to Canada, Indians are turning to Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) work permits to emigrate.
  • The LMIA programme allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers if recruitment efforts for hiring local employees fail.
  • For this, employers need to post their job requirements on the official Canadian portal and eligible foreign workers can apply through it.
  • A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.
  • Competitive nature of the international student visa process due to caps on international admissions.
  • Labour shortages in Canada and the opportunity to gain valuable Canadian work experience and establish themselves in the labour market.
  • A pathway for individuals who may not meet the criteria for student visas or other immigration streams.

Why is LMIA preferred over the student visa route?

  • Rising costs associated with student visas, including living expenses and tuition fees.
  • The inability to score the required scores in English proficiency tests for study visas (many jobs under LMIA accept lower scores in English proficiency tests). 

Can LMIA lead to permanent residency?

  • A positive LMIA does not guarantee permanent residency.
  • Skilled foreign workers must still meet all requirements under the Express Entry immigration process (a quick way to permanent residence for immigrants seeking a new life in Canada).
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