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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

Key Tips for Low-Wage LMIA Approvals in 2024

I've witnessed firsthand the challenges employers face when seeking approval for Low-Wage Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs). In 2024, with evolving immigration policies and stringent requirements, navigating the LMIA process can be daunting. However, by understanding common mistakes and implementing strategic approaches, employers can enhance their chances of LMIA approval. Here are my key tips to guide you through the process and avoid potential pitfalls.

Understanding Low-Wage LMIA Applications:

Low-Wage LMIAs are typically sought for positions that offer salaries below the provincial or territorial median hourly wage. See the table below for each province’s threshold when it comes to a low-wage versus high-wage application (these are as of April 2024):

These LMIA applications require thorough documentation to demonstrate that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively impact the Canadian labour market. In my practice, we see employers who try to file them on their own, and they can run into issues when it comes to non-compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program rules. I have a few tips for avoiding these pitfalls in your low-wage LMIA applications:

1. Insufficient recruitment

The low-wage program dictates specific groups that must be targeted as part of the program (newcomers, indigenous, youth, etc). Employers also have to complete what is called a Jobmatch process through the online Federal Jobbank in order to show that Canadians were not available nor qualified for the role. 

In our practice, we pre-approve and review job postings before they go live, doing so ensures that Service Canada will approve of your recruitment efforts. Advertisements need to run for at least four weeks. 

2. Accurate Wage Calculation

In addition to low wage/ high wage considerations, as an employer, you need to ensure that you are paying the proposed foreign worker the prevailing median wage for the occupation in your region. You always need to pay the median wage to meet TFWP requirements, this is different than the provincial wage I've mentioned above, each occupation will have a different wage for each region in Canada.  

3. Complete Documentation

Often our DIY applicants just as a result of human error and not being familiar with the process, documents are not uploaded to the online LMIA portal correctly, or in the correct format. 

4. Exceeding the Cap on Low-wage workers 

The government’s TFWP includes a 20% cap for most industries, meaning that only 20% of your total workforce can be made of temporary foreign workers. Some industries have a 30% cap on low-wage workers. If you do not calculate the cap properly in your application, then your application can be refused. 

5. Attention to LMIA Form Details:

Lastly, employers often overlook key details or make errors on the LMIA application forms. I often stress that employers need to review the information entered on the LMIA application form to ensure accuracy and completeness. Pay close attention to specific questions and provide clear, concise answers that address the requirements outlined by Service Canada, sometimes an error in the form can result in a negative determination.

Navigating the Low-Wage LMIA process requires meticulous attention to detail, strategic planning, and a thorough understanding of the TFWP rules. Ensuring that you are adhering to program rules will ensure your success under the program. If you have any questions or need further clarification, don't hesitate to reach out. book an online consultation with us here.


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Calver Immigration Consulting Inc. is rated Canada's number one boutique immigration consultancy. We serve clients across Canada and internationally. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law serving those in Canada and abroad.

We can assist with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.

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