Early in 2020, IRCC issued some updates and announcements regarding the LMIA for employers seeking to hire foreign workers during COVID.
To review these updates:
Employers were not required to submit minor administrative changes to the LMIA that would not change the terms and conditions,
LMIAs for occupations considered essential during the COVID-19 pandemic are prioritized for processing,
Minimum recruitment requirements for LMIAs in certain occupations were waived until December 31, 2020
The maximum duration of employment under LMIAs increased from 1 to 2 years for employers of workers in the low-wage stream as part of a three-year pilot,
Approved LMIAs are valid up to a maximum of nine months (or until December 15, 2021 under SAWP)
LMIA Extension Covid-19
Under normal conditions, an LMIA is valid for 6 months from the date it was issued. This means you need to submit your work permit application within six months of receiving the positive LMIA to ensure it is valid to support your application. We have received some questions about an LMIA extension; remember, the LMIA does not authorize you to work in Canada, it’s the document that supports your application for a work permit.
Given the rising COVID-19 infection rates, and to ensure that temporary foreign workers have adequate time to obtain the necessary documentation to support their work permit applications, the Temporary Foreign Work Permit program is being flexible with the LMIA expiry date:
For all streams, with the exception of the Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program (SAWP), approved LMIAs will be valid for nine months.
For SAWPs, LMIAs approved for the 2021 season will be valid until December 15, 2021.
A validity period extension of up to a maximum of nine months (or, till December 15, 2021 for SAWP LMIAs approved for the 2021 season) is permitted if the original LMIA’s validity period was issued for six months.
Once again, remember that the LMIA and Work Permit are separate documents. If you have a work permit that is expiring, you will need to apply to extend your work permit.
LMIA Processing Time 2021
IRCC has continued to take in new applications for work permits, permanent residence and citizenship, so applications can continue to be filed. Service Canada continues to take in and process LMIA applications as well as GTS LMIA applications for tech occupations.
In terms of processing times, there are delays. As of December 2020, the processing times for each LMIA stream is as follows:
Global Talent Stream: 15 business days
Agricultural Stream: 17 business days
Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program: 9 business days
Permanent Residence Stream: 18 business days
In-Home Caregivers: 12 business days
High-Wage Stream: 34 business days
Low-Wage Stream: 34 business days
Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.
We can provide assistance 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.