Note: the Labour Market Opinion is now being transformed to the new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), to check out for more details regarding this change, see: New Labour Market Impact Assessment
If you’re looking for a job opportunity in Canada, you may have heard about the Labour Market Opinion (LMO). What exactly is a LMO? Do you and your employer need a LMO for your prospective job offer? Let’s review the facts about the Labour Market Opinion.
A LMO is an application made by Canadian employers for an “Opinion” from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to confirm that “reasonable efforts” to recruit Canada citizens or permanent residents for the position(s) have been made and that there are no qualified, willing and able Canada citizens or permanent residents for the position(s).
The purpose of the LMO is to ensure that there really is a shortage of Canadians or permanent residents willing and able to do the job, and therefore that hiring a temporary foreign worker will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market.
If the job offer is genuine and if the employment of the foreign national is likely to have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada. The Approval of a LMO comes in the form of a “Confirmation” from Service Canada. Although a foreign national may be identified on the Labour Market Opinion, the confirmation pertains to the Job position, not the foreign national. When the LMO application approved, employer will receive a positive LMO. This LMO is provided to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and communicated to the employer.
What if I got a “Neutral” LMO? HRSDC/Service Canada determine whether the entry of a TFW would likely have a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labour market. This wording was intended to emphasize the benefits to employers of having access to TFWs, in contrast to the former approach which emphasized the negative impact (e.g. the focus was on potential loss of job opportunities for Canadians). Whether a decision is based on an assessment that the impact is positive or neutral, the outcome is the same in practical terms: a positive LMO is issued.
Work permits exempt from an LMO
There are some regulatory authorities to issue a work permit to a worker who does not require an LMO. Including ：
- Workers covered under international agreements：Professionals, traders, investors and business people coming to Canada to work under certain international agreements.
- Participants in exchange programs：People whose employment in Canada will provide similar employment to Canadians abroad, such as participants in youth exchange programs, teacher exchange programs or other reciprocal programs.
- Workers that fall under HRSDC minimum variations. Click here for more info
- Spouses and common-law partners of certain foreign students who are studying full-time.
- Spouses and common-law partners of certain skilled foreign workers.
- Workers, their spouses/common-law partners or their dependents who are eligible for a work permit through an active pilot project
- Workers nominated by a province for permanent residence：A person who has been nominated by a province for permanent residence and has a job offer from an employer based in that province.
- Entrepreneurs and intra-company transferees：Some types of entrepreneurs, workers transferring within a company, and other types of workers who will provide significant benefit to Canadians or permanent residents by working in Canada.
- Academics and students: Certain academics and students.
- Co-op students: Foreign students who are studying in Canada and who need to do co-op work placements as part of their program of study.
- Religious workers: People doing charitable or religious work.
- Others: Certain people who need to support themselves while they are in Canada for other reasons such as the refugee determination process.
As of April 29th 2013, the government introduced several changes to the Labour Market Opinion Process. Check our Blog to see Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program .
Tips for Applying for an LMO
If applying for an LMO, here are some tips:
- Plan as far in advance as possible when hiring temporary foreign workers. Do a needs assessment to determine if you will need to hire in the next 6 to 12 months.
- Apply for the LMO ASAP! Once you identify a need, even if it’s not for several months, start the LMO process. It can take 2-3 months for HRSDC to make a decision on an LMO.
- Recruit more than the minimum. Employers must recruit for at least 14 days. Don’t just meet the minimum. Recruit longer and on more sites than what HRSDC requires.
- Once an application is submitted, be prepared for a call from HRSDC. HRSDC will contact the employer in most cases and expect the employer to respond immediately to their voice message or email. If an employer fails to respond within days, HRSDC may refuse the application.
For more information and the application for a LMO, please contact us.