Processing Delays and Wage Threshold Changes for Labor Market Impact Assessments

May 1, 2019 | Canada

  1. Application Processing Delays

The Canadian Employment and Social Development Canada has announced that the average processing times for Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications have increased. LMIAs applications being processed under the Global Talent Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program will still be processed within ten business days. Those whose application are in the Low-wage Steam LMIA application are currently taking an average of 102 business days, while High-wage Steam LMIA applications average 106 business days.

  1. Wage Thresholds

On April 22, 2019, Employment and Social Development Canada has published new median and hourly wages for each of the provinces and territories. These wages are used to determine if a position qualified for the High-wage Stream or the Low-wage Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Employers must be sure to submit applications under the correct stream based on the applicant’s wage. Temporary foreign workers being paid below the provincial/territorial median wage are considered low-wage. Employers are subject to a cap on the number of low-wage employees that can be hired. Temporary foreign workers who are paid above the median are considered high-wage. An employer must submit a transition plan with their LMIA application to ensure that they are taking steps to reduce their reliance on foreign workers.