LMIAs, the Job Bank, and Foreign Employers – Solving the Problems


As those familiar with the Canadian work permit system will know, Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) are applications used by employers to seek permission to hire foreign workers for a particular position. Within the application, employers must substantiate that a Canadian citizen or permanent resident could not be found for that position.

Before filing an LMIA application, an employer must carry out certain mandated recruitment efforts. Among the requirements is that an employer must recruit in three sources, one of which must be the federal Job Bank (or the provincial counterpart in some cases).

Recently, the government introduced new Job Bank registration procedures such that only Canadian citizens could register as employers on the Job Bank. There is no doubt that non-Canadian employers can act as employers for the purposes of an LMIA application. However, this new requirement made it virtually (if not completely) impossible for foreign employers to place an ad on the Job Bank, thus in turn making it impossible to secure LMIA approval.

The government has been apprised by various stakeholders (including a representation from Kranc Associates), about the issue and its impact. The government seems to now recognize the concern, and we expect that changes will be made to accommodate this situation.

In the interim, as difficult as this seems to believe, ESDC/Service Canada sources have advised that foreign employers need not advertise on the Job Bank. Rather, they must still use three recruitment sources, but they do not need to include the Job Bank as one of those sources. (It is still required, however, that one of the ads still run beyond the initial four week period.) In that regard, an unannounced change was made to the ESDC web site which now indicates:

  • Employers recruiting higher-skilled workers, in areas where the use of the Job Bank or its provincial/territorial counterparts is not considered an effective method of recruitment, must provide a written explanation of the alternative method used with their LMIA application. (emphasis added)

We do expect that the Job Bank will ultimately be altered to allow foreign employers to access it more easily. In the interim, and as risky as it may sound, it would seem that foreign employers may avoid the Job Bank (but not the other requirements of the LMIA process), as long as they explain why this has been done. We would hope that the fact that you can’t actually use the Job Bank is a good reason not to use it.

Happy Canada Day to all!

The information in this article is for general purposes only, and not intended as legal advice for any particular situation.

This post originally appeared on Kranc Associates. Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Benjamin A. Kranc

Benjamin A. Kranc is senior principal of Kranc Associates, a leading Canadian corporate immigration law firm. He has many years of experience assisting clients in connection with Canadian immigration and business issues. Ben is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Immigration Law. He is also on the ‘Who’s Who Legal’ list of foremost practitioners in Canadian corporate immigration, as well as rated as AV Preeminent® in a Martindale-Hubbell peer review. Ben has spoken at numerous conferences, seminars, and information sessions – both for professional organizations and private groups – about issues in Canadian immigration law, and has also taught immigration law at Seneca College in Toronto. In addition, Ben has written extensively. He is the author of a leading text on Canadian immigration law entitled “North American Relocation Law” (Thomson Reuters) and contributing immigration author to the “The Human Resources Advisor” (First Reference Books). Ben can be contacted at (416) 977-7500 ext. 226, or bkranc@kranclaw.com.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.