Labour Market Impact Assessment Processing Causing Canada Work Permit Delays

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Canada has issued a new warning of increased processing times for Work Permits due to Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) delays.

To help employers and candidates who are facing the issue, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), has published average processing times by each Temporary Foreign Worker Program category.

Global Talent Stream candidates can still expect their applications processed in 10 days, but those applying through the low wage stream can expect a wait of 120 business days.

Expected LMIA Processing Times

Application type

Processing Time

Global Talent Stream

10 business days

Agricultural Stream

30 business days

Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program

15 business days

Permanent Residence Stream

40 business days

In-home Caregivers

25 business days

High-wage Stream

85 business days

Low-wage Stream

120 business days

Source: ESDC

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An ESDC statement said: “We are currently experiencing a high number of LMIA applications which is resulting in longer processing times for some streams of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

“We are providing recent processing times by stream to help you estimate how long it will take us to assess your application. Please account for these when planning for your employment needs.”

This is the third time ESDC has warned of LMIA processing delays in the last year, after initially issuing a warning in October 2018, and a second warning in April 2019.

Officials also urged applicants to ensure applications are complete before submission, and to respond promptly to requests for addition information.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.